Saturday 20, October 2018
Thursday | Nov 8, 2018
Congressman Rob Wittman
Virginia's First District
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1700 Coliseum Drive, Hampton
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Congressman Scott Taylor, representing Virginia’s 2nd District, was our guest speaker for our July meeting. Rep. Taylor was sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2017 and is the first freshman member from Virginia to ever be appointed to the Appropriations Committee for a full term. Prior to his election
to Congress, he served as a Navy SEAL and, in 2005, he was severely injured in a combat mission during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rep. Taylor’s primary goal for his term is to give his constituents a voice on the House Appropriations Committee, which oversees federal expenditures. As a combat veteran, he is also working to ensure veterans and their families are taken care of, our economy continues to improve, and national security remains a top priority.
Congressman Taylor covered various engaging topics and answered questions within a short 45 minutes. He recognized that the VA system was falling short or even failing to meet the needs of veterans because previous solutions simply moved the core problem from one VA facility to another. He feels that the future of the VA lies in solving the problem of providing competent leadership. Rep. Scott stated clearly that it is the duty of our government to take care of its Veterans and that private care options should be included. When asked what we, as AFA members and veterans, should do to help improve VA services, he replied that we should know who the important Senators with direct impact on VA Services and engage with these individuals first and directly, face to face!
Rep. Taylor also discussed the long string of Continuing Resolutions that have been used to keep our government operating … in place of a normal budgeting process. He feels strongly about the issue, stating no one can or would run a business under a continuing resolution process -- it would be bad business. Therefore, there is no reason to run our government in this manner. The congressmen transitioned to the topic of sequestration. When Congress mandates unilateral cuts to military budgets it creates cascading problems with devastating effects on training and flying.
In closing, Rep. Taylor stated that he supports the President’s desire to reduce fat and bring accountability to acquisition programs, including the F35 program. He suggests that it is critical to collaborate with innovative individuals and small companies, something the government and large defense contractors need to embrace.
Our thanks to Congressman Taylor for taking time to share his thoughts with the Chapter.
In August our guest speaker, Maj Gen Richard Shook, USAF (Ret), delivered "A Checklist for Success” to our members and guests. General Shook has had a very successful career in the Air Force, a civilian airline pilot,
and is now employed by GE Aviation. In addressing his success he recognized the support of his spouse of 42 years and his children, as well as "a bit of luck along the way”. He attributes the foundation of his success to the strong military values instilled by his parents, particularly Air Force values passed along from his father who retired as a USAF CMSgt. Shook shared insight gained from lessons learned and mentorship. Below are some of the items on the General’s check list:
- He embraces the ACC mission statement -- "People First, Mission Always”
- Be engaged -- people-oriented leaders always get the mission done
- Be an active listener -- stop what you are doing and give that person your full attention
- Be value added -- engage in a topic by listening and expressing ideas when they are only value added
- Make good impressions and network -- meet new people
- Give yourself opportunities -- don’t pass up growth opportunities
- Push outside of your comfort zone -- expand your resume
- Don’t forget those that helped you get where you are -- mentors, family and friends
- Don’t skip the checklist and don’t get complacent -- follow the rules
- Slow down -- don’t rush or take short cuts
- Adhere to a strong decision making process -- gather the facts, process decision in a deliberate way, trust your gut, and be decisive
- Two sides to every story -- don’t jump to conclusions
- Learn from mistakes -- it is okay to fail
- Be accountable
- Work hard, be humble, strive for excellence
Maj Gen Shook is very active in Virginia AFA. His leadership is a key part of our Chapter’s success.
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Community Partner Spotlight