Friday, August 15, 2008

COMMENTARY >> Warriors in our midst…Integrity first

By Maj. Sean Robertson
314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander

After recently taking command, I found myself preparing for my initial commander’s call to outline my expectations for the squadron. While collecting my thoughts, one general theme continued to come to mind: integrity first.

The Air Force has recently placed a strong focus on the criticality of integrity. If an organization has integrity, that organization is courageous in its actions, responsible for its mission, holds itself accountable and supports an honest and truthful atmosphere. What’s not to like about all these qualities and values? Integrity is something that as military professionals we must have and hold true or its absence can shake us to our core. Integrity is defined as a steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code, or in layman’s terms, as simple as a person’s word or doing the right thing.

In the military, we put a lot of faith and trust that the warriors in our midst live with integrity. This is evident in the many oaths and creeds that we recite, institutionalize and embody. Without integrity, these oaths and creeds are just words. Without integrity, the act of raising our right hand and saying, “I solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States” is nothing more than a nice ceremony. With integrity, those same words are the ones we speak so that those we serve with, rest assured they have Wingmen they can trust when times get tough. With integrity, the words from the Airmen’s Creed “I am an American Airmen, I will not falter, and I will not fail” tell the people of this great nation they can trust we are on watch and will continue to carry the flag of freedom wherever our nation calls.

So, the next time we stand up and recite the Oath of Enlistment/Office or Airmen’s Creed, think about what you are saying…and mean what you say. They aren’t mere words; they are much more. The ideals embodied in these words brought those warriors — past and present — through seemingly insurmountable challenges to one of the greatest countries in the world today.


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