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Commentary by SMSgt Aaron Rainer
164th AW Human Resource Advisor
12/4/2010 - 164th AW Memphis, TN -- The Air Force Core Values
Integrity First*****Service Before Self***** Excellence In All We Do.
How many times have you heard the Air Force Core Values? Many of us know them so well that we can recite them on a whim. However, it's one thing to be able to recite the Air Force Core Values and something totally different to live out the true meaning. Every so often it's important for members to reflect on those Core Values and ask yourself, am I living up to the true meaning?
Air Force leadership is committed to building a quality Air Force established on the foundation of the Core Values. The Air Force Core Values exist for all members of the Air Force family--officer, enlisted, and civilian; active, reserve, and retired; senior, junior, and middle management; civil servants; uniformed personnel; and contractors. They are for all of us to read, to understand, to live by, and to cherish. The Core Values are much more than minimum standards, they remind us what it takes to get the mission done. They inspire us to do our very best at all times. They are the common bond among all comrades in arms, and they are the glue that unifies the force and ties us to the great warriors and public servants of the past.
The Air Force Core Values must be an integral part of everything we do, rooted in every decision we make and the center piece for the way we interact and treat others. The vastly diverse population of the Air Force makes it imperative that we have the utmost integrity in not only the way we carry out our roles and responsibility but also in the way that we treat each other.
(1) INTEGRITY FIRST
Integrity is a character trait. It is the willingness to do what is right even when no one is looking.
It is the "moral compass"--the inner voice; the voice of self-control; the basis for the trust
imperative in today's military. But integrity also covers several other moral traits:
(2) SERVICE BEFORE SELF
Service before self tells us that professional duties take precedence over personal desires. At the
very least it includes the following behaviors:
· Rule following
· Respect for others
· Discipline and self-control.
· Faith in the system
(3) EXCELLENCE IN ALL WE DO
Excellence in all we do directs us to develop a sustained passion for the continuous improvement
and innovation that will propel the Air Force into a long-term, upward spiral of accomplishment
· Product/service excellence
· Personal Excellence
· Community Excellence
· Resources excellence
· Human resources excellence
· Operations excellence
The Air Force Core Values helps us to evaluate the climate of our organization, they also serve as beacons vectoring us back to the path of professional conduct; the Core Values allow us to transform a climate of corrosion into a climate of ethical commitment.
In executing our daily duties and responsibilities, we should evaluate our decisions and actions to ensure that they are consistent with the established Core Values. Self evaluating and monitoring will not only set an example for others to follow but also preserve the legacy of the Air Force for generations to come.
Learn the Air Force Core Values well and live by these set of principles. They will serve you well in your professional career and your personal life.
Reference: The Little Blue Book
SMSgt Aaron Rainer
Human Resource Advisor
164th Airlift Wing
Memphis, TN 38118