NCO ACADEMY SPEECH
Let me start by telling you what a great honor it is to be invited to your NCO Academy Graduation Banquet and celebrate your accomplishments with you. On behalf of the Air Force, I would like to congratulate all of you on what you have accomplished over the last six weeks. It truly is a time to celebrate. Like the popular television show, I consider all of you survivors. While no one has to be voted off each week (although I’m sure some of you think that might be a good idea), all of you have had to work extremely hard and bond together as a group the last six weeks in order to achieve success at Lackland. I congratulate all of you for being NCOA survivors and look forward to serving alongside you as you take the next steps in your careers as strong and successful noncommissioned officers. I’m sure that some of you right now are wondering how long this speech is going to last. In the true spirit of NCO Academy, I’m actually going to give two speeches. The first one (this one) is my formative speech…and I have no doubt you’ll be grading me on it. However, I’ll be sure to give it another go and get a better grade in my summative speech in just a bit. After all I’ve always considered myself a “woodchaser.” Speaking of woodchasers, I’m sure by now everyone out there knows who these folks are – the high-speed people who enter school with their one and only goal being to win top honors. In officer-speak, we call woodchasers “spring buds,” but they’re easy to spot no matter what the setting. How’s that, you ask? Well, the person who stood up in front of their flight the first week of class, introduced themselves and then uttered the phrase, “I want to be Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force,” is a bonafide woodchaser. No bones about it. [PAUSE] Am I wrong on this? As we look back at all you’ve learned over the last six weeks, you probably marvel at the vast amount of instruction you’ve received....
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