Integrity, Service, Excellence: Basic cadets speak out on Air Force core values

  • Published
  • By Photos and interviews by Senior Airman Veronica Ward and Amber Baillie
  • U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs staff recently asked five basic cadets, all currently taking part in Basic Cadet Training at the U.S. Air Force Academy, for their perspective on  on the Air Force core Values. They had a lot to say.

"Just being around all the cadet (cadre) and basic cadets and interacting with them has really brought the importance of the values to my mind. Before the Academy I had held these values close to myself, but being in an environment where everyone values the same thing is refreshing. Each value has its own importance. You must be excellent and you must think of others before yourself."
Basic Cadet Monica L. Lubis
Hometown: Marshall, MiI.
Squadron: Aggressors

"I went to the Prep School last year, so this is like a reiteration so far. Integrity all depends on the person. How can you trust someone in the field if they don't have integrity? Service before self is a positive thing everyone should learn. To put yourself on the line is one of the greatest gifts to comrades and country."
Basic Cadet Alexander D. Grant
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Squadron: Cobra

"Being here does change your perspective. I didn't tell the truth all the time before, but now I know that integrity first is more beneficial. For service before self, it's a lot easier working as a team and putting others before yourself; it's usually reciprocated. For example, making beds is so much easier together. (Cadet cadre) likes to flip our beds a lot, but making beds is so much easier when we make them together. You can see each other's strength. In terms of excellence, they set high standards that challenge you and cause you to grow. We get more deliberate and more intentional with everything we do."
Basic Cadet Todd J. Link
Hometown: Seattle
Squadron: Demons

"I think cadet life makes you want to instill values. It's easy back home for mom or dad to ask if you swept the floor and you just say 'yes,' but the nature of the beast here compels you to tell the truth and have integrity in general. Service before self brings home the idea of we're all a team. If one person fell asleep in a briefing, you would see a whole flight in the hall doing push ups. It makes you hold yourself accountable for the good of the group. Excellence ties the other two values together. It's about taking care of the little things so the big things can take care of themselves."
Basic Cadet William A. Backenstoe
Hometown: Hilliard, Ohio
Squadron: Barbarians

"(The core values are) a legacy, a standard to hold yourself to and push yourself toward. Everyone here tries to live by them. It's a heritage you carry with you. You hear of honorees such as Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Lance Sijan and Gen. Hap Arnold who strove to uphold those values and did. I understand why they're a big deal here."
Basic Cadet Evan Loosen
Hometown: Kingfisher, Okla.
Squadron: Hellcats