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Calibrating your moral compass

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Scott D. Tadlock
  • 92nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
The United States is recognized throughout the world as a superpower. With this title, our nation has the responsibility of managing world events, providing humanitarian aid and defending vital interest. These responsibilities are met through the use of advisors, agencies and departments. The United States Air Force is one department that has the mission of fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace. The Air Force executes its mission with selection and retention of high caliber personnel. In order to meet today's Air Force mission, one's compass must be calibrated by sound values, high standards and total discipline.

Values are typically defined by a person's background and an organization's function. In today's Air Force, we need each person to have a value system that includes integrity, ethics and resiliency. First, integrity is vital because we empower each rank with enormous tasks and decision making responsibilities that immediately impact mission and lives. Second, ethics is essential because we need to respect people and organizations. When we fail to sustain ethics, we can degrade the mission due to gossip, unfair treatment, discrimination and assaults. Third, resiliency is critical because change is constant. In order to handle change, one must start with understanding they have the first role in adapting and finding solutions to problems. In addition, one must have their family prepared for TDYs, exercises and deployments. Lastly, we need to reach out to supervisors and external agencies before an issue gets out of hand versus after the fact. Everyone has issues and how they are handled will either solve or create more problems.

Standards are guidelines directed to ensure each level within the organization is meeting targeted goals for the overall mission. There are various levels of standards and the level determines how effective a unit is performing. Average performance can impact careers and mission readiness. Due to constant changes caused by financial challenges and world threats, the Air Force needs people and units that excel in standards. As a result, each person within the organization needs to challenge themselves to excel with each assigned task. Supervisors also need to impose high standards because a unit will perform to the level of standards.

Within the Air Force we are trained, equipped and organized for warfare. Training is the core component of our discipline, which reinforces individual, followership and leadership disciplines. Individual discipline involves situational awareness. This awareness ensures professional conduct both on and off duty and drives accountability to family, community and unit. Followership discipline involves providing recommendations consisting of problem statements and corrective actions to leadership. Upon leadership's decision, do not take disagreements personal. Instead, carry out the guidance as it were your own. Leadership discipline involves setting the example while simultaneously enforcing standards. Leaders cannot afford to not set the example, or have bad day because it adversely impacts good order and discipline of the unit immediately.

In order to meet today's Air Force's mission, our compass must be calibrated by sound values, high standards and total discipline. A sound value system includes integrity, ethics and resiliency. High standards must be demanded by each person and supervisors within the unit. We must be disciplined as individuals, followers and leaders because our nation has an essential role within the world as a superpower.

So, is your moral compass calibrated with today's Air Force mission?