by Maj Charles E. Deckett, USAF
Provide exceptional service and support to all customer agencies to ensure mission success for our unit, our customers, and our nation.
My philosophy as a leader is based on the core values of the United States Air Force as a common frame of reference for those under my charge. Our core values, of course, are “Integrity First,” “Service Before Self,” and “Excellence In All We Do.” We will apply these for the purpose of guiding expected norms of performance and expected standards of behavior for our organization.
From these core values, we will focus on two areas that will drive our performance and behaviors. These focus areas are training and readiness. Emphasis and excellence in these areas will result in accomplishing our vision of providing exceptional service and support to all customer agencies to ensure mission success for our unit, our customers, and our nation.
While we clearly state our USAF core values as “Integrity First,” “Service Before Self,” and “Excellence In All We Do,” we understand their foundation in much more enduring truths to which we can all relate.
In Matthew 5:37, Jesus states, “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’.” That is the foundation of integrity-say what we mean, mean what we say, and do the right thing even when no one is watching. From verse 13 of chapter 15 of John’s Gospel, Jesus tells us, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” That illustrates service before self for all time.
We pledge to lay down our lives for our friends, our nation. That’s what we do. In addition, according to Paul in his epistle to the church at Ephesus, chapter 6, verse 7, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.” Yes, excellence in all we do-giving our all to each task toward performing to the absolute best of our abilities. By applying these values, as laid down for us over 2,000 years ago, we can and will be the organization of excellence that is our future and our duty.
To grow to the level of excellence we owe ourselves, our customers, and our nation, we base our actions and behaviors on those core values and focus our efforts in two overarching areas-training and readiness. In the area of training, our goals are increasing technical proficiency and continuous leader development. We will ensure the excellence of our efforts through ongoing task and skill learning, practice, development, and growth.
Additionally, we will each take an ownership interest in our subordinate leaders and strive to maximize their inherent attributes and further equip them to the best of our abilities to develop superior leaders today and for the future, at all levels of command.
Regarding readiness, our goals are professional military readiness, physical readiness, and personal/spiritual readiness to carry out our mission anytime, anywhere, on a moment’s notice.
We must each prepare ourselves to be the most proficient, most prepared technician and leader to support mission accomplishment in the face of any eventuality. We also must maintain our physical health and level of fitness to ensure we are capable of performing our mission under any circumstances.
Finally, and most importantly, we must mentally prepare ourselves and our loved ones for the mission requirements we may face. Our business affairs must be in order, our families informed and prepared, and our accounts set straight so that we can focus our energies on putting forth our best effort-anytime, anywhere, on a moment’s notice.
Together, we can provide exceptional service and support to all customer agencies to ensure mission success for our unit, our customers, and our nation. We will do this by focusing on training and readiness, all with our basis of performance and behaviors coming from the core values of “Integrity First,” “Service Before Self,” and “Excellence In All We Do.”
This article originally appeared in COMMAND magazine, or an OCF Ministry Report.