My expectations are simple - live our core values

  • Published
  • By Col. Russ Mack
  • 71st Flying Training Wing commander
On behalf of my family, I want to thank everyone for the warm welcome we received from the men and women of Team Vance and the Enid community. We are truly humbled to have been given this opportunity and we look forward to meeting and working with each and every one of you!

As everyone knows, Vance AFB has a proud history of producing the world's finest aviators and expeditionary Air Force warriors, and that will never change. In fact, that is the largest part of our mission. As I said at the change of command, the mission of the 71st Flying Training Wing is to "Train the world's finest aviators, deploy combat-ready Airmen in support of combatant commanders, and develop professional Airmen."

But none of it will or can take place without a collaborative team effort that encompasses every Soldier, Sailor, Airmen, Marine, government employee, contractor and our partners from the Enid community and one that focuses on producing the world's best and brightest aviators.

As your new commander, my expectations for our team are quite simple. Live our core values of integrity, service and excellence. These values have stood the test of time, and are simply the basics by which any organization should operate.

"Integrity" is first and foremost -- the Air Force is built on the integrity of its people, and that is you and me. If our collective integrity is strong, then regardless of the situation, we can weather any storm. If I can't trust you to do that right thing, how can I trust you to lead an organization?

The key then is transparency. Our actions, as viewed from both inside and outside an organization, must be transparent to those watching. Everything we do in serving the nation should be done as if we were being observed by the American people. They deserve it.

Second is "Service before Self." When we took our oath to serve in the United States military, we took an oath of sacrifice, a sacrifice that puts service before self. We exhibit that core value when we leave our precious families behind for deployments, when we put ourselves in harm's way in support of the combatant commander, or when we work that extra hour to make sure the job is done right and the mission is accomplished.

Service before self does not mean service in spite of self. We all have times when our personal lives, especially family, take priority. That is when your fellow colleagues must step up and cover for you. I firmly believe that if you are squared away in your personal life, you will be squared away on the job. Airmen take care of each other.

Finally, "Excellence in All We Do." We became the finest military and the greatest expeditionary Air Force in the world by exhibiting excellence in all we do and we must keep striving for that today. We must never be satisfied with the status quo, and we must aggressively and constantly seek improvement -- especially in the undergraduate pilot training environment.

Everyone at Team Vance has a role to play in executing our mission. As leaders, I expect you to lead from the front, be accountable for your actions and be accountable to your people. As subordinates, I expect you to be mission oriented, job focused and constantly striving for excellence.

And for all of us, we must apply the basics that have allowed our Air Force to be the greatest in the world, the basics of our core values, integrity, service and excellence.

I am proud to serve with each and every one of you in the 71st FTW!