Core Values -- what is important to you?

MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, CALIF. -- About a year ago, I was reading a magazine article where the writer challenged the reader to write down the 10 most important values to him/her: your top 10 values-if you will. I considered this and I wrote down a list of values that are important to me. I was actually surprised at the number of values I hold important. 

I took the extensive list and whittled it down to nearly 30 values which I consider important. I kept all of them on my list and broke that down to 10. Given my stage in life, I know that my "top 10" has changed throughout the years. I also know that my top five have remained fairly constant. 

The Air Force Core Values of Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence in all that we do are values close to my own. A value is defined as a belief, a mission, or philosophy that is meaningful. 

Whether we realize it or not, we all have a set of core values that we adhere to. These values are important to us and to the people around us because they define what we believe in, what we stand for; in essence, they define who we are. Each one of us will have different personal values. These values make and build our character. 

My challenge to you is this: consider the values that are important to you. Write all theses values down. I am willing to say your list will be close to the Air Force's Core Values. I say this because I honestly believe most of us who wear blue share in a strong character of service. 

When you break down your list to your top 10, you might just be surprised in what you discover about yourself. If you need help, Google the word value or go online to charactercounts.org. 

It does not matter if you are a first term Airman or a seasoned officer, as Air Force members, we strive higher and we make goals for ourselves that are neither lofty nor unattainable. I know this because the Air Force requires more from those who are entering our service. There is no question that character counts in the Air Force and a strong sense of values permeates our ranks and service. 

Words of Wisdom: "People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built," Eleanor Roosevelt.