The Importance of Following Standards Published Jan. 15, 2010 By Master Sgt. Mark Anderson 447th Expeditionary Logitcs Readiness Squadron SATHER AIR BASE, Iraq -- Adhering to the principles of military discipline and enforcing standards serve as the foundation for accomplishing our mission efficiently and effectively. We must focus our efforts on adhering to and enforcing every standard, no matter how unimportant or insignificant that standard may seem. In the Air Force, we expect all airmen to live by the highest standards included in our core values; Integrity First, Service before Self, and Excellence in All We Do. We should never accept anything less. The core value that stands out most in my mind is integrity. Integrity is a character trait; it is the willingness to do the right thing even when no one is looking. That goes for your appearance as much as it does the job you do. For example, you may think it is okay to run to the bathroom in the middle of the night without a reflective belt because in the back of your mind you know no one is around. Would you apply that same logic on the job? If you are willing to cut corners with the simplest of standards, why would you be expected to do the right thing when working on an aircraft or building a baggage pallet? When standards are ignored, the mission can fail and people can get hurt. That's why it's extremely import we get in and stay in the habit of following standards. "You cannot be disciplined in great things and indiscipline in small things" are words attributed to Army Gen. George Patton. When there is behavior that does not meet our standards, it is everyone's responsibility to hold people involved accountable for their actions and respond appropriately. It starts with you. If you see an issue, address it. Our military standards are higher than those in the civilian world because of what we do; we defend our nation. We are held to a higher standard by the public and it starts with appearance. That first impression someone has of you is a lasting one. There are many positives to having the standards we do. Take pride in the fact that you get to wear the Air Force uniform. We have the opportunity to show everyone good order and discipline is what we are about. Do the right thing, every time, all the time.