Core values key to first term Airmen success

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Chandler S. Rickard
  • 389 Aircraft Maintenance Unit
My definition of being a first-term Airman is explained through the transition from our civilian lifestyle to the Air Force lifestyle.

First-term Airmen are taught the basics of what the Air Force expects. They must build on that foundation to further succeed in their Air Force careers.

As civilians, we could slip through the cracks at work or just give the bare minimum to get through each day.

As first-term Airmen however, we are now held to a much higher standard. We apply the Air Force core values to everything we do. We are taught the value of gaining the trust of our wingman and our leaders. We are taught the importance of obeying rules and regulations.

It's our responsibility to do our jobs right. We are taught to follow technical orders and not cut corners. When we make mistakes, we are to own up to them.

From the start, we must be able to prove that we can be trusted to complete our tasks without complications or doubt. That is the integrity of the first-term Airman.

There are definitely great benefits of being a first-term Airman. We are provided the necessary resources to achieve our educational and personal goals. We, as Airmen, determine how far up the ladder of success we climb.

However, our first mission and duty is to the Air Force. We must be willing to work longer hours and weekends, deploy at any time and take on any challenge. We must be willing to set aside our own wants and desires to help contribute to the mission. To a first-term Airman, this is service before self.

First-term Airmen are expected to give more than the bare minimum every day. We are all working as a team with one mission. First-term Airmen can't stop their education at technical school. We are all expected to complete our upgrade training and build leadership skills. Although we are new to the Air Force, we look to improve our skills to gain higher ranks and more responsibility.

Nothing is handed or given to us. Our success lies solely on our motivation and determination.

We are trained to be early to work, to be fit to fight at all times and always maintain a professional appearance and attitude. Even out of uniform, we represent the Air Force.

We live by these standards. When our country is need, we are willing to offer a helping hand. We are expected to volunteer to better our communities. Even at our duty stations, we must be willing to aid in replenishing resources or offer a helping hand.

The efficiency of the Air Force depends on each Airman. As first-term Airmen, we must show excellence in all we do.

"Integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do." These are the core values of the Air Force and what a first-term Airman represents. Upon entering basic training, we were introduced to these values and standards. After arriving at our first duty stations, we continue to maintain those standards. It is the foundation of our new lifestyles.

First-term Airmen must take pride in what they do. They have chosen to take up the responsibility to uphold the traditions of those who served before us. We are striving to better ourselves at all times so that one day we can be great leaders. It's only the beginning. However, we are ready, willing and able to fly, fight and win.