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Air Force adopts new motto

Oct. 7, 2010 - 05:41PM   |   Last Updated: Oct. 7, 2010 - 05:41PM  |  
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An old Air Force recruiting slogan, "Aim High," is back with a little cheer— "Fly-Fight-Win."

Service officials announced Oct. 7 the results of a nine-month search for a new motto that involved surveys of airmen across the globe. The new motto is "a two-part expression — a call to action, with a response of commitment," Air Force officials said in a release.

Air Force officials were looking for something on par with the Marine Corps' "Semper Fidelis." Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Roy said the new selection is more than a slogan.

"Slogans and ad phrases come and go, but a motto is meant to be passed from one generation of airmen to another," he said in a statement. "This is for the hundreds of thousands of airmen who now serve, who have served, and who will serve in the future."

The search, first announced earlier this year in an e-mail from Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Howie Chandler, involved the offices of the chief master sergeant of the Air Force, director of public affairs, director of force management policy and Air Force Recruiting Service.

Researchers met with 300 airmen representing each major command, and Air Force officials distributed a servicewide survey.

"We took the time to try to get this right," Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said in a statement. "A service motto belongs to those who serve, and we've done our best to give voice to how airmen feel about serving this nation."

Air Force brass selected the winner from the five finalists presented at their recent Corona meeting.

The new motto will be incorporated slowly into presentations, correspondence and products. It will be introduced to airmen going through basic training, professional military education and the commissioning processes next year.

"Aim High" received some public support from upper echelons of the officer corps: When Gen. Gary North, the Pacific Air Forces commander, spoke at the national conference of the Air Force Sergeants Association in August, he said "Aim High" was his selection because it represents what all airmen should strive toward.

And when Air Force Times asked its readers for their suggestions in June, "Aim High" was the runaway favorite — with "Fly, Fight, Win" a close second.

"This classic but simple phrase is what the Air Force is all about," wrote Lt. David Frisbey of Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. "It encompasses integrity, service before self and excellence in all we do; furthermore, it's part of our heritage."

Capt. Gregory Bollrud of Hurlburt Field, Fla., wrote Air Force Times in June to campaign for "Fly, Fight, Win."

"It succinctly captures what our Air Force has been renowned for ever since its creation in 1947," he wrote. "Also, the specific choice of these three words is that it can be interpreted as an order as well as embodying what we do and how we do it (Fly), our commitment to defend the nation (Fight), and our ultimate goal and our successful history (Win)."

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