Did you really mean what you said?

  • Published
  • By Col. Michael Dillard
  • 22nd Maintenance Group commander
As Airmen, we have taken an oath of commission or enlistment. There are also various creeds and charges.

During promotion ceremonies oaths, creeds and charges are passionately recited. There are the chiefs' and senior noncommissioned officers' creeds, as well as the noncommissioned officer's and Airman's charges.

Traditionally, officers recite the oath of commission as part of their pin-on ceremony. These statements are more than just words. They are the very fabric of our character in our profession of arms.

When you recited the words, did you listen to what you were saying, or just repeated what you heard? Webster dictionary defines the following words: "oath" - a solemn declaration or promise, "creed" - confession of faith, and "charge" - an obligation or responsibility.

Officers, remember the oath of office you repeated during your pin-on ceremony? Chiefs, remember what you said?

"I am a chief master sergeant. I hold allegiance to my country and the Air Force. My devotion to duty and personal integrity are consistently above reproach. I wear my uniform and rank with dignity and pride. I lead and promote by example, high standards of conduct, appearance, courtesy and performance. I manage without compromise or personal gain. I merit the respect of my fellow man. My word is my bond."

Senior NCOs, remember what you said?

"I am a senior noncommissioned officer in the United States Air Force. I hold allegiance to my country, devotion to duty, and personal integrity above all. I wear my rank of authority with dignity. I promote the highest standards of conduct, appearance, and performance by setting the example. I seek no favors because of my rank. I am devoted to the concept of service rather than personal gain. I uphold the traditions of senior noncommissioned officers who precede me. I manage resources under my control with astute efficiency, and lead the way with the highest level of competence. I always strive to merit the respect of my fellow senior noncommissioned officers and all with whom I come in contact."

NCOs, remember what you said?

"You are charged with ensuring that personnel and resources under your control are effectively used. You are charged with remaining alert to detecting adverse morale trends and initiating corrective action within your control, providing appropriate feedback to superiors. You are charged with maintaining the highest level of communication and rapport with subordinates, remaining attuned to their needs, being ever minded that the key is empathy, not apathy.

"You are charged with actively encouraging and motivating both on and off-duty involvement in unit and base activities by leading the way. You are charged with ensuring that people are treated fairly by all agencies and activities, both on- and off-base, initiating corrective action in any instance which violates this principle.

"You are charged with always wearing the uniform properly and ensuring compliance from subordinates. You are charged with a personal responsibility to take advantage of on- and off-duty educational programs which will enhance your professional development in preparation to assume increased leadership responsibilities in your quest to attain higher NCO grades. You are charged at all times with presenting an image of competence, integrity, and pride - the image of a professional noncommissioned officer."

Airmen, remember what you said?

"You are entrusted to effectively utilize the resources given to you to accomplish your duties. You are entrusted to strive to be proficient at your duties, as well as to represent the military positively in the civilian community. You are entrusted to actively pursue the highest level of knowledge, both on- and off-duty. You are entrusted to never forget the accomplishments of the other Airmen who have come before you.

"You are entrusted to approach all situations with an open mind. You are entrusted to develop a military lifestyle that instills patriotism in everyone you come in contact with. In fulfilling these specific charges, Airmen will ensure their integrity, loyalty and devotion to duty remain above reproach at all times."

Do you remember what you said? More importantly - did you mean it?