Making the right choices

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- From the beginning of our lives to the present, we have always known that if we make a decision whether it be good or bad, we would be held accountable.

When you were a child, if you didn't clean your room, you wouldn't be allowed to go out and play with your friend.

We make many decisions every day at all levels of the organization. This is how we move forward and accomplish our mission. We, as individuals, are accountable for making good decisions and for the outcomes those decisions produce.

Our core values, integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do, provides guidance for our decisions. Our fellow Airmen look to see if we take responsibility for our own actions. Each of us must act as a leader by taking responsibility for everything we do.

Too many times commanders and first sergeants hear anything but the truth about a situation. When they eventually get to the truth, the delay could have severe consequences.

Each of us must abide by our core values. Violators of these values are subject to appropriate discipline, up to and including action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

We believe honesty and integrity benefit the individual, as well as the Air Force. Each of us wants to be known as a person of integrity. When we lose that reputation with others or ourselves, it's painful. It can hurt our unit morale and our career. Probably the worst thing to do is to cover up a problem. Attempts to conceal even a minor violation by altering or destroying government records or falsifying a statement or lying can result in civil and criminal penalties that are worse than the penalty for the original offense.

The goal of our Air Force is to reinforce a positive work environment where doing the right thing is the right thing to do. If everyone makes sure they are doing the right thing, then we will all benefit. Be that person who can look in the mirror and say you're taking accountability for your part for this country.