OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. –
Members of U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) bid farewell to Kenneth Callicutt, the first USSTRATCOM director of capability and resource integration, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Dec. 1, 2017.
Callicutt retired as a Senior Executive Service member for the Department of the Air Force after 15 years of civil service. He also served 24 years as an Air Force officer.
During the ceremony, Callicutt reflected on why he served our nation.
“You wonder why I did this for 39 years and 10 and a half months,” Callicutt said. “I think we all know why we come in here every day and why we do this and it’s basically that brotherhood and sisterhood of serving our country … That’s what is going to allow us to meet the challenges of the future. We will meet those challenges and we will continue to work with the other countries out there, whether they are friend, ally or foe, we will continue to work to keep this country safe.”
U.S. Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of USSTRATCOM, presided over the retirement ceremony and reflected on Callicutt’s contributions to the nation and noted the command is losing a legend.
“But this is a day to celebrate,” Hyten said. “This is a day to be happy, this is a day to look back on 39 years of an amazing career, this is a day to enjoy this beautiful building that will be so much better to operate in than the current building that we’re in now.”
Callicutt’s career at USSTRATCOM began in 2005 when the command established the resource integration directorate, or J8, and he was hired as the first director. During his 12 years with USSTRATCOM, Callicutt led the team responsible for conducting force management and analysis to include integrating, and advocating future concepts, weapons system development, support for emerging technologies, and command and control architecture.
Callicutt noted his biggest goal was to work on advanced command and control concepts.
“I would say my goal was reached — five combatant commands and the secretary of defense endorsed our concept and designated it as a high priority joint concept,” Callicutt said.
Hyten agreed, adding that command and control from a nuclear perspective and understanding “is the most important thing in the enterprise.”
During the ceremony, Callicutt made sure to thank his J8 staff.
“You folks have been leading the charge in getting the command ready for the future,” Callicutt said. “I just want folks to know that every day [J8 personnel] come to work and worry about making the future happen even though we all have to work in the present. That’s really who did all those things that were talked about. They did the work, it was not me and I want to thank each and every one of them.”
Callicutt also had some parting advice for the men and women of USSTRATCOM.
“Get out and talk to your teammates,” Callicutt said. “You can solve a lot of problems much faster by asking others to join the team solving the problem. Finally, take some time each day to think about better ways to win the fight.”
Callicutt’s retirement was the first official ceremony held in USSTRATCOM’s new Command and Control Facility. Many of his family members were in attendance to include his wife Candace Callicutt, his mother Doris Callicutt, his father-in-law Duane Swenson, his son and daughter-in-law Kenny and Shayla Callicutt, his daughter and son-in-law Capt. Breianna Mercer and Maj. Steven Mercer, and his grandchildren Nathan and Daphne Mercer.