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Remembering MLK: Leadership traits and experiences applicable to today's military --

  • Published
  • By 340th Flying Training Group

On the third Monday of January each year, as we -- Air Force members -- civilian and military -- reflect on and celebrate the world-changing movements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we are reminded of how much of Dr. King's message mirrors our three core values: integrity first, service before self, excellence in all we do.

Integrity First -- “Cowardice asks the question -- is it safe? Expediency asks the question -- is it politic? Vanity asks the question -- is it popular? But conscience asks the question -- is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.”

Service Before Self -- “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Excellence in All We Do -- “Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Dr. King also encouraged creativity and innovation; and involved everyone through alliance, teamwork, and diversity. King recognized that the good ideas of others passionate about a cause could shape an organization's drive to meet current and future challenges. That same push for creativity and innovation is what drives military success today.

Many of the Way Ahead initiatives underway in DOD and the Air Force pay homage to King’s ideals and push us to continue to dream and innovate ...

AETC Commander Lt. Gen. Kwast's series on commander's intent: Innovation - Help us invent the future.

AF initiates plan for CSAF Focus Area No. 2

CMSAF discusses leadership, dedication, innovation at AFA