Revisit core values in Air Force’s Little Blue Book

  • Published
  • By Col. Elaine K. Barron
  • 512th Mission Support Group commander
Described as telling us the price of admission to the Air Force itself, The U.S. Air Force Core Values were published in "The Little Blue Book" in 1997. I reviewed "The Little Blue Book" (now only available on the internet) for inspiration for this editorial. 

Although written 12 years ago as a reaction to scandals in the Air Force, they could have been written yesterday as a response to our current climate. Time to take out "The Little Blue Book" and shake off the dust: 

Integrity First: "... the willingness to do what is right even when no one is looking. It includes moral courage, honesty, responsibility, accountability, justice, openness, self respect and humility. I believe these apply to the most mundane tasks we do during the week and Unit Training Assemblies. 

Service Before Self: "... professional duties take precedence over personal desires" and include these behaviors: rule following--recognizing rules have a reason for being; respect for others recognizes we must always act in the knowledge all persons possess a fundamental worth as human beings; professionals exercise discipline and self-control; and finally maintaining faith in the system. Losing faith in the system or adopting the attitude you know better than those higher in the chain of command is placing self before service 

Excellence in All We Do: "It is imperative we strive for excellence in product or service - not just responding but anticipating our customer needs; personal, including military education completion and staying in top physical and mental shape; community excellence - when an organization can successfully work toward a common goal, resource and operations." 

This price of admission applies to officer, enlisted, civil service and contractor personnel and forms the foundation for Air Force leadership at every level. Check out "The Little Blue Book" at