News | Oct. 1, 2017

To the Editor

By General Colin L. Powell Joint Force Quarterly 87

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General Colin L. Powell, USA (Retired)
909 North Washington Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
June 5, 2017

Dear Colonel Eliason:

I enjoyed your Executive Summary in the recent issue of JFQ that described the beginnings of JFQ. I congratulate everyone who has worked on the magazine since its birth. I am proud of what they have accomplished.

Allow me to flesh out the back story a little more. As CJCS I used to read and admire all the Service magazines --- ARMY, Proceedings, Air Force and the Marine Corps Gazette. Although they were correctly parochial they let me keep my finger on the pulse of the Joint Force. But then shouldn't the Joint Force have a magazine? Lt. Gen Jack Cushman, USA, also thought so and encouraged me.

I called in VADM Jack Baldwin, NDU President and an old friend. I told him I wanted a magazine that took the best stylistic features of the Service magazines. I wanted controversy, original writing, debate, an edge and Joint Force parochialism. I asked for a plan in a matter of weeks. Dr. Al Bernstein was the head of INSS at the time. They brought in a mockup a few weeks later. We tweaked it a bit and shortened the proposed title to JFQ. The team did a great job.

The magazine captured the message I had written as 1991 as the foreword for Joint Pub 1, "Joint Warfare of the Armed Forces," shown below.

General Colin L. Powell, USA (Retired)


11 November 1991


Joint Warfare is Team Warfare

When a team takes to the field, individual specialists come together to achieve a team win. All players try to do their very best because every other player, the team, and the home town are counting on them to win.

So it is when the Armed Forces of the United States go to war. We must win every time.

Every soldier must take the battlefield believing his or her unit is the best in the world.

Every pilot must take off believing there is no one better in the sky.

Every sailor standing watch must believe there is no better ship at sea.

Every Marine must hit the beach believing that there are no better infantrymen in the world.

But they all must also believe that they are part of a team, a joint team, that fights together to win.

This is our history, this is our tradition, this is our future.

Colin L. Powell
Joint Chiefs of Staff