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Chief's Corner - week of Nov. 20

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Standards and the Profession of Arms

Many Airmen are familiar with the little brown book and the little blue book. But, there is another "little book" with a different color that all Airmen are obligated to adhere to...the little green book.  Air Force Instruction 1-1, Air Force Standards, opens with the following words, "The importance of the Air Force's mission and inherent responsibility to the nation requires its members to adhere to higher standards than those expected in civilian life."  Our responsibility to this great nation forms the basis for military service and the profession of arms.
In a speech to Air Force Academy cadets, then United States Air Forces in Europe commander, Gen. Mark Welsh, addressed the profession of Arms by narrating a predator feed (video) about an F-16 sortie in Ramadi, Iraq.  The F-16 pilot was supporting a special operator on the ground that had solid intelligence regarding a meeting of militant leaders.  Intelligence confirmed those militant leaders would soon depart to reinforce a gunfight against U.S. warfighters a few miles south of their position.  As the militant leaders exited the building headed to join the fight, the F-16 pilot sought confirmation of the target (approximately 25 men) from the special operator to which he responded, "take 'em out."  Eight seconds later, those 25 men were dead.  Gen. Welsh said the following about that video, "There's nothing pretty about what you just saw, nothing glorious about it.  It's ugly, but somebody's got to be good at it."  In essence, that perfectly portrays the profession we have chosen; a profession that, in the final analysis, is not about a career, money, benefits, or traveling the world.  Our profession is one that necessitates the delivery of lethal airpower.
Air Force standards are the bedrock for our profession.  Together, we are practitioners of freedom and as such should be proud of our higher standards.  I challenge you to read AFI 1-1 in its entirety and take inventory of where you stand in regards to those standards.  We are always on duty and must possess the self-discipline and will to hold ourselves and others to higher standards.  When we do, our mind and body will be at peak performance, always ready to accomplish our mission of commanding satellites to deliver decisive global effects.  After all, it's our profession.
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