Living the Army Values
As we begin our career into the Army and start going through basic training (BCT) we learn a new meaning of the words: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. We are taught to live and breathe these Army values. We start with Loyalty: The quality of being loyal or having a strong feeling of support or allegiance.
Bearing true faith and allegiance is a matter of believing in and devoting yourself to something. For soldiers, wearing the uniform of the U.S. Army we are expressing our loyalty to our country. And by doing your share, you are showing your loyalty, at the very least to your unit. Next is Duty: A moral or legal obligation; an assignment. Doing your duty means more than carrying out your assigned tasks. Duty means being able to accomplish tasks as part of a team. The work of the U.S. Army is a complex combination of missions, tasks, and responsibilities- all in constant motion.
Our work entails building one assignment onto another. You fulfill your obligations as a part of a team every time without taking “shortcuts” that might discredit the integrity of the assignment. Respect: A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievement. In the Soldier’s Code, we pledge to “treat others with dignity and respect while expecting others to do the same.” Respect is what allows us to appreciate the best in other people. Respect is trusting that all people have done their jobs and fulfilled their duty.
In my opinion, respect is different in the Army world, no matter how much you dislike someone or don’t think what they are doing is right, you must have respect for what’s on their chest. At the end of the day, I don’t believe that you must respect them as a person, but you do have to respect their rank, especially if that rank outranks yours. Next is Selfless Service: Doing a deed without expecting any reward or acknowledgment in return. Selfless service is larger than just one person. In serving your country, you are doing your duty loyally without thought of recognition or gain.
Selfless service is everyone going beyond what the tasks of the mission are. Selfless service is doing something without being asked because you know deep down that it is the right thing to do. Honor: bringing pride and pleasure. The nation’s highest military award is The Medal of Honor. This award goes to Soldiers who go above and beyond their task and duty, soldiers who risk their lives for others to protect the good of the country. Honor is a matter knowing what you’re apart of and being proud of whatever that is. It is about recognizing your own self-worth, whether it’d be ethically or morally. Integrity: The quality of being honest. Integrity comes down to one word, honesty.
Honesty is about being truthful no matter how bad the consequences might be for you or another soldier. As your integrity grows, so does the trust others place in you. The more choices you make based on integrity, the more it affects your relationship with family and friends. Integrity comes down to the moral principles you have within yourself. Personal Courage: Not letting your own fears, define you or get in the way of achieving your goals. Personal courage has long been associated with our Army. With physical courage, it is a matter of fighting through all the physical pain to keep fighting.
Facing moral fear isn’t an easy task. It means going against people who are your friends to get the job done. It means fighting through all the stress and crap we go through throughout the day just successfully complete the mission. You build your personal courage by standing up for the things you believe is right and not letting other people convince you that you’re the own the must changes because at the end of the day, your opinion matters, whether they agree with it or not. These seven words become important in a soldier’s life and they will always look upon them. It’s what the entire Army is based upon.
Being a member of the United States Army, it’s part of your duty to not only know the regulations, but to follow them as well. The army regulations have been put in place to create a standard to uphold, measure abilities, and create uniformity throughout the organization. Army regulations have been a guideline since the time of Barron Von Stueben, a Prussian officer commissioned by the Continental Congress during the American Revolution. Von Stueben knew then that all soldiers needed a guideline and a standard to be upheld to.
Standards from physical fitness, marksmanship, and even drill and ceremony. Von Stueben created the first army doctrine, “Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States”, which later came to be known as the “Blue Book”. Army regulations, pamphlets, field manuals, and memorandum for records provide the necessary guidelines to instill discipline. Which is the whole importance of following these rules and regulations, is knowing how to be disciplined, which isn’t just constantly following the standards set by his superiors but maintaining their professional appearance as well.
Discipline is: acting in accordance with the rules put in place and behaving in accordance with the rules of conduct as well as maintain the standard set by superiors. Being a soldier in the U.S. Army, disciplined is the most important quality you can uphold. Soldiers must be, and act disciplined in every situation they may find themselves in, whether it’s in or out of uniform.
