First Sergeant embraces Air Force values

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Nolan Hildebrand
  • 50th Operations Support Squadron
The United States Air Force Core Values; we all know them, we all use them. They are the roadmaps that guide us in our profession of arms. Many of today's Air Force programs are descended from our core values. 

Air Force Smart Operations is built upon excellence in all we do. We are asked daily to do more with less, but to do it with excellence. At times we falter and our best efforts are not put forth. In the nuclear realm this has had a devastating impact, but can be corrected if we just look back to our core values roadmap and take the excellence in all we do turn. 

The physical fitness program, of course, has an excellent category. The category itself is not the goal, but the effort put forward. This effort should be gleaned from our core value Excellence in All We Do. 

Read any decoration citation and excellence is sure to be found. Look over your performance reports and "clearly exceeds" is spelled out. Our award packages are full of synonyms for excellence, as it is rooted in our profession of arms to excel. 

How will you be excellent and when will you be excellent? These are your questions to answer, but realize that if we settle for less than excellence, we live with less than our best. Our powerful Air Force cannot afford less than our best and our great nation will falter without it. 

Fortunately I learned of excellence long before I swore the oath of enlistment and entered into the Air Force. My lessons on excellence took place in a peculiar classroom, a classroom so unique that it wouldn't be at the top of the list like the bathroom. Well, the bathroom just happens to be where I learned my first core value. Trust me; this story will not end up in the toilet. 

I was taught "Excellence In All We Do" by my father. My father isn't a retired chief nor did he serve in the Air Force, but through his daily actions, and his shaving mug, I learned an important life lesson. See, my father's shaving mug had a motto inscribed on it, "What Is Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Well." 

As a young boy, I would frequently eyeball that shaving mug in hopes of one day putting the lather on my face and sliding the razor across my soon-to-be whiskers. As a boy, I paid little attention to the motto. Now, as a man, I look back and realize that even though I didn't think about the motto, I internalized it as a core value. 

I've been guided by that simple, yet powerful motto every day of my life. I strive to do my best with every task entrusted to me and take pride in the successful completion of the job. We should all feel pride in our jobs. From fuels to finance, from the cockpit to the chow hall, we all have important tasks that are critical to Air Force mission accomplishment. We should treat each and every task as mission essential. 

The Air Force core value "Excellence In All We Do" doesn't afford us an option of when to give 100 percent, but demands that we give our very best, everyday, in everything we do. 

Not all of us have a shaving mug to remind us that "What Is Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Well." What we do have is the core values, internalized and displayed by the "blue suit" we wear. Our actions and attitudes must represent "Excellence In All We Do" and shine as a beacon of light to the entire world.