Allvin formally welcomed as 23rd Air Force Chief of Staff

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Adam R. Shanks
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Promising to lead the Total Force with “humility and resolve,” Gen. David W. Allvin was ceremoniously welcomed into his role as the 23rd Air Force Chief of Staff Nov.17 during a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews.

Allvin was joined by his wife, Gina, their three children, as well as former chief of staff and current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Department of the Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and numerous others. All were there for a dignified and historically significant ceremony to designate Allvin’s arrival as the Air Force’s highest ranking military officer.

“As I enter my role as the 23rd Chief of Staff, I do it with both humility and resolve,” Allvin said. “I am humbled by both the responsibility vested in the office – so deftly carried out by my predecessors – and the skill, dedication, and sacrifice of the Airmen and their families for whom this office exists to serve.”

Allvin steps into the job at a time of significant challenges – ongoing wars in Ukraine and Israel, as well as the emergence of “great power competition” with China, the pacing challenge.

Allvin acknowledged those challenges in his remarks.

“The current strategic environment is one in which our national interests are threatened in a way we have not seen in decades,” he said. “And the evolving character of war is one that privileges speed and tempo, agility, range, flexibility, resilience, and precise lethality … these elements run deep in the DNA of airpower, and it is our responsibility to the Joint Force and the nation to bring these to bear to meet our pacing challenge.”

Despite the complexities, competition, and evolving challenges, Allvin said the service’s core mission has not changed. “We deter and defeat aggression to defend and protect our nation and its interests,” he said.

Doing that, however, requires new thinking and action, Allvin said. “We must solve for agility – initiating action in the right direction and building in the flexibility to learn and adjust while in motion. This is the spirit in which we must pursue the efforts to optimize for the environment we face.”

Despite the challenges, Brown and Kendall each said in their remarks that Allvin is the right choice at the right time to lead the Air Force.

“After our three years together, I couldn’t ask for a better person to follow through and build upon the many ideas we’ve shared,” Brown said. “… [His career] has provided him a wide foundation to draw on to lead the Air Force as it faces a complex and volatile global security environment.”

Kendall echoed that assessment.

“[Dave] is excited to come into this position at a time when our National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy, Joint Warfighting Concepts, and Air Force priorities are in such clear alignment,” he said. “We are all on the same page, part of one team and one fight across the Department of the Air Force, the Joint Force, interagency teammates, and allies and partners … Dave is taking the baton at full speed, and he is going to ensure that we follow through on the next leg of the race.”

While the welcome ceremony was a significant milestone, Allvin had officially been in the job since Nov. 2. On that day the Senate confirmed Allvin to become the service’s highest-ranking officer and uniformed leader. That was followed the same day by a brief swearing-in ceremony while he was visiting the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. The location bears a significant relevance as it was the same place Allvin swore his commissioning oath in 1986.

As with his 22 predecessors, Allvin brings his own unique leadership style to the Chief of Staff office. One tangible example is that he signs most written correspondence simply “23.” Signing in this humble manner is Allvin’s acknowledgement that he is merely the “next up” in a long line of leaders charged with overseeing the service and upholding the Air Force’s high standards. It is also one of the ways he redirects personal attention from himself to Airmen and their families, who “display a sense of commitment and dedication to the mission that is unparalleled.”

During the welcome ceremony, Allvin expounded on his first message to Airmen, titled ‘Follow Through’ – a charge which he intends to shape his tenure around.

Allvin carries this responsibility with a sense of urgency, citing time as one of the “biggest challenges in pursuit of our destination … as the future rushes toward us at a breathtaking pace.”

The call to follow through builds upon the changes set in motion by former service chiefs and brings into focus numerous initiatives that will be critical to the Joint Force in the years ahead. Among the most pressing are bringing the Air Force’s Operational Imperatives to operational capability, adapting the organizational structure for great power competition, and harnessing innovative talent.

Allvin’s intent is well-supported by other senior leaders, who have full confidence in his leadership, integrity and ability to lead the Air Force.

“I will spend every day from this one until I pass the baton in dogged pursuit of the change we seek … because [our Airmen] deserve it, and the nation demands it,” Allvin finished. “We’ve got the charge … now let’s follow through.”