USAF Unveils “Total Force” Award

The Air Force has unveiled a new award to honor the top joint force team, named in honor of Gen. Mark Welsh, who officially retires as Chief of Staff on July 1. The General Mark A. Welsh III One Air Force Award will be awarded to a team that “demonstrates improved effectiveness, operational readiness, and mission accomplishment through integrated solutions,” according to an Air Force news release. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James announced the award during Welsh’s retirement dinner on June 23, saying “we’re working together from the flightline to the highest levels of the Pentagon. We truly are one Air Force.” To be considered, a team must include at least two Total Force components, according to the release. The team must submit an award package covering actions between May 1, 2015, to April 30, 2016, that must “justify the team’s best practices and explain how the procedures would be limited if performed by a single component.” A board will evaluate the packages based on the contributions of an integrated team, the scope of the impact to the Total Force, and leveraging a Total Force team. The winner will be recognized at the Air Force Association Air, Space & Cyber Conference in September.