Embracing Change AND Traditional Values to Win the Battle

April 4, 2024

The global environment is shifting and evolving at a pace unlike any we’ve ever seen before in our country’s history. Our armed forces must not only adapt to this new reality; they must also undergo nothing short of a reinvention in light of not only global realities and technological advances, but also societal and even philosophical changes.

The reality of change also affects defense contractors like King Aerospace, even as the company proudly stands by the Cornerstone Principles and commitment to God, Country and Family that have driven its success and purpose for more than 30 years.

“All my energy as a government defense contractor is focused on that mission,” says company Founder and Chairman Jerry King. “It’s a commitment to my country and it’s a commitment to touching lives and changing them for the better.”

King Aerospace is proud to support many U.S. government and armed forces missions, including MRO services for U.S. Customs and Border Protection Dash-8 turboprop aircraft.


Such passion and purpose, he continues, isn’t always seen at other commercial aircraft service providers or defense contractors.

“Over my 40 year career, I’ve been in a lot of facilities where there simply was no leadership within the organization, so very little work got done,” he says. “You could blatantly see money getting flushed down the toilet.”

Those experiences point to a particularly disquieting trend in the contractor logistics support (CLS) environment.

Just as new global threats emerge to challenge U.S. supremacy and power, our country also faces significant political and social strife within its own borders. That may drive a sense of cynicism and lost purpose, even when supporting critical missions.

To overcome those attitudes, “We need to rock the boat,” says King. “As U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has noted, ‘We’re in a race. And we can’t just hope to win.’ We need to get ready for the challenges ahead, and that’s tough because I think we’ve grown complacent as a country.

“But change cannot wait,” he emphasizes. “We’ve got to move forward as though we’re fighting for our lives.”

King Aerospace offers a diverse portfolio of services for government, VVIP and other clients across the U.S. and around the globe.


Knowing What’s Inside

Balancing the need to adapt to the times while also maintaining traditional values is a frequent topic of discussion between Mr. King and his close friend James Keyes, author of Education is Freedom: The Future is in Your Hands.

“A lot of companies and individuals rigidly cling to their values in resisting change of any form, because change is scary,” Keyes notes. “But if you believe strongly enough in your values, you know those values will carry you to a better solution.”

Change often arises through challenges, Keyes continues, and challenges offer the opportunity to grow. “Entities that are struggling work harder,” he states. “Adversity is another form of change; it can bring about collapse, or it can be a wakeup call that restores confidence and clarity to weather through any storm.”

Keyes also emphasizes the importance of listening and learning from others. “Knowledge is the antidote to fear,” he says. “It’s the light we turn on in the dark so we can understand our situation.

“That mindset also applies to companies and organizations,” he continues. “Accept that change is inevitable; embrace it, even. Approach those changes with knowledge and understanding, and you can prevail over the competition.”

King hones these insights to three key points. “To succeed in any mission, you need strong leadership,” he says. “You need a strong culture able to inspire the hearts, souls and minds of your employees. And you need to constantly review your processes to ensure they are efficient and that they make sense.

“Whether in the boardroom or in the hangar, I greatly appreciate Jim’s perspectives on what it takes to lead and to serve,” King adds. “We’ve each taken different paths on our journeys, but we both approach our mission in life with the same values.”

Those values set King Aerospace apart from other companies. “The King Aerospace brand represents integrity, gratitude, humility and compassion,” Keyes concludes. “It’s like picking up a can of Coca-Cola; you do so because you know what’s inside it.”