Spacy leaves his mark

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Stephan Coleman
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
With Friday's change of command, Brig. Gen. Brad Spacy, 81st Training Wing commander, is departing Keesler for a new assignment, but his leadership over the past 15 months leaves behind countless achievements.

"General Spacy brought the wing the strategic vision it needed," said Col. Rene Romero, 81st TRW vice commander. "He told us when he closed his eyes, he pictured 'the world's best Airmen, training, fighting, and winning.' He believed it. We believed it. We all proved it."

In May 2012, when Spacy took over as Keesler's commander, he said he would give everything he had to the base, every day.

"I believe in the core values," said Spacy. "I believe in hard work; that all Americans like to work and like to work hard, as long as that work is challenging and interesting and you recognize them for it."

"I don't believe in gray areas. I don't believe in trying to do anything -- when you say, 'I'll try,' you've already said two things -- first, that you might fail, and second, that it's OK.

"I believe in continuous improvement, and I believe in the Air Force family."

Spacy's principles and leadership have remained consistent from the beginning, from the base's mission down to its established climate of respect, empowerment, optimism and fitness.

"Brad is a results-oriented, out-front leader that not only sets the standards, but works hard to exceed them," said Maj. Gen. Leonard Patrick, 2nd Air Force commander. "He doesn't do that through intimidation; he does that by instilling pride and teamwork. He works hard to reward those who are making a difference and those who own their process. Regardless of where someone works, in the medical center, in the classroom, or in the agencies that support the installation activities, you can see his fingerprints everywhere."

Under this leadership, Airmen have become involved on base in many new ways. The 81st Training Group revived the Top Tech competition at minimal cost to empower military training leaders and instructors to display and be recognized for their ability to lead.

The sexual assault prevention and response office launched the student teal rope program to support the training group and encourage dignity and respect among young Airmen.

Once again, the base successfully hosted the Mississippi Special Olympics State Summer Games with the help of about 3,000 volunteers in its 27th year at Keesler.
The 81st Medical Group initiated a new physical training leader certification program, involving Airmen with fitness at a new level.

"We've done very well as a wing, and it's not me," said Spacy. "I just like to challenge people, and any success we've had was dependent on Airmen deciding to be better each day than they were the day before."

With the challenge set forth to be the best, Keesler also accomplished excellence in its consolidated unit inspection and won the 2013 Commander-in-Chief Installation Excellence Award.

The base's continued excellence in the realm of the Air Force's current cost conscious culture has also gained AETC recognition for Keesler as the command's leader in cost-saving initiatives and by claiming victory during the command's "King of the Hill" competition.

"It was such an empowering opportunity for our working group to create awareness and a unique program the entire base could take part in and be proud of," said Staff Sgt. Amber Bell, 81st Comptroller Squadron. "General Spacy's excitement and interest really propelled our message and helped me develop Keesler's C3 program into the best program in AETC. His vision, support, and leadership have been invaluable to the success of C3 at Keesler."

This list of accomplishments, which Spacy credits to the entire base and its personnel, are a direct reflection of Spacy's leadership, according to Chief Master Sgt. Angelica Johnson, 81st TRW command chief.

"General Spacy inspired me to compete in both standards and personal fitness," Johnson said. "I've always had high standards for myself, but he really challenged me to get to the next level. I believe he has done the same across the base. He sets an outstanding example for all Airmen to follow and challenges them to be the world's best every day. The best part is he has a lot of fun working hard and recognizing excellence in others."

Spacy leaves Keesler, his fifth assignment as a commander, to serve overseas as director for logistics, installations and mission support at Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

"Keesler gave me a sense of purpose every single day," said Spacy. "The community is so diverse -- I hate to go. It's a great base and we'll miss everybody."