AMC’s newest two-star calls on leaders to help ‘imaginations flourish’
By Maj. Michael Meridith, 18th Air Force Public Affairs
/ Published June 13, 2011
SCOTT AFB, Ill. -- With a call for Air Force leaders to continue creating the environment for innovative solutions to some of the Air Force's most challenging problems, Maj. Gen. Robert K. Millmann, Jr., pinned on his second star during a promotion ceremony here June 10.
"One of the great things about this officer is that he sees the goodness in virtually every situation," said Lt. Gen. Robert R. Allardice, 18th Air Force Commander, who officiated at the ceremony. "He looks at the very difficult challenges we have and says 'let's not talk about what all the challenges and down sides are, let's look at a way to make this happen'."
General Millmann, the mobilization assistant to General Allardice, received his new rank a little more than twenty years after beginning his Air Force career as an undergraduate pilot training student at Reese Air Force Base, Texas, in 1980.
After several active-duty assignments, General Millmann joined the Air Force Reserve in 1988, and was recalled to active duty two years later for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Since that time, he has commanded both stateside and expeditionary air refueling squadrons supporting Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and served as vice wing commander of the 349th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., the largest Reserve Associate Wing in the Air Force. He has also deployed as the Director of Mobility Forces for U.S. Northern Command during hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike in 2008; and for U.S. Southern Command during Operation Unified Response following the Haiti earthquake in 2010. He is both an Air Force command pilot and commercial airline pilot with more than 15,000 combined flight hours in 11 types of civilian and military aircraft.
"I've never done things half-throttle, I've always tried to do them full throttle. I believe in being reliable and relevant, and I also believe in being an unrivaled leader and an unrivaled partner. It takes a lot of commitment to do that," he said.
General Millmann also used the ceremony as an opportunity to thank his family for their commitment, particularly during his many overseas deployments. He recalled that in late 2001, as he prepared to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, his then-9 year old daughter had "put her arm around me and said 'President Bush asked us all to sacrifice and my sacrifice is letting you go. Don't worry; we'll be okay, dad.' I never forgot that," he said.
After thanking members of the audience, which included Airmen and friends from throughout his career, General Millmann offered his gratitude to the enlisted corps, which he termed "the glue" of the Air Force, noting later "I always see the hero before I see the rank". Finally, he used the occasion to address all Air Force leaders.
"We face some very tough challenges as we move forward. All Airmen need to be extraordinarily intuitive and imaginative in order to find creative, undiscovered solutions to solve the challenges we face. As a general officer, I learned early on that we don't have all the solutions, but our job is to create the environment for those great imaginations to flourish," he said.