Things change when people believe that they have personal control over their mission performance, the responsibility changes. Having disciplined and doing your duty are two of the main factors in being a successful Soldier in the Army. Being a disciplined solider is the key to making it back home from deployments. Or even worse, if you fail to be disciplined you could risk someone else’s life or your entire section’s lives in a combat situation. One example of being disciplined (or in this case, of discipline) is the reason why I’m writing this essay in the first place. Discipline is expected of EVERYONE.
Let me explain: Soldiers in the army are expected to keep to a standard, just the same, your first line supervisor is responsible in assisting in keeping that standard as well as setting the example. Each, and every soldier is responsible for maintaining themselves. Keeping up personal appearance, staying psychically fit, and being on time, are all forms or responsibilities we have day in and day out. It’s all these little things that help make up a good soldier. A single soldier can make a big impact on other soldiers around them.
This impact can be for better or for worse depending on how the soldier presents himself and the discipline he or she keeps. No one wants to see a bunch of ragged bums in the army. Being in the right uniform, at the right place, at the right time shows a basic level of self-discipline and motivation. As other soldiers take notice of someone doing these things it can help motivate them to further improve on themselves.
However, there is an opposite side to this. If a soldier is doing the wrong thing and not following orders properly, and others see there are no consequences to those choices, it can have a negative effect on other soldiers around them. It can cause others to not care as much about their responsibilities and lose their motivation. It is the soldiers’ responsibility to follow the guidelines set down by the Army regulations and it’s up to the NCOs and officers to make sure they’re getting followed properly.
As a soldier, we have standards to uphold, and it’s on us to make sure we’re doing the right thing even when others aren’t looking. All soldiers have a duty and obligations to follow these regulations and to make sure others are following them too. Part of fulfilling your responsibilities are knowing that you are part of a great team that only works when each of its members are doing their best and keeping that high level of discipline only a great organization like the Army can provide. Soldiers depend on their leadership as well as each other to maintain discipline as well as adhere to the standards; one team, one fight.
Every soldier is responsible for performing his duty to the very best of his ability and for trying to improve their performance, including personal conduct. Every soldier is responsible for treating other people with dignity and respect. Basically, in the U.S. Army soldiers are expected to fulfill our duties with discipline since both that and duty go hand in hand with each other.
You cannot perform your duties in a military manner if you are not disciplined and a soldier cannot show it without adhering to the standard even if it is keeping up with the appropriate military appearance (AR 670-1). It takes discipline to be responsible, although it doesn’t just come from having discipline. Generally, all the seven army values come together to build a disciplined soldier.
You need loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. It all comes down to being at the right place, at the right time, in the right uniform, following even the simplest of rules. Basic soldiering skills are what make reliable assets to the military out of regular soldiers. It’s a mistake I will try not to do again, even if it is something gets out of my hands I will try to control my actions and the way I organize and the way I present myself.
The guidelines and standards teach soldiers to maintain good order and discipline by adhering to strict, black and white, no nonsense standards. The standards are enforced by leaders to subordinates, peers, and seniors alike so that combat discipline will not suffer. Soldiers are expected to maintain excellent military bearing and discipline and attention to detail by referring to the appropriate publications to maintain their discipline.
In order to keep soldiers informed of new, improved, or changed standards a message or memorandum of record will be made to correct the faults in the appropriate publications. As leaders, the responsibility falls on us to not only enforce the standard but learn and abide by the new standards set forth by the army. The army attempts to keep all components informed by publishing and releasing new
changes to leaders but will ultimately fall upon the soldier, the non-commissioned officer, or officer to keep themselves and the ones they work with informed. The army created a standard for all soldiers to adhere to and in the most idealistic sense requires all soldiers to not only enforce but uphold. The army also created exceptions based on physical, age, and gender factors to name a few differences in personnel. Although the standards may be different at the unit level the army still has an overall standard.
An example would be if a unit required soldiers to perform the army physical fitness test with a score of 270 or higher but the army standard is a score of 180. Although a soldier may not achieve the unit standard he or she may still achieve the army standard. The army does not recognize “relaxed standards” or unit standards. The army has determined and set forth what the standard is, should look like, or should be. Unit standards may be different as set forth by unit commanders as he or she deems necessary but there will never be a standard put in place that is beneath or lower than the army standard.
Commanders and leaders have the authority to add to the standard but not take away from the established army standard. In closing, the importance of not only following the regulations and meeting the standards is a requirement for soldiers, by abiding by the standards promotes attention to detail, discipline, good order, and military bearing.
