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Discussing "Valor and Service"




“Valor and Service”

 (Command Teams: Use this template to customize your discussion)

Download the template HERE



Introduction – Technical Sergeant John Chapman was the first Airman to be awarded the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.

This discussion addresses the Air Force Institutional Competencies of “Embodies Airmen Culture” (Subcompetency: Warrior Ethos) and “Leading People” (Subcompetencies: Develops and Inspires Others and Takes Care of People). Understanding our history and heritage are an integral component to mission accomplishment.

Learning Objectives –  

1.       Understand who Technical Sergeant John Chapman was

2.       Explore how Sergeant Chapmen lead with honor

3.       Discuss why it is important to value our history and heritage

Main Points

1.       Sergeant Chapman is the first Airman to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War

2.       Sergeant Chapman’s actions during the 2002 mission on Takur Ghar mountain in Afghanistan were heroic  

Sergeant Chapman’s role in military history is solidified as a Medal of Honor recipient


1.       Webpage for Medal of Honor Recipient Technical Sergeant John Chapman

2.       Airman to be awarded Medal of Honor

3.       Feature video about Air Force Tech. Sgt. John A. Chapman, Medal of Honor (3:31)

4.      Graphical video representation of real events involving Air Force Tech. Sgt. John A. Chapman, Medal of Honor recipient (8:56)

5.       Air Force Technical Sergeant John Chapman – ISR Feed Highlights (1:30)

6.       List of US Air Force Medal of Honor Recipients

Additional resources / links – Technical Sergeant’s story is also told in the book Two Wars written by Army Ranger Nate Self. Additional resources can be found here.


·         Goal: To increase communication among command teams and their Airmen to facilitate trust and team building. This lesson will facilitate that goal while discussing a specific topic with a small group members of your unit.

·         Questions for Command Teams to discuss:

o   Why do you think this conversation is important?

o   What do you want your Airmen to walk away from this discussion with?

o   What group will you be discussing this topic with (i.e., First-Term Airmen, CGOs, NCOs/SNCOs, civilians, supervisors, flight commanders)?

o   What forum will you be discussing this in (i.e. as part of a staff meeting, at a stand-alone event, at a commander’s call, during a brown-bag lunch session)?

o   Who will lead the discussion? Which Command Team members have a role?

·         For additional information on how to facilitate discussions, recommend reviewing the Facilitator’s Guide under the “Leading Squadron-Centered Learning” tab.


·         Introduction – What we’re going to talk about today and why

·         Goal – to keep the importance of teambuilding in the forefront of our minds

·         Timeframe – 30 minutes

·         Part I – Read Sergeant Chapman’s biography, the summary of what took place during his final mission in March 2002, and watch at least one of the videos.

·         Part II – Discussion:  Review the questions for thought and questions for discussion to develop your own questions specific to your organization.

o   SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION 1: Who was Technical Sergeant John Chapman?

o   SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION 2: What was his role as a special operator in Afghanistan in 2002?

o   SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION 3: How were his actions considered heroic?

·         Part III – What do you want your Airmen to walk away with? Do you want to challenge them to take action or change their behavior or step out of their comfort zone as a result of this lesson?


·         Additional Discussion Questions

o   Is your squadron intentional about discussing and honoring our Air Force heritage?

o   How were Sergeant Chapman’s actions heroic?

o   How can we honor Technical Sergeant Chapman today so he is remembered in the future?

o   Have you been part of a team that operates with such high trust among its members?

o   What did you reflect on as you watched the Medal of Honor ceremony?

o   What can we do as a squadron to honor Sergeant Chapman? Are there others you would like to remember or honor?