The Role of Culture and Leadership in the United States Air Force

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The Role of Culture and Leadership in the United States Air Force Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines culture as “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization” and leadership as “the act or an instance of leading.” The United States Air Force, like any other large organization, relies on leadership at all levels to effectively operate its mission. Further, the United States Air Force since it’s inception in 1947 has had a continuously evolving set of cultures unique to the organization. Joining these two concepts together has directly lead to the United States Air Force being held as the “Best Air Force in the World.” The United States Air Force began developing its own unique culture well before it was even established. The United States Army Air Corps, the forerunner of the United States Air Force, was established in 1926. This organization started many of the time honored traditions now associated with the United States Air Force (Beyland, 2011) . Many of the current units within the United States Air Force trace their units lineage back to units created under the United States Army Air Corps and still use organizational logos that identify them with those early units. This close association with early units and a keen interest in maintaining the stories of early military aviation pioneers (Beyland, 2011), show how the art of organization story telling (George & Jones, 2011) has shaped the culture of the United States Air Force as a whole. Members of the United States Air Force speak what many outside of the organization can see as a foreign language. Sentences sprinkled liberally with initial-isms and military jargon can lead to message confusion to... ... middle of paper ... ...eyland, T. (2011). Retrieved from United States Air Force website: http://www.e- publishing.af.mil/shared/media/epubs/afpam36-2241.pdf Christensen, B. (2004, February 18). Air force doctrine document 1-1. Retrieved from http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/service_pubs/afdd1_1.pdf Creech, B. (1995). The five pillars of tqm: How to make total quality management work for you. New York, NY: Penguin. George, J. M., & Jones, G. R. (2011). Understanding and managing organizational behavior. (6 ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall. McCarthy, J. (2007, August 31). Tried and true to air force blue: A leader remembered. Retrieved from http://www.nellis.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123066613 Vermillion, L. (1996). Understanding the air force culture. (Master's thesis, Air War College)Retrieved from http://www.dtic.mil/cgi- bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA393915
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