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What else is there about core values?

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Will Williams Jr.
  • 375th Medical Group
Our core values are steadfast, unifying ideals. With them the many, become one; a team united in purpose. Knowing them is good; understanding where they come from is even better. Let me tell you a little about our core values, what they are founded upon and what we can do to ensure they are maintained as we live our lives as Wingmen, leaders and warriors in the today's Air Force.

"Integrity First" is our first core value. This means doing what is right even when no one is watching. "Service Before Self" is next and this means doing what is in the corporate best interest. "Excellence in All We Do" is our final core value and it means not settling for anything other than excellence. You've heard these all since basic training, throughout your time in the Air Force, but did you know that there are personal qualities that underlie our core values?

Character, honor, personal integrity and patriotism are key traits supportive of our core values. Character is not a static assessment; it is our actions over time that define our character. Consistent adherence to principles and standards helps to strengthen character. We honor the mission by doing our assigned duties, great and small. Whether you are performing bay orderly in the dormitory or at the Pentagon scripting policy for an Air Force initiative ... what you do matters. All jobs great and small contribute to the overall success of the team. We have to be truthful. No deviation from this is acceptable in regards to our personal integrity. Too much is at stake for us to misrepresent the truth. Lies erode the fabric of character and may put the mission and lives at risk. Patriotism leads us to our obligation to be good citizens and stewards of our nation. We are all here of our own volition. We have chosen to stand and act in the face of danger as guardians of freedom and justice.

It's not always easy to do what is right. As American Airmen, we bear an immense responsibility to our nation and people. But at the same time, through that responsibility, we are given a wonderful opportunity to represent our nation. In honoring our commitment as professional warriors and defenders of our nation, we may face situations where our core values are challenged. We must be able to safeguard our core values through situations of adversity. Challenges can be very blunt, like the rigors of combat or the perils of captivity. They can also be subdued, like the daily pressures of getting the job done quickly and efficiently, while maintaining discipline in the usage of resources. The core values are checkpoints we all can reference as we do our part in accomplishing the mission. Our core values don't change with the situation. Understanding them connects us to our fellow Airmen, past, present and future. They bring us back to the Airmen we are and help us to become the kind of Airmen we want to be.