Respect, teamwork breed efficiency

  • Published
  • By Col. Kimberly Cox
  • c39th Medical Group ommander
Due to recent changes in top leadership, the Air Force core values have been discussed in various forums. I would like to add my two cents as I near the end of my Incirlik tour.

In addition to integrity, excellence and service, I would like to highlight aspects of respect in our core values and add one more: teamwork.

The core value "Integrity First" includes the moral trait of self-respect. A person of integrity does not behave in ways that would bring discredit upon himself or the organization to which he belongs.

The core value of "Service Before Self" includes respecting others because all persons possess fundamental worth as human beings. Therefore, always ensuring you treat others as you would like to be treated is a basic way to ensure you do not discredit yourself or your organization.

Personally, I look for reasons to go beyond mere toleration of those different than me. Their opinions, views and thoughts are frequently deserving of respect, even if they are different than mine.

Respect means accepting the differences and understanding how different people work with us to get the job done.

If you respect your fellow Airmen, you focus on the mission, whether you like them or not. Thus, if we truly respect people, we do not compromise the mission with emotions, prejudices and dissent.

Respect allows us to be a follower or leader on the team and not the "non-team player."

The "non-team player" often resorts to passive-aggressive behavior that is destructive to a military organization and its mission. Imagine how quickly and effortlessly work would be accomplished if we treated everyone with respect.

Teamwork and respect go hand-in-hand.

Although I feel strongly about respect, teamwork is the by-product of respect because with it we work well together, and teamwork is not only easy, but effortless. That is why I add teamwork to my core values.

Although we value the individual and individual accomplishments, more is accomplished when we work together and the outcomes are often greater because everyone contributes and saves time in the process. One of the benefits of teamwork is mission accomplishment.

In these times of constrained resources, anything that propels us safely and efficiently toward the goal or mission is truly appreciated.

When teamwork and respect are evident in a unit, the work atmosphere is powered by goals and imagination. All ideas and ways of doing things are accepted ... the team is smarter, the work is manageable and the goals attained are, again, effortless and faster with a cohesive, engaged team.

I hope we all continue to embrace a variation of the Air Force core values: respect, integrity, teamwork, excellence, and service; and exercise these RITES to enhance efficiency and mission success.

I'd like to think the 39th Medical Group has performed using these RITES as they are part of our Strategic Plan in achieving success evidenced by: numerous team and individual awards, wonderfully high inspection scores, great patient satisfaction and many other spectacular accomplishments.

Know your RITES and be effective, efficient and energized. This applies to the mission and to you personally. After all, I am a medic and protecting the human weapon system is an integral part of my mission.

If we truly live and work with RITES we will minimize all types of mishaps for you and your family. Our performance will be valued and rewarded by families as well as the Air Force.