‘Who will you inspire?’ 3rd AF command team asks Aviano

Lt. Gen. Richard Clark speaks to Airmen during an all call at Aviano Air Base, Italy on Nov. 30, 2016. Clark highlighted his top priorities of executing the mission, inspiring Airmen and taking care of family. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Austin Harvill)

Lt. Gen. Richard Clark speaks to Airmen during an all call at Aviano Air Base, Italy on Nov. 30, 2016. Clark highlighted his top priorities of executing the mission, inspiring Airmen and taking care of family. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Austin Harvill)

Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, 3rd Air Force commander, speaks with Airman 1st Class Brittany Duncan, 31st Medical Operations Squadron patient administrator, during his visit to Aviano Air Base, Italy on Nov. 30, 2016. Clark toured the base, met with Airmen and hosted an all call to thank Team Aviano for their hard work and dedication to the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cary Smith)

Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, 3rd Air Force commander, speaks with Airman 1st Class Brittany Duncan, 31st Medical Operations Squadron patient administrator, during his visit to Aviano Air Base, Italy on Nov. 30, 2016. Clark toured the base, met with Airmen and hosted an all call to thank Team Aviano for their hard work and dedication to the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cary Smith)

Brig. Gen. Lance Landrum, 31st Fighter Wing commander, meets Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, 3rd Air Force commander, during his arrival to Aviano Air Base, Italy on Nov. 29, 2016. Clark toured the base, met with Airmen and hosted an all call to thank Team Aviano for their hard work and dedication to the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Austin Harvill)

Brig. Gen. Lance Landrum, 31st Fighter Wing commander, meets Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, 3rd Air Force commander, during his arrival to Aviano Air Base, Italy on Nov. 29, 2016. Clark toured the base, met with Airmen and hosted an all call to thank Team Aviano for their hard work and dedication to the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Austin Harvill)

Master Sgt. William Hinchcliff, 31st Security Forces flight chief, talks to Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, 3rd Air Force commander, during a security forces demonstration at Aviano Air Base, Italy on Nov. 30, 2016. Clark toured the base, met with Airmen and hosted an all call to thank Team Aviano for their hard work and dedication to the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cary Smith)

Master Sgt. William Hinchcliff, 31st Security Forces flight chief, talks to Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, 3rd Air Force commander, during a security forces demonstration at Aviano Air Base, Italy on Nov. 30, 2016. Clark toured the base, met with Airmen and hosted an all call to thank Team Aviano for their hard work and dedication to the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cary Smith)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy --
Every Airman has seen or felt it once before—the urge to just quit. Maybe it was a bad supervisor, maybe the family doesn’t want another move or maybe those Airmen just don’t know why they matter.

The 3rd Air Force command team visited Aviano Air Base, Nov. 30, to change those attitudes through supporting families and inspiring one another.

“Every Airman, every mission, has a purpose,” said Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, 3rd AF commander. “[Airmen] need to be able to draw their task to the ultimate mission. That’s how I believe we get inspired and inspire each other.”

Command Chief Master Sgt. Phillip Easton, 3rd AF command chief master sergeant, challenged Aviano to take the general’s words to heart.

“As an aircraft maintainer, for probably the first ten years of my career I didn’t understand my purpose. So I ask, who are you inspiring?” said Easton. “It took one supervisor, one commander, to show me why I was important. Whether you work in maintenance, medical or the wing staff agencies, what you do every day matters.”

The general said inspired Airmen are developed by families who want to support them.

“We recruit Airmen, but we retain families,” said Clark. “I will be in the Air Force for who knows how much longer, but I will be with my family for the rest of my life. [We can’t] drive our families to the point where they don’t want to be in the Air Force, so finding that balance is critical.”

The general shared how, even as a commander of the European and African areas of responsibilities, he balances his job with family time.

“It’s a tough balance because we are on the go a lot,” said Clark. “It is really about being deliberate about making the time. During the holidays, I ask our Airmen to find the time to spend with their families.”

Clark and Easton learned how Aviano Airmen balance the mission and family life by discussing challenges overseas with leaders, meeting with enlisted Airmen at lunch and seeing what the 31st Fighter Wing does every day.

“I know the load we continue to put on our Airmen here and how it translates to our families,” said Clark. “I just want to say thank you, from Gen. Wolters, the [U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa] commander, myself at 3rd AF, we just want to tell you we appreciate and recognize what you do.”