The SL Coast Guard has three core values in which we believe from which we operate. Those three are Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty, established from its founder, Retired Admiral Sanstrom Laxness. These are also the United States Coast Guard’s core values and many other coast guards around the world today.
When I first joined the SL Coast Guard, I recall reading about these core values of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty, thinking what a good vision and mission to have in a group of a virtual world. It also was shown to me that they not only believed it and not paying ‘lip service’ to some fancy belief, but they also lived it. It was established to me by my superior Commanding Officers, Officers, and the Commandant as well.
It is defined in the forums if you get a chance to read them briefly.
We believe in demonstrating ethical conduct and moral behavior in all of our personal and organizational actions. We are loyal and accountable to the SL community.
We value our diverse membership, treat each other and those we serve with fairness, dignity, respect, and compassion. We encourage creativity through empowerment, and we work as a team.
- Devotion to Duty
We are professionals who seek responsibility, accept accountability, and are committed to achieving our organizational goals. We exist to serve. We serve with pride.
It is through our Chain of Command that we instill these values for our vision and our mission. If there is a breakdown in this, you will undoubtedly feel it. It will become known eventually through many arenas, including what every group in SL experiences in many ways of what some call ‘drama’ or a breakdown in specific individuals’ fairness and behavior.
We depend on our Command structure to work together in an environment conducive to success. Working together will enable everyone from Recruit to Vice Commandant to keep these Core Values in order and working as a group and as a team to show that we are just not stating a few great ideas but living them.
What does it mean to have Honor anyway? Honor is living with a sense of respect for what you believe is right. It is living by the virtues, showing great respect for yourself, other people, and the rules by which you live. When you are honorable, you don’t have to feel ashamed of who you are or what you are doing. You are worthy of respect. You set a good example. So how do you honor someone? You can observe them by just accepting who they are and moving on with your life. Honoring others is something that everyone can do. Make someone smile, show them you care, go the extra mile to make sure they have a good day.
Secondly, what does it mean to have Respect? Respect means that you accept somebody for who they are, even when they’re different from you or you disagree with them. Respect in your relationships builds feelings of trust, safety, and wellbeing. Respect doesn’t have to come naturally – it is something you learn. How do we show respect? Listen. Listening to what another person has to say is a primary way to respect them. …
Affirm. When we affirm someone, we’re giving evidence that this person matters. …
Be Kind. …
Be Polite. …
Last but not least is ‘Devotion to Duty’ What does ‘Devotion to Duty’ mean? It means to fulfill your obligations- professional, legal, and moral. Accept responsibility for your actions and those entrusted to your care. Our devotion to duty should include making every minute of our time as a member of the SL Coast Guard. It means dedication to those things in which you are responsible regarding your responsibilities.
These are great definitions, but it is just the best you can be to your peers, your Commanders, and yourself when you boil it all down. “Devotion to Duty” is our compass to these seas of SL that we partake in every day; it is the principles that guide us and for over 15 years has sustained us through many stormy conditions and continues to guide us through many more.
Admiral Allian Blackwell