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I CARE Core Values

I CARE Leadership Message

Message From Leadership

Secretary Robert McDonald


Reaffirmation of Our VA Mission and Values

No organization can succeed without values to match its mission. Our mission, as the Department of Veterans Affairs, is to care for those “who shall have borne the battle” and for their families and survivors. Our core values focus our minds on our mission of caring and thereby guide our actions toward service to others.

These values — Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence — define our culture and strengthen our dedication to those we serve. They provide a baseline for the standards of behavior expected of all VA employees. They remind us and others that “I CARE”:

    I care about those who have served.
    I care about my fellow VA employees.
    I care about choosing “the harder right instead of the easier wrong.”
    I care about performing my duties to the very best of my abilities

As I said in my confirmation testimony and in my all-hands video message on my first full day with you, I am convinced that it is critical that all of us at VA reaffirm our commitment to our mission and our values. Our commitment to serving Veterans must be unquestioned. Veterans must know that we are “all in” when it comes to accomplishing our mission and living by our values.

Therefore, I am directing that all Under Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries, or those acting in that capacity, report to me by Friday, August 22, via email or phone call, that they and their employees have reaffirmed their commitment to both our mission and our values. I intend this reaffirmation to be the first of many, to be repeated by each employee each year in March, on the anniversary of our establishment as a Department.

I am proud to be part of this VA team; I look forward to getting to know you and setting about the hard work ahead. Thank you for your service to Veterans.

Robert A. McDonald