Evan Vucci, Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Briar Woods High School, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016, in Ashburn, Va.

Recently I had the opportunity to have a brief, but enlightening, personal conversation with Donald J. Trump, the Republican candidate for president of the United States. From our conversation I was very impressed with his leadership style, patriotism and passion for our country and its welfare. However, I have subsequently been dismayed by the extensive negative comments I have seen published about Trump. None of this material jibes with my impression of the man and his suitability to serve as president of the United States of America. As I have listened to him on television and read his statements and considered the weight of the job as president I offer the following personal observations and thoughts.

Trump has a record of success of building and leading a large organization, and he has done this by assembling high-quality teams of very competent people. He shares with them his vision, listens to their thoughts, asks the right questions and then gets out of their way and lets them turn his vision into reality. He does this with energy and enthusiasm. This has proved to be a highly effective formula for success and would continue to be so in the role of president. Having been an allied commander of NATO, I believe Trump’s leadership skills are invaluable to be the commander in chief.

After 9/11 the world changed forever. I told family and associates, “There never would be an accord signed by 10 nations on board the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945, which ended World War II. I can’t even imagine a circumstance today in which such a meeting could be held or such an accord could be signed to end the war against terrorism and wickedness in which we are engaged. It is not that kind of war.” Trump is the only candidate since then who has addressed the reality of what I have known since 9/11. The current leadership has only exacerbated the issue at the cost of many lives.

Trump’s values are solid, he believes in family, country, military strength and individual rights, and he is willing to put forth the required efforts to protect these values. His willingness to put aside a luxurious, rarely criticized lifestyle to protect these freedoms for his fellow Americans is a witness of his love of nation.

Given the above, it is easy for me to voice my strong support for Donald J. Trump in the upcoming 2016 presidential election.

Gen. (Retired) Robert C. Oaks, USAF, was commander of NATO Air Forces in Central Europe.