By Col. Steven J. Butow, Commander, 129th Rescue Wing
/ Published March 07, 2013
MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif. -- Novelist Clive S. Lewis is perhaps best known for his series, "The Chronicles of Narnia." As an Oxford University scholar and friend of J.R.R.Tolkien, Lewis was well respected for his wisdom and clever use of prose. One of his most well-known quotes is:
"Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching."
Integrity is a prerequisite character trait expected of all military members regardless of rank or time in service. In our Air Force, integrity comes first before all other core values. It is the foundation upon which men and women serve and sacrifice.
What value would our rescue motto "that other's may live" hold if one's integrity were questioned? The American public consistently holds the highest level of trust in the military, more so than in any other institution.
As the 129th Rescue Wing rapidly approaches its 1,000th life saved, we should all be proud of our individual role in supporting the mission and honor the contributions of all those who have come before us. Many 129th Airmen are currently deployed in Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa securing freedom and risking all to save the lives of Americans, Coalition partners and Afghan nationals. We owe it to them, and those who gave their lives in the line of duty, to preserve the highest standard of moral and ethical character in our Air Force. The public expects nothing less.
It is an honor to command the 129th Rescue Wing and share your individual stories with the community and our leadership. To this end, we must all pledge to keep Integrity First, so that your many accomplishments are not overshadowed by the deviations of a few. Through self-discipline and adherence to standards, all of us can share in the pride and honor that comes with wearing the uniform.