What do the Air Force core values mean to you? As we were all taught in basic military training, the core values are integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. However, there is a deeper meaning to our core values than just these three phrases. In accordance with Air Force Pamphlet 36-2241, Professional Development Guide, the core values are at the heart and soul of every military profession. These values are closely intertwined since integrity provides the foundation for our military, both in the past and the future.
In light of demands placed upon our Airmen to support U.S. security interests around the globe, the concept of “service before self” needs to be strongly emphasized. No other profession expects its members to lay down their lives for the freedoms of their families and friends. Military professionals go temporary duty yonder or change duty stations to harsh locations to meet national security needs. Additionally, they are called upon 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and when they are called upon they will most likely deploy to far corners of the globe. This calls for significant individual willingness to support our nation’s interests for the good of the unit, service and nation.
This in turn fuels our drive for excellence. The military needs professionals who strive to be the best at their current job and who realize they attain individual advancement through the success of their unit. Airmen are not engaged in just another job; they are practitioners of the profession of arms. They are entrusted with the security of the nation, the protection of its citizens and the preservation of its way of life. With that said, “excellence in all we do” should be practiced by all.
When I brief my troops, I always tell them to do the right thing at all times, put service requirements before your own and do the best job you possibly can.
In a nut shell, this 30-second briefing encompassed our core values and gave my Airmen a little reminder of something they may have forgotten.