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Core Values

Foundation for the Twenty-First Century

Lieutenant Colonel Daniel R. Simmons, USAF
1997, 37 pages
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Cost: $0, AU Press Code: MP-11

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In this important study, Lt Col Daniel R. Simmons, USAF, argues that the United States Air Force (USAF) officer success in the twenty-first century will depend on a robust ethical and professional foundation based on Air Force core values. The Air Force has widely promulgated the following core values: "Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do." However, recently well-publicized cases of core values failures among some Air Force officers suggest a crisis in character that threatens leadership effectiveness in the Air Force. To attack and resolve this core value deficiency and the related character problems among USAF officers, Colonel Simmons recommends that the Air Force significantly increase its focus on core values in its officer accession schools and professional military education programs. While current USAF initiatives to address the character problems are steps in the right direction, the study argues that the Air Force needs to do more. Referring to the Center for Character Development at the Air Force Academy, and other core value training at Air Force professional military education schools, Colonel Simmons recommends that the Air Force create a center for core value development. This Center for Core Values Development (CCVD) would build a core values architecture that directs integrated training and education across the entire Air Force. The CCVD would be a single, central office in charge of core values education for the Air Force, and would create a close dialogue and better standardization of honor codes and values instruction among the Air Force’s separate schools currently teaching core values. These interesting proposals deserve to be read by a wide Air Force audience.

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