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Practice transparency, integrity with new inspection program

  • Published
  • By Maj. Elizabeth Bowman
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Deputy Inspector General
From day one of joining the Air Force, we learn about our core values. We strive to uphold these core values to the highest level as a military member. All of the core values are near and dear to me, but recently it is integrity that I have started viewing in a different way.

Integrity encompasses many traits and honesty is one of those traits. Integrity has even been regarded as the honesty of one's actions. As a leader at all levels, consistent demonstration of integrity gains respect. The individuals you work with appreciate respectful honesty in all that you do. Sometimes we are honest in what we say, but we may not be fully transparent. The information we pass on may not be the information an individual is looking for and therefore does not lead to transparency.

This is not always easy because many of us have been raised to only tell the information that is needed and it tends to make us vulnerable when we are transparent. It is the combination of both honesty and transparency that creates authenticity and helps those individuals we interact with gain confidence in us.

The Air Force has had many changes including the implementation of the Commanders' Inspection Program. One item that has especially changed is the push to embrace transparency. We have always been taught to be honest about our programs, but we may have been told not to be fully transparent. We wanted our programs to look good and not admit deficiencies no matter how small. The new inspection program encourages us to recognize problem areas and to document them.

When we "embrace the red," we are honest and authentic about the programs we run and therefore we are able to find solutions to the problem rather than hope they go unnoticed. It helps all individuals maintain their integrity since continuous, honest self-assessment prevents pencil-whipping and other means of preparing for an inspection.

It also gives Airmen and leaders at all levels the opportunity to find areas for process improvement which may help drive significant increases in the efficiency and effectiveness of the mission.

This change in the Air Force Inspections System allows us to embrace our core values and take honesty to the next level. By being continuously transparent with our programs and diligently pursuing solutions, we are inspection-ready every day.