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Airman's Creed exemplifies warfighting ethos

WASHINGTON (AFNEWS) -- The Air Force chief of staff introduced the new "Airman's Creed" April 18 to provide Airmen a tangible statement of beliefs that they can hold most dear.

The Airman's Creed reflects pride in the role of air, space and cyberspace power and the Air Force's commitment in supporting and defending the nation. The creed is fueled by the Air Force's heritage and a warfighting ethos that exists in all Airmen, Gen. T. Michael Moseley said.

"Our new Airman's Creed reminds us all of the incredible combat heritage we have as Airmen," he said. "So it's not entirely out of coincidence that we're debuting the creed on the 65th anniversary of the Doolittle Raiders' heroic strike at the heart of Imperial Japan in 1942. Like many Airmen of the past, the Raiders exemplified our warfighting spirit, and remain an inspiration to us all."

General Moseley said having an Airman's creed is like a blinding flash of the obvious. The creed simply and concisely puts into the words the warfighting spirit that exists in Airmen past and present.

"Every single Airman, every person who walks across the parade deck at Lackland (Air Force Base, Texas), and every person who is commissioned is a combatant. That is our culture," General Moseley said. "We're a combatant Air Force; our mission is to fly, fight and win our nation's wars. We should embrace the notion that the Air Force is a combatant organization."

Since Operation Desert Shield in 1990, the Air Force has deployed and fought in the Persian Gulf region and other regions around the world by displaying its warfighting ethos. Having a warfighting ethos is part of the Air Force's soul, General Moseley said. But, that ethos goes beyond just the last 16 years.

"The contribution of every Airman brings American military might to bear with the least possible loss of friendly lives and the maximum possible loss of hostile lives. That is an inherent good. That is the benefit of the American airpower that goes back to when Billy Mitchell said the same things in the 1920s," General Moseley said.

It's the rich heritage of airpower and the missions Airmen carry out around the world every day that give Airmen their warfighting ethos and bring about the reason to have an Airman's Creed - an Airmen first mentality.

"This (Airman's Creed) is wrapping ourselves in who we are and in our culture," General Moseley said. "It matters in everything we do from the organizational structure of a wing to our acquisition systems and from how we train to how we deploy. Everything about us is wrapped around our notion of American airpower. The warfighting ethos is a mind set."

The Airman's Creed was not created to regain some ideal that was lost or never identified. It was created to focus on and identify a spirit -- a warfighting ethos -- that transcends time from the past, to the present and into the future.

The Airman's Creed encapsulates what it means to be an Airman, to have pride in service, General Moseley said.

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley recently returned from visiting bases in Europe where he recited the new creed to Airmen and he received positive feedback.

"The response I got from Airmen was absolutely fabulous," Chief McKinley said. "I think this will be something special to Airmen. This new creed every Airman will know and be able to recite; but more than that, it's something they can have in their hearts. We've had so many unofficial creeds for such a long time and now we will have an official Airman's Creed."

The Airman's Creed derived from a collaborative effort and feedback from Airmen throughout the Air Force. General Moseley said the Airman's Creed is designed to resonate with Airmen past, present and future.

"This is about our people and an Air Force that is fundamentally different than any other service," he said. "This is about where we've been and where we're going as an Air Force.

"We're attempting to give credit to 700,000 Airmen -- Active, Guard, Reserve and civilians -- who fight our nation's wars and give them the sense of ownership of a combatant organization, whether it is through changes at BMT, Airman battle uniform, the new service uniform or a focus on warfighting skills," he said. "This is to recognize who we are and the contributions we have made and make and to set the course for the future with a refined, reemphasized and remilitarized Air Force."

Click here for the Airman's Creed