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SECAF: Integrity first

By Staff Sgt. C. Todd Lopez

WASHINGTON (Nov. 04, 2005) -- The newly confirmed Secretary of the Air Force has set a strong emphasis on both individual and organizational responsibility and accountability -- one of his goals for his tenure.

"We have to continuously emphasize the integrity of purpose and integrity of the individual," Secretary Michael W. Wynne said. "The Air Force core values are to be revered."

Newly confirmed Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne talks about some of the early goals he has for the Air Force during an interview in his Pentagon office, Oct. 28. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jim Varhegyi.

Accountability is nothing new to the Air Force. It is inherent in the service's core values -- values memorized and recited by Airmen from their first few days in military training.

"If you think about it and move through them in a deliberate way, 'integrity first' is a very good way of saying let's be accountable for our actions and let's set personal standards and adhere to them," Secretary Wynne said.

Accountability in the Air Force stretches across many areas, from the individual actions of Airmen in the workplace to actions taken by those in the acquisition community that spend taxpayer dollars to equip the Air Force, said Secretary Wynne.

The secretary is looking to "put in place a governance and transparency so that we foster a process oversight that maybe we never had before. Say what you are going to do, and do what you say. Set a standard and then adhere to the standard. I think in (most places) it is already there," the Secretary said.

In the past few years, there have been several issues that have caused some to question the service's commitment to its core values. Secretary Wynne says the formula for regaining and keeping confidence in the Air Force is simple.

"If we can sustain the mutual respect and integrity, and have people accountable to the standard, we will drive away a lot of our critics," he said. "Our critics will become bored with people who set high standards and then adhere to those high standards."

Mr. Wynne was sworn in as the 21st Secretary of the Air Force Nov. 3 during a ceremony at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.