Unit leaders, non-commissioned officers, and officers must enforce these standards and regulations to subordinates, peers, and seniors. Leaders may also not pick and choose which standards to enforce and which standards to let slip below the established army standard. Leaders must remain informed, regardless of current leadership and unit standards, to inform their subordinates. Leaders are not just expected to know and enforce the standard but to be an example of the standard.
Every order that is given to a soldier is important, no matter what the circumstance is. An order is a task given to a soldier that must be done in a certain period in an efficient manner. There are three main reasons of why it’s important for a soldier to follow the orders they are given: To be disciplined, an effective combat, and be a good soldier and love your job. When orders don’t get followed, it doesn’t just affect that one soldier, it affects everyone in the team.
Unfollowed orders also disrupt the mission, it causes the mission to get delayed, or even worse have the mission fail. When soldiers don’t follow the orders, the objectives are hurt and the chances of winning the war get slim. When you’re in the army it isn’t just about you anymore, it’s about how your actions can affect your battle buddies and the other people around you. When a soldier doesn’t follow orders while in combat zone it makes the mission ineffective, if a single soldier in the unit is combat ineffective it lowers the chances of winning, making the leaders deal with a soldier that can’t handle the workload of the unit.
For example, if a Sergeant tells a private to prepare the weapons before they go out for the mission, the Sergeant is giving the responsibility of maintaining and checking weapons to that Private, so that they won’t have any problems with them later in the mission. Whether the Private knows or doesn’t know the “why” behind the orders he was given, the soldier still needs to follow the order without any questions because at the end of the day orders are orders in the Army. When a soldier follows the orders without any questions it extremely helps increase the chances of winning the war.
Soldiers must be able to follow orders and accomplish them effectively. The effectiveness of everyone doing what they’re told, when they are told unites every level of the team more, to make it where the leadership has no reasons to think they won’t do the right thing. When soldiers do the right thing, it releases a lot of tension from the leaders and the other members of the team. It allows every soldier to realize when we do what we’re suppose to be doing, it makes the mission go easier and smoother.
We are taught to follow orders un-questionably. We need to know our own individual work and follow commands and directions at the appointed time and actively. The key to a successful team work, followings and leading is learning how to follow instructions of those appointed over you. As a soldier we are used to being drilled almost every day listening to commanders, sergeants and everyone above our rank, in most cases it would be the people that have been in service more time than us.
The meaning of discipline in the army is taught from day one in basic training until the day we graduate and see our families. Discipline is vital to following orders efficiently, without it soldiers wouldn’t react fast enough when something is being commanded or would simply not be concerned enough to perform the task in hand, failing the team. We follow our commander’s orders because we certainly know that no matter what decision they make it will always be its overall good for the U.S, the army, and the individual soldiers.
When an order is given we need to fully understand the order and think about what needs to be done using the least amount of resources or time to achieve the mission in hand to complete the commanders or NCO’s specific commands. This is the most important key when performing a mission; the soldiers should never question the logic behind the command but should carry out without delay always knowing that their majors are always looking out for them.
When we join the service, to become a good soldier, we must be able to take orders and execute them no matter how hard or bad it is to do or follow. No matter your opinion, if you think what you’re doing is right or wrong or even unmoral, it doesn’t matter. We are taught to not question orders. For example, when a soldier is told to build a stage, and they are told to do it the way the leader wants it done, even if there is an easier way, it doesn’t matter. When you don’t follow orders, you can’t blame anyone else, but yourself for the consequences that come after.
Obedience is thought to enable the military to operate effectively and organized which is very important during all military situations. In the civilian world, you have the choice to question the tasks you are given, but as a member of the military, we don’t have that luxury. In the military, soldiers are obligated to follow rules., because the consequences are different compared to if we were civilians.
If we make mistakes or don’t follow certain orders, we can cost innocent people their lives or the lives of or comrades. Following orders prevents you from making disastrous mistakes and doing things that you might regret later in life. Those who know the importance of obedience in the military, show other soldiers not only the success you can achieve if you just listen, but a model in how to be a great soldier. The act of disobedience is considered an act punishable under Article 15, which is a place no soldier wants to be.