Excellence in all we do

  • Published
  • By Maj. Kevin Naman
  • 509th Services Squadron
The Air Force core values are taught to each and every one of us early in our military career. They are a guide for us, a starting point that we should use in our profession.

The Air Force Core Values "Little Blue Book" even states, "the Core Values are much more than minimum standards." They are something that we should expand upon to ensure we are living these values on a daily basis. Now, I'm not going to go into all three Core Values, I'm only going to expand upon "Excellence in all we do."

When I see "we" in this core value I first think of myself and how I can contribute to the "we." I think back to my younger years growing up in central Alabama where my biggest concern on Saturday mornings was riding my bike or playing football with my friends.

I found out very early in life there was no playing until the chores were done. One of my chores was picking up trash along the roadside about ½ mile in each direction in front of our house. I remember hating this because every weekend I would have to pick up the beer bottles, fast food bags and all types of garbage.

My friends use to enjoy watching me do this and I suspect that a few of them even contributed to the trash on the roadside. Of course, if I missed something or didn't complete the job my dad was there to point that fact out and I would re-accomplish the task. I'm not sure exactly how long it took, but I soon realized that after I picked up the trash that our property looked much better and I began to take a little pride in my task.

It didn't mean that I liked doing the task. It just meant that I realized the task had to be done so why not do my best at it. I think my Dad, besides getting the chores done, was teaching me a valuable lesson that I feel is relevant in this core value.

He was teaching me to do my best at everything I do no matter how insignificant it may seem. Giving your best contributes to the overall excellence of your unit, group, wing and ultimately the Air Force.

I feel that doing your very best is a critical part of this core value and a part that will lead to, as the book states "...a sustained passion for continuous improvement and innovation."

I have noticed other Whiteman Warriors giving their best in everything they do and I do not think it's a coincidence that "we" won the Omaha Trophy and "we" won the Balchen/ Post Award for the best Snow and Ice Removal Team in the AF and "we" won the ACC Eubank award for the best small services squadron.

It makes me proud to be part of Team Whiteman and part of the world's most feared Air Force. I think Aristotle said it best, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."