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Personal Accountability is a two-way street

PATRICK AFB, Fla. --
As Airmen we've learned and experienced many styles and concepts of leadership. The prevailing mantra throughout all of them has been "take care of your people." Leaders and commanders at every level must ensure their people have the tools they need, both in and out of work, to get the mission done right and on time, the first time.

But Airmanship is a two-way street. While commanders set their people up for success as much as possible, it is up to the members to take the tools given to them and execute to the best of their abilities. Every Airman at every rank must be accountable for their responsibilities in order for the unit to accomplish its objectives.

Perhaps more importantly, this personal accountability extends beyond executing mission. Every individual is amenable for keeping personal affairs in order.

Examples include ensuring personal information files (especially at AFPC) are up to date, required annual training is accomplished, travel cards are paid, fitness profiles are not set to expire right before a fitness test, and Airman Development Plans are well-thought out and current.

These types of affairs should always be followed-up on to ensure proper completion and not assumed they will be resolved by others. Leadership and fellow wingmen will be there to guide and support, but it is the member's ultimate responsibility to take ownership of these tasks. These items are simple to maintain, but can have significant consequences if ignored.

Being personally accountable goes hand-in-hand with the Air Force core values of integrity and excellence. It allows us to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of each other and accomplish the mission. Remember, no one will care more about your own career than you will -- take responsibility and ownership of it to make sure it's the best one possible for you, the Air Force, and the nation.