Making America’s Military Great Again


In my 20 years of commissioned service in the United States Air Force, I served four presidents: Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. It’s incredibly important, when you’re serving and fighting for your country, that you understand the commander in chief’s direction. There’s a well-defined chain of command and loyalty works both ways. From the top down, and from the bottom up. Men and women in uniform can sniff out leadership, or the lack thereof, in an instant. And when they do, military capability and readiness suffers. As I’ve written in Dereliction of Duty, Reckless Disregard, War Crimes, and Conduct Unbecoming, command is entirely dependent on trust, honesty, and integrity.

Yesterday, President Donald Trump delivered his administration’s congressionally-mandated National Security Strategy in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center clearly placing America first. Historically, it’s a behind-the-scenes exercise used by national security personnel and the Pentagon to initiate plans and programs but Trump announced his intent loudly and clearly. His “principled realism” doctrine is based on four pillars: 1) Protect the Homeland, 2) Promote American Prosperity, 3) Preserve Peace Through Strength, and 4) Advance American Influence. It was a full-throated call not heard since Ronald Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as the “evil empire” and implored them to tear down the Berlin Wall.

Contrast his presentation with President Obama’s “apology tour” in 2009 and his “lead from behind” ideology where every nation was “exceptional.” From bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia, the Communist President of China, and the emperor of Japan, his refusal to identify radical Islam as the enemy in the war on terror, his premature exit from Iraq, and his unilateral withdrawal of a planned missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, Barack Obama’s foreign policy was one of retreat from leadership, appeasing of our enemies, and insult our allies. In fact, Obama’s national security strategies placed climate change and LGBTQ rights at the forefront at the expense of military modernization and esprit de corps. Not exactly, what commanders and warfighters are looking for.

Now, we have a commander in chief who, not only places the United States at the forefront but our military as well. This military veteran and former commander, for one, is thrilled. It’s nice to have the adults back in charge.

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Lieutenant Colonel Robert "Buzz" Patterson, United States Air Force (Retired), is a military combat pilot, distinguished White House military aide, bestselling author, and popular conservative public speaker. Among Patterson’s literary efforts include two New York Times best sellers, Dereliction of Duty and Reckless Disregard. His most recent books include War Crimes and Conduct Unbecoming. Patterson served 20 years as a pilot on active duty in the United States Air Force and saw tours of duty world-wide including combat operations in Grenada, Bosnia, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, Rwanda, and Haiti. From 1996 to 1998, Colonel Patterson was Military Aide to President Bill Clinton. During that time, he served at the right hand of President and Mrs. Hillary Clinton and was responsible for the President's Emergency Satchel, otherwise known as the "Nuclear Football," the black bag with the nation's nuclear capability that accompanies the president at all times. As such, Patterson had an office and a bedroom in the White House and accompanied the First Family at all times. In addition, Colonel Patterson was operational commander for all military units assigned to the White House, which included Air Force One, Marine One, Camp David, and the White House Transportation Agency. Patterson was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He is a Distinguished Graduate from the Air Command and Staff College; he has his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Virginia Tech University and a Master's in Business Administration from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. He, his wife and their three children currently reside in California. Facebook @ Buzz Patterson Twitter @ BuzzPatterson


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