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FM learning center student perspective: living the core values.

From the moment we arrive at Lackland Air Force base, we learn the core values and how to incorporate them in our lives as airmen. Integrity First. Service Before Self. Excellence in All We Do. In the beginning, they are just words, but through our Air Force careers, we learn to live by them. We are taught on a daily basis that the way we behave and the way we conduct ourselves is a reflection upon those who are influential in our lives. When I joined the military, I never dreamed I would meet so many influential people who would push me to live out those values in every aspect of my life.

Integrity First, seems like a simple concept, but few people truly understand what the phrase really means. Integrity is about standing up for what you believe. It's about honesty, loyalty, and courage. Most people believe that integrity means doing what is right, even when no one is looking. When it comes to applying integrity to our lives, many find it more difficult than they might have believed. Throughout my time in the Financial Comptroller Apprentice course, I learned that integrity is a vitally important characteristic. It would have been easy to ignore everything my various instructors taught me, but instead I applied this core value to my own life and have managed to successfully complete eight of ten blocks of instruction.

As an instructor, SSgt Brandy Cotton set an excellent example of the second core value, Service Before Self. For nearly two years, she has devoted her time and energy to teach the 3-level apprentice course, and has given back to the Air Force by helping to shape the potential of young airmen. Many instructors in the schoolhouse give their time and energy to those entrusted in their care and work countless hours to ensure that the finance slogan of "No Money, No Mission" is upheld.

A classmate recently displayed the last core value and the true meaning of Excellence in All We Do. SSgt Jennifer DeWispeleare from the 170th Comptroller Flight in Niagara Falls focused on doing her very best throughout the course, continuously striving for the perfect score. Her dedication and commitment to her studies set the example for the non-prior service students (pipeline) of what we are truly capable of if we apply this core value in our own lives.

While observing the actions and behaviors of the non-commissioned officers in and around the schoolhouse, it is easy to see which characteristics are necessary to be successful in the Air Force. In my time here, I have learned to always have integrity, even when it is not easy. I have learned from two incredible role models that it is important to always remember to exhibit Service Before Self and Excellence in All I Do. These lessons are ones I intend to take with me as I enter the operational Air Force. LIU.

by AB FelicTy Schultz, FMLC

About the Authors

TSgt Gareth Davis is. an Instructor Supervisor for the Enlisted Financial Management Courses.

AB Felicity Schultz graduated on 2 October 2013 and is now at the 375th Comptroller Squadron, Scott AFB, IL.

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Author:Schultz, Felicrly
Publication:Air Force Comptroller
Date:Sep 22, 2013
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