Core Values

INTEGRITY FIRST

An Airman is a person of integrity, courage and conviction. They must be willing to control their impulses and exercise courage, honesty and accountability in order to do what is right even when no one is looking.

SERVICE BEFORE SELF

An Airman’s professional duties take precedence over personal desires. Every Airman is expected to have the discipline to follow rules, exhibit self-control and possess respect for the beliefs, authority and worth of others.

EXCELLENCE IN ALL WE DO

An Airman strives for continual improvement in self and service in order to propel the Air Force further and to achieve greater accomplishment and performance for themselves and their community.

From the outset, the Air Force’s Core Values are a clearly defined, conscientious guide to what Airmen should expect of themselves. They form a moral framework of guidance to Airmen conduct, and through their reflection airmen can focus on what kind of example they wish to set, as well as the type of person they wish to be.

Broken into three fundamental values, the Core Values were originally released in the 1997 Air Force Core Values Handbook or the “little blue book.” It has since been adapted to include not only the Core Values, but also the oaths and codes that guide Airmen in their service and renamed America’s Air Force: A Profession of Arms. The current book can be downloaded at www.airman.af.mil or www.e-publishing.af.mil.

Each of the Core Values are broken into three “virtues”:

Integrity First

Integrity (defined as “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness) First is the act of doing the right thing at all times, whether someone is watching or not, no matter the temptations or challenges faced. It also is the bedrock upon which trust is built and maintained.

  1. Honesty is the key aspect of integrity. It is the strength of character that removes the temptation to lie or be deceitful. It conscientiously helps maintain a path of answerability to self or others.
  2. Courage enables a person to face adversity (danger, pain, fear, etc.) because it is the right thing to do, no matter the risk.
  3. Accountability is taking ownership of outcome, maintaining transparency and seeking honest feedback, specifically before an audience. For the Air Force this could include any and all: the American people, the airman’s unit, supervisors, fellow airmen, family and self.

Service Before Self

Service Before Self means personal desires are put in abeyance for professional duties. As with all branches of the military, the call to serve the Air Force is a commitment to living a higher standard with a mindset of dedication and sacrifice.

  1. Duty is the obligation to perform responsibilities. For the Air Force, these duties are determined by: the law, the Department of Defense, the Air Force’s directives, guidance and instructions and sense of self as bound by the Oath of Service.
  2. Loyalty is the self commitment needed to persevere and succeed, in specific, to something bigger than self. For the Air Force, this means, firstly, loyalty to Nation, then loyalty to the Air Force and, finally, loyalty to those they serve with.
  3. Respect is the fair and equitable treatment of treating others, with dignity and a fundamental worth as individuals.

Excellence In All We Do

Excellence In All We Do is the continued advancement of knowledge and craft to pursue improvement of self through the passage of time.

  1. Mission encompasses operational, resource and product excellence through focus while embracing and anticipating change. For the Air Force this means commitment, initiative and pride while always striving towards each goal with total dedication and a willingness to go above and beyond.
  2. Discipline is the commitment of each individual to maintain and uphold the highest professional and personal standards through work ethic, a continuous striving for improvement and attitude. In this way, for the Air Force, each individual helps shape the reputation and culture of the Air Force as a whole.
  3. Teamwork is the interdependency shared through the contributions of each team member by motivating and challenging each other, as well as doing one’s personal best.

Crucial to upholding their mission, both as individuals and as a whole, the Air Force’s Core Values are clearly defined guidelines to all incoming airmen, as well as to those who are already serving.

Sources:

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About Jenifer Chrisman

Jenifer joined the MWR Marketing team in 2011 as graphic designer. In 2014, she went back to her roots when she joined the Fort Gordon FYI Magazine team as a writer, along with her designer duties. As of 2015, she has created a series of briefs about the history, culture and traditions of the military called Culture.Mil, as well as writing various other pieces, including her favorite … A Thin Line Of Many Colors.

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