• Published
  • By Col. Charles Webb
  • 96 TG
When I'm asked, "What is the most important trait of a high performing organization?" I respond, "'s all about teamwork." Successful leaders must inspire teamwork and individuals must feel they are teammates. In fact the Air Force core values form the basis for teamwork.

Integrity First: No team can function without trust, and integrity is the foundation of trust. Each member of a team expects his or her teammates to have integrity and will hold the team accountable for its actions.

Service before Self: From a high school athletic team to an elite special operations forces unit, teammates sacrifice for each other--it's one of the very reason we form teams. Selfless service is essential for a team to reach its goals, and a good team demands it.

Excellence in all we do: Walt Disney said, "Nobody in the room is smarter than everybody in the room." Walt's recognition of this key component to achieving revolutionary results is essentially a commentary on the value of teamwork. When we work together as a team, we can achieve a level excellence that is impossible to individually attain.

The biggest challenge facing the Air Force is not budget cuts, it's sexual assault. Sexual assault destroys trust and lives, and a good teammate would never let it happen. The same could be said of drinking and driving. The key to eliminating these individual failures is improving our sense of team. Much like siblings who make a living out of fighting (often just to drive their parents crazy) but rally against any outside challenge, dedicated teammates will never let anyone degrade or intimidate a member of their team or watch idly as a teammate makes a stupid decision.

Another area where a team can make a huge impact is resiliency. A team will know when a teammate needs extra support or professional help. Looking out for a teammate sounds a lot like...being good Wingman!

While all service members have sworn to defend the Constitution, research has shown that in combat, the reason we stand against the enemy is our dedication to our teammates. Whether it's a four-ship of fighters escorting a strike package, a tactical air control party deep behind enemy lines, or security forces protecting a forward operating base, we fight for our teammates, for that Airman next to us who is counting on us to do our part to ensure the success of the team. In our daily duty, it's still our teammates that motivate us to strive for excellence. From a surgical staff in an operating room, to the civil engineer crew that provides essential infrastructure, to the numerous maintainers, specialists, and support personnel it takes to launch a single aircraft, we rise above what we are able to accomplish individually when we work as a team.

Our core values demand teamwork. Our success in combat is based on teamwork. Beating our toughest problems will fail without teamwork. When you think about what it takes to be the most capable Air Force in the world, think:'s all about teamwork.