The Core Values and golf

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. David Dixon
  • 141st Logistics Readiness Squadron Commander
Over the past eight years, I have had the opportunity and privilege to be associated with junior golf at North Central High School and with the Washington Junior Golf Association. What has impressed me the most are the volunteers and coaches who provide a level of mentorship not truly seen in other sports-related activities. Competitive golf can start at a very early age and the mentorship provided sets the stage for numerous future endeavors. 

The mission statement, if you will, of the Washington Junior Golf Association is a commitment "to supporting junior golfers by providing a comprehensive, competitive program which builds character and sportsmanship, providing lifelong benefits". While almost all sports are traditionally a medium for educating our youth about life lessons, the heart of golf relies upon abiding by those lessons learned. 

As a spectator of many competitive golf tournaments, I am continually reminded of our Core Values and the importance they bring to our everyday lives. As we all know, our Core Values are the standards every Airman is held to regardless of title or position. We must not only hold ourselves accountable at all times but those we work with as well. 

Integrity First - The game of golf is almost always played without the watchful eye of a referee or umpire thus relying upon the integrity of the participants to adhere to the rules set forth by the United States Golf Association. Compliance with regulatory guidelines without that "watchful eye" is the trust our leadership puts in each and every one of us on a daily basis. Whether it is simply signing off the Form 1800 when utilizing a vehicle or observing the checklist requirements of the AFTO Form 39 for a Fuels Hydrant System, "doing what is right" is a must. 

Service Before Self -
The expectations of those who play golf are common courtesy, good sportsmanship and discipline despite the level of competition. Being a "professional" regardless of the outcome of a match or tournament is essential to the basic foundations of the game. Our professionalism is a key part in the accomplishment of our duties to ensure we do not go down the path of the "easy way out". The current ops tempo we are experiencing can be stressful at times but the discipline instilled in all of us dictates otherwise. 

Excellence in All We Do - The game of golf is a never-ending pursuit of perfection. There is always room for improvement. As I have watched my son progress as a golfer over the past eight years, his enthusiasm to improve his game has grown substantially since his desire is that golf will someday be his livelihood. As Airmen, our "enthusiasm" should follow suit with the aspiration of continually improving ourselves whether it be technical or professional in nature. Each day is a new occasion to learn and that education is not always from someone who is senior. Seeking out opportunities for professional or technical development is the basic ingredient that breeds future success. 

The game of golf is just one of numerous areas where our Core Values can be found. The "spirit" of Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do is inspired in all of us prior to entering the service through many different venues. Each one of us is a role model regardless of our rank or position. Keeping the Core Values at the forefront in everything we do sets the tone necessary for future accomplishments.