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Air Force Core Values Essay

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Each individual has their own core values that embody who they envision themselves to be. These core values make them unique in comparison to others as it is essentially their moral compass that helps to make conscious decisions. In the Air Force we collectively have a set of core values that we want our Airmen to emulate; integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do. These core values are simple yet hold a powerful meaning; it is essentially what will make an Airman successful in completing the big mission. These core values although never changing however the interpretation based on the individual can be interpreted differently based on their personal core values. There are 5 core things that I value that correlate to the Air Force’s values; accountability, responsibility, humility, honesty, and stability.

Accountability has always been my philosophy in life; being self-aware of my own actions and thoughts and knowing that what I do and what I say is a reflection of what I want people to perceive when they meet me. I set high standards for myself and find that doing so challenges me to reach for more and to step outside of my comfort zone. I strive to succeed at whatever it is that I am assigned to do, however, if I fail to meet my own expectations or that of others, I refuse to make excuses. I instead choose to live by those lessons I learned, re-evaluate the steps that I took that lead me to that failure, grow from it, and most importantly try again. In life, it is easy to point the finger and blame everyone else for your misfortunes, however, it is harder to accept responsibility and be accountable for your decisions. When working as a team, one should be read to take accountability for successes and failures. As a supervisor and or a leader, one takes accountability for the actions of others; taking all the responsibility and giving away all the credit. This core value aligns with the Air Force’s core value of integrity first and excellence in all that we do. One has to have integrity in order to hold oneself and others accountable for their actions. Failure to do so does not allow you as an individual or another person to grow. If all we do is pass the blame, then how can we truly learn from those mistakes, instead we will repeat our errors expecting a different result (in other words to be insane). As it relates to excellence in all we do, if we accept mediocrity and failures then essentially are doing the Air Force a disservice in our actions. Excellence in all we do doesn’t mean that we will always succeed the first time, it means that even when we fail, we will persevere and continue to strive for success.

Responsibility corresponds with being accountable, it is the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something. It is my responsibility to take charge of my career, to remain fit to fight and to keep bullets of my achievements. Taking responsibility does not necessarily mean I have to do it alone, it’s okay to ask for help, and it’s not a sign of weakness if you do. It would be irresponsible as an Airman to know that I am struggling with a task or physical training or that I may not be at the mental capacity I need to b in order to effectively perform. Keeping these struggles to myself guarantees that I will fail, and I would have no one to blame but myself. Showing responsibility, and being responsible shows dependability, and reliability, that as an individual I can be relied on by others to ensure that tasks will be completed and if not be able to accept the repercussions. This core value again aligns with the Air Force’s core value of integrity first, one has to be honest even if doing so may result in consequences. It is better, to be honest, and take responsibility than to lie or avoid situations. You are respected more by your peers and leadership when show ownership regardless of the situation.

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In order to take responsibility and accountability, one at times must show humility. It is okay to take pride in one’s work without being boastful. Humility allows me to be more open-minded to others, their opinions, knowledge, and feelings. Knowing that I do not know everything allows me to have a better understanding of people, their personalities, as well job tasks and duties. Being humble and open-minded allows me to be receptive to constructive feedback from my peers regarding my performance or an assignment. This feedback given may be positive or negative gives me the opportunity to grow as an individual and to know what my strengths are as well as my weakness. In order for me to have humility, I need to have the integrity of being honest with myself, not taking on more than I chew because I am trying to make a point of being the best. Know the difference between only settling for the bare minimum out of fear and really knowing my limitations. In order for me to embody the core value of “excellence in all we do” I need to be humble and ask for help when I truly need it so that I may excel in the tasks assigned to me.

As Lizzo would say “the truth hurts”, it takes a brave individual to be honest and also be able to handle the truth. In this life, people are easily blind-sided by being cautious and considerate about people’s feelings that they neglect to be honest and provide constructive feedback. It is easier said than done, to be honest, we all believe that we can truly be honest with our peers in theory however when it comes to practice, we tend to freeze up and avoidant. Honesty comes easy to some and can be difficult for others; I find being honest to be challenging especially when comes to peer reviews, especially to people you are not familiar with. This is a challenge due to the fact that you aren’t aware of the type of person they are, are they someone who is receptive to honesty or do they take offense to it if you are simply sharing your opinions/feedback? The Air Force has integrity listed first as its core value as we as Airman should encompass this as a philosophy to act and behave in a manner that is true even if no one is watching. Having the integrity to own up to failings without pointing fingers; knowing that someone who truly cares about their Airman can be honest with them even when it is uncomfortable.

Last but not least, stability, this my main reason for joining the Air Force. I needed structure and stability as I felt lost, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and I was also getting complacent in a job that made me feel miserable. I wanted something that would make me feel accomplished and proud knowing that I pushed past my fears and excelled at it.

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Air Force Core Values Essay. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 5, 2023, from
“Air Force Core Values Essay.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022,
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