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Top chief elaborates on Airman pride

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley congratulates an Airman during the Airman's coin ceremony at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, on Aug. 7. The ceremony marks the transition of a trainee to an Airman.  Chief McKinley was a speaker during the ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr.)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley congratulates an Airman during the Airman's coin ceremony at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, on Aug. 7. The ceremony marks the transition of a trainee to an Airman. Chief McKinley was a speaker during the ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr.)

A basic trainee sheds a tear during the Airman's coin ceremony at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, on Aug. 7.  Trainees in their sixth week of basic military training receive an Airman's coin marking their transition from trainee to Airman.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr.)

A basic trainee sheds a tear during the Airman's coin ceremony at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, on Aug. 7. Trainees in their sixth week of basic military training receive an Airman's coin marking their transition from trainee to Airman. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr.)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley hangs the Marksman pennant on a flight's guidon signifying "top flight" during the Airman's coin ceremony at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, on Aug. 7. The ceremony marks the transition of a trainee to an Airman.  Chief McKinley was a speaker during the ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr.)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley hangs the Marksman pennant on a flight's guidon signifying "top flight" during the Airman's coin ceremony at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, on Aug. 7. The ceremony marks the transition of a trainee to an Airman. Chief McKinley was a speaker during the ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr.)

SAN ANTONIO (AFPN) -- The top enlisted Airman shared his thoughts on Airman pride during his visit here.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley was in San Antonio to check out basic training at Lackland Air Force Base and security forces expeditionary training at nearby Camp Bullis.

The chief was impressed with the training he witnessed and said that it is vital to the Air Force's ever-increasing expeditionary nature.

"The warrior ethos that we are teaching now and integrating into basic training is very important," he said.

While at Lackland, he witnessed the presentation of the Airman's Coin to the basic trainees in their final week of training.

"We tell them during that coin ceremony that from this day on we are going to call them Airman," Chief McKinley said. "But sometimes, we get them to their first duty station and we call them kids. We call them troops. We call them the cats and dogs of the dorms. And they're not. They're Airmen."

The chief's thoughts on Airman pride also touch on how people represent the Air Force.

"It's pride in how you wear your uniform, how seriously you take your physical fitness and pride in your unit, base and local community," he said. "Be the whole-person Airman."

The Air Force core values are good to reference for anybody who doesn't understand how to be the best Airman, the chief said.

"The things that are our basic framework like discipline, standards and customs and courtesies, these things we learned in basic training, we need to carry on and use," Chief McKinley said.

An example of this is the disgraceful mobs that often gather just inside the doors of buildings on bases across the country, right before retreat is played. The chief believes that Airmen should be eager for the opportunity to honor the flag and their nation.

"Be proud to be an Airman and proud to live in this great country of ours," he said. 

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