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Col. Brandon Parker hosts first commander’s call as 7th BW commander

Col. Brandon Parker hosts first commander’s call as 7th BW commander

U.S. Air Force Col. Brandon Parker, 7th Bomb Wing commander, speaks at a commander’s call at Dyess Air Force Base, Aug. 29, 2017. Parker used the commander’s call as an opportunity to introduce himself and lay out his expectations for the wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Katherine Miller)

Col. Brandon Parker hosts first commander’s call as 7th BW commander

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kenny Mott, 7th Bomb Wing command chief, speaks to Airmen during a commander’s call at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 29, 2017. The commander’s call focused on the wing’s mission, objectives and priorities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Katherine Miller)

Col. Brandon Parker hosts first commander’s call as 7th BW commander

U.S. Air Force Col. Brandon Parker, 7th Bomb Wing commander, addresses Airmen during a commander’s call at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 29, 2017. Parker discussed the importance of knowing and understanding the mission and the vital role each Airmen plays in accomplishing it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Katherine Miller)

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Col. Brandon Parker, 7th Bomb Wing commander, held his first commander’s call at the Base Theater, here, Aug. 29. During his first meeting with Airmen since taking command earlier this month on Aug. 4, Parker took the opportunity to introduce himself to the wing, explain the significance of knowing and understanding the mission and how important each individual Airman is to mission success.

Parker began the commander’s call by acquainting himself with Airmen and giving a brief summary of his upbringing. Parker was born in St. Louis, Missouri and moved to Ogden, Utah early in his childhood with his mother and brother. He explained he was reluctant about moving, but in turn, met lifelong friends.

“I learned at a very young age I could make friends with people I didn’t know or have much in common with,” Parker said. “Over the years, these people would become my best friends and these same folks traveled all the way here to attend my change of command.”

Parker grew up and graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1996 and started his military career as a B-52H Stratofortress pilot. Before assuming command of the 7th BW, he served as the vice commander of the 2nd BW at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.

Parker transitioned by conveying the things he likes and enjoys the most: Airmen and their families, history and heritage, customs and courtesies, ideas and innovation and communicating face-to-face whenever possible.

The importance of being a part of a team and understanding the role each individual Airmen plays in accomplishing the mission was also stressed.

“Know the mission, but more importantly, know your part in it,” Parker said. “The people are what drive and power our force.”

Parker then gave the floor to Chief Master Sgt. Kenny Mott, 7th Bomb Wing command chief.

Mott began by instructing all those in attendance to shake their neighbor’s hand and introduce themselves. He explained all Airmen have more in common than they know as most actually share common beliefs, values and are all of equal importance.

He then started explaining the importance of ‘GRIT’, an acronym for gravity, respect, integrity and teamwork.

“Gravity: the gravity of what we do for the 7th BW is intense,” Mott said. “Respect: you have to respect yourself and your position before you can respect anyone else. You must be able to do those things when no one is looking and that’s integrity. The last thing is teamwork. We all came here to do the same things: to make a better life for ourselves and our families and uphold our values and we do that through teamwork.”