I believe

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colorado -- Several months ago, I was in a class that was studying early creeds. One of the many things that stayed with me from this class was where the modern word "creed" is derived from.

The word creed actually originated from the Latin word credo, which means "I believe." When I heard this, my mind immediately began to apply this "I believe" criterion to our Airman's Creed. After some deliberation, I mentally changed the title of the Airman's Creed to read "This I believe as an Airman," and my mind has not stopped thinking about it since. Let's explore what it means to take our Airman's Creed, twist the title slightly to match the original Latin, and boldly profess: This "I Believe" as an Airman.

The words "I Believe" have such powerful and meaningful connotations. With integrity being one of our Air Force Core Values and the cornerstone of our daily operations, we would  not use these words lightly or in jest. What a powerful and bold statement it is to mentally or verbally profess the words "this is what I believe" before reciting our Airman's Creed. By professing this, it demands we take a hard internal look at the word "I" in "I Believe."

Do "I" truly believe the words in our Airman's Creed? Although our Airman's Creed is quoted by everyone from our highest leaders to our most junior Airmen at basic military training, only you can honestly answer that question. From its historic introduction by retired Gen. T. Michael Moseley, former chief of staff of the Air Force, April 18, 2007, many highly trained professionals have tried to plant the seeds of truth regarding our Airman's Creed in our hearts and minds. Generations of great Airmen want you to believe our Airman's Creed; only you, through self-evaluation, can honestly answer that question. A word of caution: if you do believe the Airman's Creed, understand there is an immense amount of responsibility to accompany the belief. Don't just be hearers of the Creed, be doers instead.

One of my favorite life passages I share with those around me is, "Live your life worthy of what you say you believe." In the context of our Airman's Creed, if you believe it then it should be manifested in the way you live your life. It should almost be part of your very being. It should be a light that shines brightly through you. If we are American Airmen, the Creed should be part of our DNA. In my mind, the word "worthy" in the above passage holds a certain weight to it. I envision a large Airmanship scale -- the ones used to weigh something -- with an Airman standing on one side and the Airman's Creed resting on the other. As Airmen, we should always strive to live our lives worthy of the Airman's Creed. In other words, we should always ensure our Airmanship scale is in balance. We should always be striving to apply the principles taught in the Creed to keep the scale in balance: living worthy of what we say we believe.

In conclusion, as we celebrate the eight years since our Airman's Creed was introduced, even if you don't agree with my feelings on the Creed, we should be able to find common ground in the fact that we should never let the Creed lose value. How can we accomplish this? Teach our Airman's Creed at all times, and only, if necessary, use words. Let your Airmanship light shine brightly!

This "I Believe" as an Airman.