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Air Force’s Core Value of Excellence: Argumentative Essay

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Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do. These are the Air Force’s Core Values, drilled into every Airman’s head from the first day of their career in the military and shapes who they should be as a person and service member. Every member of the Air Force should strive to be the best version of themselves that they can possibly be, and our Core Values are the foundation for shaping them into that version. However, in order for the Core Values to have real substance and take on any meaning, they must be paired with descriptors to show what they truly stand for. I’ve chosen the following descriptors to outline how I aim to be the best version of myself as not just an Airman, but a good person as a whole: Compassion, Dependability, Fairness, Growth, and Making a Difference.

Compassion: One of the most important traits to show not only as an Airman, but as a good NCO and supervisor is compassion. When an Airman falls short when performing a task, and it’s evident that they gave their absolute best effort, then your first instinct shouldn’t be to jump down their throat. You should sit with them and explain what happened that caused this failure and how to help them accomplish it in the future, this helps all your troops strive to pursue the Core Value of Excellence in All We Do. When supervising your troops, you must be willing to spend time getting to know them and being an approachable person that they can be comfortable discussing their problems with. Being compassionate and sacrificing your off-time to anyone that needs help not only shows you are willing to put Service Before Self with your people, but also sets an example of what people should do to support their fellow Airmen. In order for you to be a model Airman, as well as a model supervisor, you can’t just show compassion feintly or as an act, you need to truly care for those around you and want to be willing to help when the need arises. Showing Integrity in you willingness to help those around you will take you leaps and bounds farther than if you are only showing compassion at a surface level or as a courtesy. People can pick out fake behavior and caring a mile away and you will quickly burn yourself compared to if you genuinely care about others.

Dependability: When a new task or project comes up, your name should always be the first one to come to people’s minds to get it done, because you’ve set a reputation as being someone that gets anything thrown their way done. Dependability means no matter how difficult the task is, you’re going to find a way to complete it to the best of your ability and as close to perfect as you can. Keeping this mentality of “I must get this done” stems directly from Excellence in All We Do, and will only help to further your career by opening new doors to opportunities you wouldn’t receive as someone who didn’t want to accomplish tasks. As a supervisor, Service Before Self means that your troops can depend on you to be there when they need you. Whether it be mentoring, helping them out of a personal situation, or simply answering any questions they may have, you need to be the person they know that they can go to. Being dependable means that you can be trusted that your job isn’t only being done, but being done right. Having the integrity to not take shortcuts and make sure that the job top tier quality and you don’t need to be questioned or scrutinized is going to paramount to being honest with yourself and those you work with.

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Fairness: is coming into a situation and looking at all perspectives to keep an open mind when making a decision. When you have more than one troop going up for an award, or Below the Zone, for instance, you need to look at each Airman objectively and have the integrity to not let any personal biases get in the way of picking the best member for the award. Showing fairness while performing your duties means that you need to be willing to get your hands dirty with everyone working directly to complete tasks. This means putting your service before your own self interests and helping complete a job, instead of just delegating down to lower members. This will not only help get any job done faster, but will help your reputation as a supervisor and NCO who cares about maintaining fairness in assignments and that the mission always comes first. Sometimes showing fairness also means that you need to discipline troops accordingly with what they did wrong. Helping your troops strive to excellence in all they do in their careers will help set their goals and perspective on the military right from the beginning. Keeping them in the right perspective as they slip is just as important, even if you don’t want to hurt your own image by disciplining them.

Growth: Being able to see any personal shortcomings and move past them to become a better person and NCO is showing growth to those around you. Many people won’t confess to making errors or mistakes on the job because they’re afraid of the consequences. Keeping your integrity and admitting fault is a personal growth that no one will ever look down on you for. Your Respect as an NCO and supervisor stems greatly from your honesty and young troops seeing that growth from not wanting to admit a mistake, setting a good example for them in the future. Putting service first in accomplishing a job over your personal needs is extremely important to grow towards. Everyone wants to just clock in, do their job, then leave, but you need to recognize that there will be times you need to go above and beyond that desire and put in that extra step. Along the same lines as Service Before Self, you must also show the growth that just completing a task may not be satisfactory. Excellence means that you are going to put everything you have into making sure your job is done perfectly, not just done to the bare minimum.

Making a Difference: Everyone wants what they’re doing to have a lasting impact on the world, they want to know what they’ve done is going to accomplish something significant. I joined the military because I wanted to help people, I wanted to first-hand see the impact of saving lives and keeping my fellow airmen out of danger. When I make an Imagery product, I have to make sure it is completely accurate and safe for my aircrews to use. Not showing excellence in my products means that I’m putting not only my crew in harm’s way, but risking the lives of those they’re flying out to save. This also means that I have to be honest with them if there are any issues in my product, I can’t lack integrity to fudge any numbers and give them the answer that they want, because it’s a risk and I’m not willing to put them in an unsafe situation. You can’t make a lasting impact on the world while you’re focused on your own personal gain. Putting your job and your service first over any personal needs is the only way to ensure that you are truly helping those around you come home safe from their missions. If you’re more focused on cranking out a product quickly so you can make it to lunch, then you are going to only hurt yourself and those depending on you.

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Air Force’s Core Value of Excellence: Argumentative Essay. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 4, 2022, from
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