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Air Force recognized for ethics program

By Staff Sgt. C. Todd Lopez

WASHINGTON (April 08, 2004) -- The Air Force was recognized April 7 at the Pentagon for outstanding achievement in developing and managing its ethics program.

Marilyn L. Glynn, acting director and general council of the Office of Government Ethics, presented the 2004 Outstanding Ethics Program Award to Secretary of the Air Force Dr. James G. Roche.

"Your ethics staff has done an outstanding job of establishing a program that exemplifies the integrity that is the hallmark of the Air Force," Ms. Glynn said. "One of the most important things your office has done is build a strong ethical culture within the Air Force."

The program is one of 12 federal programs recognized this year. Selection was based on a review during 2003. Ms. Glynn said experts found the Air Force way of doing things went beyond what was expected of federal agencies.

"You have ethics training that goes way beyond the minimum requirements," Ms. Glynn said. "You have Web-based training for your employees. You do face-to-face training with senior executive service (members), general officers and higher-level political appointees. You have points of contact within offices that help establish a means of communicating ethics information to various components. Other agencies don't have anything even close to that."

Secretary Roche said that having the ethics program is not enough. People must understand why they need to act ethically, he said.

"We have to have people willing to participate in the program who will understand that the program is designed to help them and to help the United States Air Force," Secretary Roche said. "Ethics is a philosophy of how you do your business and how you deal with people and how you view your responsibilities. When there is an ethical lapse by any one of us, it hurts and taints us all."