Air Force

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I hope that the United States of America has not yet passed the peak of honor and beauty, and that our people can still sustain certain simple philosophies at which some miserable souls feel it incumbent to sneer. I refer to some of the Psalms, and to the Gettysburg Address, and the Scout Oath. I refer to the Lord's prayer, and to that other oath which a man must take when he stands with hand uplifted, and swears that he will defend his Country. None of those words described, or the beliefs behind them, can be sung to modern music. But they are there, like rocks and oaks, structurally sound and proven. They are more than rocks and oaks; they are the wing and the prayer of the future.

Whether we venture into realms of Space in our latest vehicles, or whether we are concerned principally with overhauling our engines and loading our ordnance here on the ground, we will still be part of a vast proud mechanism which must function cleanly if it is to function at all.

. . . Crank her up. Let's go.

General Curtis E. LeMay




1 January 1997

Integrity first

Service before self

Excellence in all we do

In 1965, I was crippled and I was all alone (in a North Vietnamese prison). I realized that they had all the power. I couldn't see how I was ever going to get out with my honor and self-respect. The one thing I came to realize was that if you don't lose your integrity you can't be had and you can't be hurt. Compromises multiply and build up when you're working against a skilled extortionist or manipulator. You can't be had if you don't take that first shortcut, of "meet them halfway," as they say, or look for that tacit deal, or make that first compromise. Admiral James B. Stockdale I would lay down my life for America, but I cannot trifle with my honor. Admiral John Paul Jones

The unfailing formula for production of morale is patriotism, self-respect, discipline, and self-confidence within a military unit, joined with fair treatment and merited appreciation from without. It cannot be produced by pampering or coddling an army, and is not necessarily destroyed by hardship, danger, or even calamity . . . It will quickly wither and die if soldiers come to believe themselves the victims of indifference or injustice on the part of their government, or of ignorance, personal ambition, or ineptitude on the part of their leaders. General Douglas MacArthur

"The Little Blue Book"

Whoever you are and wherever you fit on the Air Force team, this is your basic guide to the Air Force Core Values.

The Core Values exist for all members of the Air Force family officer, enlisted, and civilian; active, reserve, and retired; senior, junior, and middle management; civil servants; uniformed personnel; and contractors. They are for all of us to read, to understand, to live by, and to cherish.

The Core Values are much more than minimum standards. They remind us what it takes to get the mission done. They inspire us to do our very best at all times. They are the common bond among all comrades in arms, and they are the glue that unifies the force and ties us to the great warriors and public servants of the past.

Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do. These are the Air Force Core Values. Study them . . . understand them . . . follow them . . . and encourage others to do the same.


The quotation from General Curtis E. LeMay is used with the kind permission of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing. It is taken from Mission With LeMay: My Story, General Curtis E. LeMay and Mackinlay Kantor (New York: Doubleday and Company, 1965), p. 572.

The quotation from Admiral James B. Stockdale is used with his very generous permission.

The quotations from Admiral John Paul Jones and General Douglas MacArthur are used with the very kind permission of the U.S. Naval Institute Press....
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