For Military Appreciation Month we asked several prominent military leaders to comment on the importance of the military in the Pikes Peak region:
“The strong bonds we share with the vibrant and welcoming Front Range communities are a major reason Fort Carson is consistently ranked as one of the most requested military installations in the U.S. While the weather and the Rocky Mountain views are remarkable, it is the partnership and positive community environment for Soldiers and Families that makes our installation such a desirable location. The local communities provide first-class support to our Soldiers, Civilians and Families. Colorado Springs is our home and we value this community. Fort Carson is honored to be part of a vibrant southern Colorado community; the relationship, which we continue to forge with our great neighbors, symbolizes the commitment to community excellence.”
BG William Thigpen, acting senior commander 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson.
“Colorado Springs is a city that takes care of its military members and families, and understands the sacrifices they make. We are fortunate to serve in a community that is invested in our mission and proud of what our military represents. We hope the members of this community feel just as welcome at their United States Air Force Academy as we feel in Colorado Springs and the surrounding communities. We invite you to visit and learn more about your Academy. We are open to visitors 9 a.m. — 5 p.m. daily.”
Col. Shawn W. Campbell, 10th Air Base Wing Commander, United States Air Force Academy.
“The United States Air Force Academy is grateful for the partnerships we enjoy in Colorado Springs, and we look forward to building even closer relationships in the years to come. I am constantly impressed by how this community supports and rallies around its service members. It’s a privilege to serve here and a genuine pleasure to be a part of this wonderful community.”
Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, Superintendent, United States Air Force Academy.
“At Mt. Carmel, we work with dynamic, strong veterans every day. They represent the best of our community and each brings unique experiences, ideas and incredible stories of service and sacrifice for our nation. All contribute to the richness of the Pikes Peak region.”
Col. Bob McLaughlin, U.S. Army, Retired, Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center Chief Operating Officer.
“The men and women of Air Force Space Command, and our local installations at Peterson, Schriever and Cheyenne Mountain, are proud to live and work here in Colorado Springs, and to be a part of the broader Pikes Peak region. The military space missions we execute every day, 24/7 are absolutely critical to our national security, the global economy and to our American prosperity. Our total force members — active duty, civilians, National Guard and Reservists — are committed to being good neighbors of this thriving community. I would like to pass on a sincere thank you to the people of Colorado Springs for your outstanding support that you continue to provide to our AFSPC Airmen and our families each and every day. It is truly an honor and a privilege to be a part of the greater Pikes Peak region.”
Gen. Jay Raymond, Commander of Air Force Space Command.
“I believe our military people make very important contributions to the Colorado Springs community. Beyond the obvious economic impacts from living here, they are members of our churches and parent teacher organizations, they volunteer in a host of community efforts, and are just good, responsible citizens. And as the ultimate measure of how good the community supports them in return, so many decide to either separate or retire from the military and live here. They could choose almost any place, but they choose to live in Colorado Springs. After they leave military service, they enter the local workforce as dedicated and disciplined workers, some providing much-needed technical skills and experience. They continue to contribute to our community as outstanding employees and community leaders.”
Gen. William Shelton (Retired), former commander of Air Force Space Command U.S. Air Force.
“Colorado and the Springs in particular is strategic key terrain for our military in the homeland. Strategically significant command centers for Continental, National, and Space defense are complimented by operationally spectacular joint and multidomain supportable training areas provided by Ft Carson and the Colorado National Guard. All of this capability is supported by a rich high-tech R&D and development community that leads the nation in innovation in cyber, space, and aerospace domains, and a community second to none in its support for the military and their family members. Finally, if all of that isn’t impressive enough the Springs is home to the crown jewel of our military education system, the United States Air Force Academy developing leaders of character for our Air Force, the Joint Force, and the nation.”
Gen. Charles H Jacoby, Jr. (Retired), former Commander, NORAD/NORTHCOM, U.S. Army.
“As we completed our service in the Air Force, Jill and I looked for a place to settle where we “knew the community”, where we felt valued in the community, where the quality and quantity of life matched our lifestyle and personalities, where our family would always come to visit, and where the citizens were generally committed to the same values we held as our own. Colorado Springs fit those desires, and then some! We watched first hand as the community wrapped its arms around the soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, coastal guardsmen, and DoD civilians that we were entrusted to lead and we watched the leadership in the region honestly and sincerely make all reasonable efforts to demonstrate their support for those who serve. While we were certainly aware of the economic impact of the military missions on the region and the State, it was never “just about the money” with local leaders, rather it was about valuing the commitment of men and women from across the Nation who came to Colorado Springs and then assimilated themselves into the “Pikes Peak Family” serving the community that valued their presence. Colorado Springs is truly a home to those who serve and have served. Thank you to our Pike Peak Family!”
Gen. Victor “Gene” Renuart (Retired), former Commander of NORAD/NORTHCOM U.S. Air Force
“An assignment to Colorado Springs for a military family is highly coveted for so many reasons — natural beauty, friendly & welcoming people, great schools & churches, world class medical services and challenging military missions absolutely essential to our national security. Unique to Colorado Springs over any other city in the world is the one-and-only USAF Academy! Ever since President Eisenhower signed the law in 1954 creating a USAF Academy, then designating Colorado Springs as its home, Springs’ residents have been very supportive of the Academy, while Cadets, faculty and staff have likewise embraced their adopted hometown. Paula and I, along with all Academy grads, are grateful for everything this community has done, and for what you will continue to do in the future, to support your AF Academy!”
Lt. Gen Mike Gould (Retired), former Superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy. President & CEO of the USAFA Endowment.
“Beyond the positive economic impact the military has on Colorado Springs, which can calculated, there is another positive impact that is harder to measure. The members of our military come from every walk of life and from every corner of the USA and combined with the rotational lifestyle of their service which often takes them to international locations they bring a diverse and even global perspective to Colorado Springs that other communities may not enjoy. In return, the citizens of Colorado Springs open their arms and make us feel welcome as we “pass through” in our various assignments. This mutual benefit and respect is one of the major reasons we decided to retire in Colorado Springs! We love it here and love the people!”
Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, USAF, (Retired), former Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base.