Core values: a part of everyday life

A Military Training Leader, from the 316th Training Squadron Goodfellow AFB, TX, keeps an eye on a formation of Airman as they march to class June 6. MTL’s ensure that the lessons learned in Basic Military Training are reinforce as each new Airman progresses through their technical training and leave for their first assignment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Randy Mallard)

A 316th Training Squadron Military Training Leader keeps an eye on a formation of Airmen as they march to class. MTL’s ensure that the lessons learned in Basic Military Training are reinforced as each new Airman progresses through their technical training and leave for their first assignment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Randy Mallard)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- From the day we took the oath of enlistment into the Air Force, the core values became a way of life for every Airmen - Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence In All We Do.

No matter what our job is or where we come from, the core values are very much a part of our everyday life and what we live by.

As Military Training Leaders, we are always in high visibility because of the blue aiguillettes we wear. As an MTL with the 315th Training Squadron, I lead Airmen fresh from Basic Military Training and instill in them the right way to lead in the operational Air Force during and after technical training.

MTLs must exhibit core values, without them we would not have a sense of unity or honesty among our ranks or within our Air Force. Integrity First is doing the right thing when no one else is looking - it's that inner voice that tells you what is right or wrong. Every MTL at Goodfellow is challenged with upholding this core value everyday because of the job we do. For example, if we were to just pencil-whip reports or ignore the corrective actions Airmen are in need of, the wrong Airman may make it into to the operational Air Force and potentially damage the mission of that squadron, group or wing.

Service Before Self is putting the mission before our personal desires. With more than 500 Airmen assigned to the 315th TRS, we have no option but to work extra hours mentoring young Airmen with the goal of producing productive military members. With the many personalities of Airmen, we must also be flexible and understanding. Picking up the phone at 2:30 a.m. on the weekend to help an Airman in need or simply talking him about his personal issues is something we cannot ignore regardless of how tired we are or how many hours we've already worked that week. Every minute of overtime is worth it! The reward comes when you get an e-mail later down the road from an Airman thanking you for all the things you helped him with and for the mentoring sessions.

There is no room for error! Excellence In All We Do is the passion we have for giving the very best of our ability to improve the Air Force. When marching to and from school with your head held high and sounding off, and being proud to wear the Air Force uniform has excellence and motivation written all over it. Marching behind the Norma Brown building saluting senior ranking officials and being told you look sharp gives me chills down my back. Being recognized for the work we do creates pride within ourselves. It makes every Airman want to work harder and produce better quality work for the Air Force.

The core values embody the Air Force way of life, without them we cannot succeed and the mission will fail. The importance of being an MTL and the impact we have on every Airman coming through Goodfellow leaves no room for corruption. We have to abide by every core value and uphold to the highest standards on base to succeed. Every job in the Air Force is important and if we don't abide by our core values we will not succeed. If the Airmen succeed I have succeeded.