ARLINGTON, Virginia –
The Air Force recently updated the contents of The Enlisted Force Structure and The Profession of Arms: Our Core Values, more commonly known among Airmen as the “Brown” and “Blue” books.
Tradition and heritage are themes found within the revamped foundational guides for Airmen to emulate throughout their career.
“Our Airmen are the greatest competitive advantage we have to deter and defeat the fast-paced, complex threats we face around the globe,” said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass. “Airmen should approach our mission with the mindset of respect, pride, innovation, and a continued commitment to anticipate and embrace change to achieve excellence.”
The Enlisted Force Structure, or “Brown Book,” provides a standard baseline to best meet mission requirements, while outlining foundational and occupational competencies Airmen should develop as they progress in rank and responsibility. It underscores the importance of character in each tier of the enlisted structure and clearly outlines standards Airmen must meet and enforce to advance a culture of trust, respect and inclusion.
Although the core of the enlisted force structure remains the same, the updated “Brown Book” supports developing current and future Airmen by adding topics such as Airman Leadership Qualities, teaming, force development and multi-capable Airmen. The updates outline modernized development changes within the Air Force, in line with the vision to accelerate change across the enterprise.
The Profession of Arms: Our Core Values, known as the “Blue Book,” was originally published in 1996 and provides guidance to Airmen at all levels on the service’s institutional values and guiding principles. This revision extensively explains the Profession of Arms; Service Oaths for Enlisted, Officers and Civil Servants; Air Force Core Values and the Code of Conduct.
“We must periodically review and refresh our foundational guides to ensure we’re giving Airmen the tools they need to succeed in the future force,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown Jr. “What hasn’t changed, is every Airman’s responsibility to inspire others, set an example through personal conduct, and promote leadership and accountability across our force.”
The Blue Book calls on Airmen to be dedicated to continuous individual and institutional improvements. It emphasizes the importance of showing respect for others and implements a recommendation of the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military by clarifying that engaging in and tolerating sexual assault and sexual harassment are violations of the Air Force Core Values. Stalking, bullying, extremism and discrimination are additional behaviors cited as eroding the foundation upon which the Air Force was built.
In addition to the “Brown” and “Blue” books, Airmen can expect a new “Purple Book” to be released in the summer. The “Purple Book” will aim to educate Airmen about how Airpower fits into the joint-force environment and connects joint doctrine, values, capabilities and warfighting concepts that capture how the Air Force effectively partners with other services to protect America’s interests across the globe.
“Updating these foundational guides equips Airmen with the resources needed to become highly trained, educated, and adaptable to the threats our competitors present, and the significant role every Airman plays for the mission to be successful,” Bass said.
Developing and updating these guides was part of the 28 Enlisted Force Development Action Plan objectives focused on developing the future enlisted force. The revised “Brown Book” can be found here and the revised “Blue Book” can be found here.