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Mixed Reviews for New Air Force Slogan
Stars and Stripes | February 29, 2008

ARLINGTON, Va. -- As the Air Force rolled out its new official slogan this week, "Above All," airmen around the world expressed mixed reactions.

Air Force leaders are hoping their fourth motto in seven years will strike the same chord as the popular "Aim High" campaign, which lasted from 1984 to 2000. In fact, many Americans still think that slogan represents the Air Force.

The latest motto replaces "Do Something Amazing," which debuted in September 2006, but never really caught on, according to Air Force officials.

"Above All" is an improvement, because it "sounds like it is specific to the Air Force unlike ‘Do Something Amazing' was," said Senior Airman Seth Eastman, assigned to Pacific Air Force's Detachment 2 Air Postal Squadron in Yokota Air Base, Japan.

The old motto "could be for any service," he said.

At Misawa Air Base, Japan, Senior Airman Jonathan Castelberry, 22, an avionics maintainer, agreed the motto was good for "distinguishing us between the other military branches."

But some said they liked the "Amazing" slogan, and said they think the constant changes are confusing.

"The old one didn't need to change," said Staff Sgt. Andre Klemme, 28, of Webster, Texas, assigned to the 5th Reconnaissance Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea. "There was nothing wrong with it at all."

There was also a concern that "‘Above All' kind of gives the impression that we think we're better than everybody else, including other services," said Airman 1st Class Jeffrey Douglas, 21, of Jacksonville, Fla., who is assigned to the 51st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Osan.

But "Above All" had plenty of fans, including Staff Sgt. Randy Johnson of the 8th Mission Support Group at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea.

"It definitely epitomizes what the Air Force is striving for, and where we are going," Johnson said. "It touches on one of our core values, which is excellence in all we do."

At Misawa, Tech. Sgt. Cherise Charris, 34, said she liked "Above All" for its simple, yet strong message.

The brevity of the phrase also won applause from Senior Airman David Kniffin, from Yokota's 730th Air Mobility Squadron.

"I like it," he said. "It's simple and to the point."

"Catchy and to the point," added Maj. Mike Manney, also from the 730th AMS.

And 2nd Lt. Katy Simrell, a finance officer from Misawa, said she finds "Above All" inspiring.

"It gives us something to think about, in the way we do our jobs every day and live our lives; something in the ear."

But Senior Master Sgt. Rafael Charris, 39, Cherise Charris' husband, warned that Air Force officials should continue to "emphasize what it means to all airmen," rather than simply using the slogan as part of an ad or recruiting campaign.

Lisa Burgess, Jennifer Svan, Bryce Dubee, Franklin Fisher, and T.D. Flack contributed to this report.

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