Commentary

June 12, 2014

Integrity first: Having courage to speak up

by Capt. Anthony Arocha
56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — As a kid my dad always asked me questions he already knew the answers to, testing my integrity throughout my childhood. As a strict military father, he taught me at an early age that a man’s word is everything, and as I grew older, it developed into having integrity in every aspect of life.

The first core value of every Airman is integrity, which I define as doing the right thing, and that we should do it even when no one else is looking. But what about when others are looking, participating and leading? The most recent example of an integrity breakdown is the cheating scandal at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, involving 92 officers or one-fifth of the entire Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles force. This scandal involved individuals from all levels, from junior officers to midlevel commanders. As the facts of the investigations became public it was determined that the nuclear missile community allowed a culture of cheating and possibly even fostered it at key leadership roles.

This leads me to believe that in certain situations it’s a lot easier to do the right thing when you are the only one affected by the decision. With no one to confront, it potentially makes it a lot easier to do the right thing when no one else is looking. However, it’s extremely difficult for many Airmen to do the right thing when a fellow Airman is leading them down the wrong path. It takes courage to hold one’s integrity together under these circumstances, but that’s exactly what must be done.

Let me quote one of the founding fathers of the Air Force, Gen. Hap Arnold, when he addressed the importance of integrity in his 1942 book “Army Flyer.”

He said, “It is an unwritten law, but as binding as the unwritten common law in the English system of jurisprudence, that an officer’s word can be depended on to be the absolute truth. The military profession takes great pride in its reputation in this regard and its senior professionals never forgive any deviation. In my view, the fact that such deviations may still exist should be of great concern to all of us in the military.”

This hits close to home with the career field I’m in. When an NCO or a maintenance officer signs off a write-up in the aircraft forms, the air crew accepts their word and their signature that the aircraft is safe and ready for flight. In my opinion it’s one of the ultimate acts of trust and integrity.

Bottom line is no one has the right to force you to compromise your integrity, and if someone puts you in that situation then he or she certainly doesn’t have you or the Air Force’s best interest at heart. Good wingmen and especially great leaders do not operate that way. If it happens, it’s your personal obligation as an Airman to do the right thing when it might not be the easy thing to do.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Maintenance versus repair … of our Airmen

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. (AFNS) — This commentary is not about aircraft, vehicles, or even any mechanical components. It’s about our Airmen and how we manage their care and development throughout their careers. The maintenance versus repair concept is borrowed from the maintenance community and speaks to how maintenance managers plan, coordinate and...
 
 
DT_pict1

354th Bulldogs improve in-flight sight

A-10C Thunderbolt II pilots of the 354th Fighter Squadron Bulldogs began flying with a new helmet mounted integrated targeting system. The Scorpion Helmet Mounted Cueing System provides pilots with the ability to rapidly cue se...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lynsie Nichols)

Your estimated wait time is…

Did you call the Enterprise Service Desk yesterday, but you’re still on hold today? The Communications Squadron will be uploading the Virtual Enterprise Service Desk application to computers base wide. 1st Lt. Brooke Leigh, ...
 

 

Face of Defense: Shooting victim seeks to inspire others

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON – An Army officer who was severely wounded in a shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, last year is using his near-death experience to give others a new lease on life. “I believe I was given a second chance,” said 1st Lt. John Arroyo, who is recovering at Brooke Army...
 
 
AFAS_pict

AFAS steps up with education programs

Education can be a key to succeeding in life, especially for military members looking to make the Air Force a career. The costs associated with getting an education are on the rise, but the Air Force Aid Society can help take s...
 
 
Fuel_pict

Exchange offers full-service refueling to drivers with disabilities

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service, with the support of U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, is adding a new system to gas stations on military installations worldwide to make it easier for drivers with dis...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin