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Core Values: Are they alive in your daily life?

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Air Force Core Values play an active part in our daily life. As we find ways to understand this we begin to more fully understand their meaning. Let's take the example of accountability - a tenet of Integrity.

Several times a week as groups or individuals we do PT. You might ask what PT has to do with "accountability".

First, it means that we are accountable to ourselves. I am accountable to do an honest push up and to put my best effort into improving my mile and a half run time. If not, in the end I am only cheating myself. Extending the example further, the Air Force has adopted a new fitness standard.

As leaders, we are accountable to those in our charge. If we do not educate our Airmen and challenge them to be mission ready, then we are setting them up for failure when it is fully implemented in July. We must actively identify folks at risk of failure and proactively ensure they have the right nutrition and fitness programs to help them help themselves.

Naturally, leaders at all levels are accountable to their chain of command. Moreover, many of us have peculiar accountability demands that are tied to a formal position or title. For example, the fire chief and the fire marshal are held accountable by virtue of their positions for the safety of people on base from fire hazards. It is a responsibility that cannot be passed on or casually assumed by others as it is inherent in their position.

Importantly, we are accountable to each other. The Air Force way of expressing this is called the Wingman concept. I asked my Italian grandmother on her one hundredth birthday what her secret was to having a long, healthy life, to which she replied "Be faithful to each other".

Although she never flew a plane, she understood what it meant to be a Wingman.


Finally, civilian control of the military is a core principle of our democracy and as military members we are ultimately accountable to the American Public to ensure we remain the most lethal Air Force in history ... our Nation's avenger, its sword and shield.