Joint Base Charleston


Personal accountability and CAF

By Senior Airman Tiffany Whitmore | 628th Comptroller Squadron financial analyst | November 21, 2012

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- "It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do for which we are accountable," said Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, a French playwright and actor from the 1600's, also known by his stage name Molière.

In today's Air Force, that statement should stand true no matter what tier of the enlisted force structure you may fall into.

With 2012 coming to an end, we are reminded of our charge as an Air Force to maintain a continuous level of personal accountability. And as an Air Force, this should go hand in hand with our core values.

With the development of Comprehensive Airman Fitness, we are responsible for maintaining a continuous level of accountability in all four levels of fitness; physical, social, mental and spiritual.

First, our Air Force fitness standards are here to stay. With the need to remain combat ready around the clock, personal health and fitness is a must.

Many units implement and maintain a physical training program which helps Airmen meet our standards; but the Air Force emphasizes personal accountability when it comes to PT.

Airmen are aware of this standard and what they need to do to comply. Three PT sessions a week may be enough for some Airmen to score an excellent, others may need extra work on their own time. This is where personal accountability comes into play. Airmen know what they need to do in order to meet the standard, and they are held accountable if they do not.

It is our job as an Air Force to take initiative to do what needs to be done. On the flip side, the fitness level of CAF does not relate only to physical training. In order to maintain a balanced lifestyle, diet and healthy lifestyle choices come into play. The Health and Wellness Center offers many classes on nutrition and the importance of health conscious choices. It is our responsibility as Airmen to stay informed and take advantage of the resources made available to us.

Two of the most important aspects of CAF are the mental and spiritual pillars. With the ever increasing challenges in today's Air Force, we are faced with more stressors and added pressure. Coping skills, commensurate with increased responsibilities, are extremely important to remaining resilient. Being mentally fit enables us to take on these challenges and bounce back quickly.

Continuous stressors can lead to altered decision making which makes identifying the signs of overstress much more important. It might mean asking the hard questions of those we work with, or swallowing our pride to get help when needed. Getting an issue under control before it becomes a problem is essential; but the accountability falls back on the Airman and those around him.

Another way of coping with everyday stressors is to become spiritually fit. Spiritual fitness does not have to be limited to religion. Spirituality can represent many different things to many individuals but ultimately ties back to our own sense of personal purpose and meaning. Being in control of our spiritual fitness can directly impact our mental levels by allowing us to maintain a sense of peace.

In the community in which we operate, each decision we make has the capability to affect multiple individuals and sometimes an entire organization. The CAF model reminds us of the balances in our lives we need to remain resilient. It is our duty as Airmen to step up and hold ourselves personally accountable.

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