What is AFSA?
 AFSA is the Air Force enlisted organization dedicated to the people behind the stripes. The men and women behind the high tech machinery, the military protocol, the daring maneuvers ... the people who have invested their lives in the cause of freedom in America.

 Each year Congress makes hundreds of decisions on issues that directly affect the lives of enlisted people and their families. Important issues such as medical care, job security, salaries, commissary privileges and other benefits. There was a time when the voice of the enlisted Airman was nowhere to be heard ... until the Spring of l96l, when a handful of men came together to form the Air Force Sergeants Association. AFSA is an international organization dedicated to speaking out on behalf of enlisted Air Force personnel and today, with nearly 135,000 AFSA members, the voice of the enlisted rings strong on Capitol Hill.

 AFSA's membership is comprised of Air Force enlistees, both active and retired, of all grades, including Air National Guard and AF Reserve, and family members of Air Force personnel. The Association is headquartered in the Airmen Memorial Building just minutes from the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., and only one mile from Andrews AFB, MD.

History
Prior to the formation of the Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA), Air Force enlisted personnel did not have an independent voice capable of influencing legislation and governmental policies. This came at a time when Congress was questioning its promises to service members about education benefits, health care, pay, and a fair quality of life--all while we were waging a Cold War. During the post-Korean War era U.S. Armed Services were cut to the bone and attacks upon the military by members of Congress, the press, and even the American public resulted in promotion freezes, low pay and allowances, inadequate housing, and many other inequities. Life in the military was rough and much unappreciated. Enlisted life was the roughest. Many enlisted personnel began to talk about starting an association and DOD feared the unions would try to get involved. Of course unionization was not an option; but there remained the needs to educate lawmakers about enlisted life. Four enlisted visionaries from Bolling AFB, DC, decided to accept the challenge. MSgt Benny W. McGehee, TSgt Virgil Perry, SSgt Donald Ward and TSgt Lee Thompson applied to the District of Columbia for a charter as a non-profit association, which was approved on May 3, 1961. At that time, they applied to the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status. The IRS tax exemption was granted under Section 501 (c) (4) of the Internal Revenue Code. In 1975, AFSA received a determination from the IRS and the U.S. Postal Service that AFSA was essentially a “war veterans” organization within the meaning of Section 170 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. As a result of this determination, AFSA applied to the IRS and received approval for tax exemption under Section 501 (c) (19) of the Internal Revenue Code. Today, AFSA is a fully recognized professional military organization that is highly respected in the White House, on Capitol Hill, and in the Pentagon.

TODAY
AFSA is a leading member organization in The Military Coalition (TMC). Additionally, AFSA is one of the largest associations affiliated with the Council of Military Organizations (COMO) and the Ad Hoc Committee (AD HOC). AFSA is highly respected and well recognized on Capitol Hill, within the White House, and by community leaders, commanders, and senior commissioned and noncommissioned leaders at all levels. AFSA is an international organization with chapters located in the United States, Europe, and the Far East. The International Headquarters is located in the Airmen Memorial Building at 5211 Auth Road, Suitland, Maryland, 20757.

Preamble
 With reverence for God and Country and being ever mindful of the glorious traditions of the united States Air Force, our duty to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, our responsibility to aid in maintaining superior aerospace defense for our beloved country, our desire to assist in obtaining the highest caliber of men and women for our Air Force, our interest in the welfare of persons who served and are serving in the Air Force, our devotion to our fellow airmen in fortune or distress, and our reverence for the memory of our departed airmen, we unite to further the aims and objectives of this association.

AFSA CORE VALUES

Integrity - Patriotism - Service - Fraternalism

 Integrity is defined as a firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. In AFSA Manual 100-2, Policies and Procedures, Section 2, is the AFSA Code of Conduct. This code establishes 24 separate guidelines of conduct for all elected and appointed AFSA and Auxiliary offices, past and present to follow. It has been said, "The price of admission to the Air Force is Integrity First." This is the willingness to do what is right even when no one is looking, or the "moral compass"-the inner voice. Integrity covers several moral traits indispensable to any trustworthy organization. According to the Air Force, "The Little Blue Book," they are: Courage, Honesty, Responsibility, Accountability, Justice, Openness, Self-respect, and Humility. Like the Air Force itself, AFSA relies on its leaders and members displaying the behaviors of Integrity at all times.

 Patriotism can be defined as a love for, or devotion to one's country. According to http://patriot.org/, "The early Patriots of our history were considered traitors to the British crown. They were AMERICAN Patriots. They had a clear vision and a set of founding principles by which they sought to establish a new country - free from the control, taxation and oppression by a detached and powerful sovereign. They wanted and fought for their freedom - for their liberty!" Do you choke up when you here the songs, "America the Beautiful," God Bless the USA," "Star Spangled Banner," or "Taps?" Patriotism can even be found when researching the history and theory of anarchism. Here, it is defined as, "The love of one's birthplace. In short, the love for the spot, every inch representing dear and precious recollections of a happy, joyous, and playful childhood."

 Service is best defined, under AFSA's core values, as the act of serving as a helpful act, or useful labor that does not produce a tangible commodity. The Air Force's core value of Service Before Self means professional duties taking precedence over personal desires. However, in AFSA, the core value of Service takes on a more philanthropic role than that of the Air Force. This can be considered Service to one's fellow man-taking a supporting role in the community and in AFSA. An integral part of community service.

 Fraternalism is relating to, or the involving of brothers; or relating to, or being a fraternity or society. A similar term might be Brotherhood-the quality, or state of being brothers; an association for a particular purpose; or the whole body of persons engaged in a business or profession. Pope John Paul, in his New Year message to the world, prayed that the future would bring a more fraternal and caring world and said on Monday he hoped all people and nations would find peace and prosperity. "My gaze widens now to take in the entire world," he said. "I hope that the new millennium brings all nations peace, justice, brotherhood and prosperity." AFSA Manual 700-1 describes passages from Barbara Tuchman's book, "A Distant Mirror - The Calamitous 14th Century," on a meaning of Fraternalism. She says, of associations during this medieval period, "As nobles had their orders of chivalry, the common man had the confrere or brotherhood of his trade or village, which surrounded him at every crux of life. Usually numbering from 20 to 100 members, …they accompanied a member in his funeral when he died. If a man was condemned to be executed, fellow members accompanied him to the scaffold…If he died insolvent, the association furnished his shroud and the costs of the funeral and helped to support the widow and children." In AFSA terms, Fraternalism is the social and supportive camaraderie enjoyed by a group of people working toward a common cause. We are more than an organization-we are a family-an Air Force enlisted family.


AFSA MISSION STATEMENT
 "To advocate improved quality of life and economic fairness that will support the well-being of Air Force enlisted personnel; active, retired, and veteran."