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TO THE GRADUATES OF AIR WAR COLLEGE, CLASS OF 1950

You are to be congratulated. You have successfully completed the curriculum of the Air University's Air War College, the highest institution of learning within the United States Air Force. 

Your selection to attend the Air War College in itself marked you as outstanding senior Air Force officers. Now you take your places among those qualified to fill the top command and staff positions in the Air Arm of the Department of National Defense. 

While your formal education as Air Force officers can now be regarded as complete, you still must continue the pursuit of knowledge. Not until you have taken off your uniforms and retired to the golf links or fishing waters will you be able to relax in your quest for further enlightment, for new ideas and the know-how of their application to your job of national defense.
 
The motto of the Air University is "We make progress by custom unhindered." This motto was inheirted from the old Air Tactical School, but it still applies. Nothing could be more dangerous to our national security than to allow reverence for tradition or custom to hinder us in the development of measures to safeguard our security - our way of life. 

As each of you well know, the methods, the weapons, the logistics and the techniques of World War II will be of little use if we have to fight a World War III. Unless it is even later than many of us think, our concepts of the moment will require frequent revision. Our thinking must be kept up-to-date. In these days of rapid advancements in science and technology, our strategy, tactics and logistics must remain under constant study. Almost daily re-evaluation is needed. Modifications must be made speedily. We must not permit the paralysis of obsolescence in our weapons or our ideas. 

In war we either win or lose and there are no prizes for second place. We may not be able to match our opponent man for man and plane for plane, but we can be technically superior in our equipment and use our brains to make up the difference in mere numbers. Victory in a future war will go to the side that is more intelligent, more alert, better equipped, and better informed. Brains not brawn have become the decisive element in warfare. The future of this country, with its ideals, its freedoms and its civilization, may quite well rest in your hands.

GEORGE C. KENNEY
General, USAF
Commanding, the Air University  

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