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NEWS | Jan. 23, 2013

Diamond Tip: Getting back to basics

By Master Sgt. David Turnage 628th Communications Squadron first sergeant

Have you ever watched a football game and heard the announcer say one team is more talented than the other, only to watch the alleged "weaker team" win the game?

If you've seen a game like this, it's often because the losing team had issues with the basic fundamentals of the game. They could have turned the ball over, blocked incorrectly or missed tackles.

In other words, they got away from the basics. Now, think about yourself for a moment. How are you doing with the basics?

You may say, "First Sergeant, what in the world is your point?"

Let's start with this; How are you conducting your life? Do your actions line up with what you say? Can you be depended upon?

Let's dig a little deeper and focus on our Air Force core values. Do you have integrity, an adherence to moral and ethical principles, soundness of moral character and honesty?

My favorite, and a simple description of integrity, is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. Are you striving to do that?
Personally, I love the Air Force core values of integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do. They tie together so well. For example, if integrity suffers from not wearing uniforms properly, not meeting assigned suspenses, not preparing to be physically ready to pass your fitness test or not arriving to work or appointments on time, then the other two core values suffer as well.

A person who is consistently having integrity lapses is one that is also putting themselves ahead of service and is usually not operating at maximum effort. These same individuals then wonder why they get marked down on performance reports. Most of the time, it is because they have gotten away from the basics.
So, what do you do if you get away from the basics?

First, realize where you stand and be honest with yourself. Second, stop blaming others for what you are not doing. Third, make a decision to institute positive changes in your life. Fourth, surround yourself with people who are striving to be the best they can be.

And finally, and this is the most important part, never, ever give up!