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October 23rd, 2009, 11:37 PM
See what happens when you forget to call an officer by their rank? Essays! How very droll.

The Army Values, Respect for Senior Leadership and the Value of TactBy PFC Aeilder, aka "The Power Point Princess"

This is an essay regarding the seven Army Values, with focus on the importance of respect for leadership and the value of using tact within the military structure. To begin, it is important to first define by both military and personal agenda the concepts of the seven Army values.

The Army Values
"Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. constitution, the Army, and other soldiers.
Be loyal to the nation and its heritage."

I define loyalty as the willingness of a person to sacrifice at their own personal expense in order to protect, uphold, defend and edify those persons, ideals and/or things which they cherish most. The amount of loyalty a person feels towards someone or something determines how much they are willing to sacrifice for them. As a soldier, we are called upon to sacrifice every aspect of our lives - the physical, the mental, the emotional and the spiritual - in order to protect, uphold, defend and edify the U.S. constitution, the Army, our fellow soldiers and the nation and heritage (all those things about America that we have fought and died to achieve as a country; our structure of government, our laws and our freedoms, our prosperity) of our homeland. Our sacrifices demonstrate our loyalty and it is our loyalty that allows the America we know today to continue to grow and prosper as our ancestors hoped. It is worth noting that loyalty, as a rule, does not take into consideration the small, every-day irritants and disagreements that we encounter with the persons and things to which we are loyal; if it did, it would no longer require self-sacrifice but would instead be a matter of business exchange, or more appropriately, mercenary enterprise. This is why the Army definition of loyalty uses the phrase, "true faith"; to have faith means to believe even when the evidence and facts are in disagreement with the desired outcome of one's hopes and action(s). Loyalty means to believe that our personal sacrifices will be worthwhile in the end no matter how bleak the outcome may look in the present.

"Fulfill your obligations.
Accept responsibility for your own actions and those entrusted to your care.
Find opportunities to improve oneself for the good of the group."

According to The Free Dictionary:
Duty - the social force that binds you to the courses of action demanded by that force; "...every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty."- John D.Rockefeller Jr."

According to FORSCOM G8, "The essence of duty is acting in the absence of orders or direction from others, based on an inner sense of what is morally and professionally right.... Duty begins with everything required of you by law, regulation, and orders; but it includes much more than that. As a professional do your work not just to the minimum standard, but to the very best of your ability. Commit to excellence in all aspects of your professional responsibility so that when the job is done they can look back and say, “I couldn’t have given any more.” Take the initiative, figuring out what needs to be done before being told what to do. What’s more, take full responsibility for your actions and those of your subordinates. Never shade the truth to make the unit look good—or even to make others feel good. Instead, follow your higher duty to the Army and the nation."

I define a sense of duty as the feeling of obligation to act in accordance to our loyalties; as the actions of those who willingly sacrifice at their own personal expense as required in order to protect, uphold, defend and edify those persons, ideals and/or things which they cherish most. Without a sense of loyalty, there can be no sense of duty; what reasons would you then have to feel obligated to perform to the requested standards, to accept responsibility for your actions or the actions of others, or even to look for opportunities to improve oneself at all? Without obligation - that is to say, without being bound - sacrifice becomes nothing more than masochism at worst, a pity party at best. As soldiers, we are obligated to act on the loyalty we have for our U.S. constitution, the Army, our fellow soldiers, the nation and its heritage. This is our duty.

“Rely upon the golden rule.How we consider others reflects upon each of us, both personally and as a professional organization. Treat people as they should be treated.”

According to The Free Dictionary:
"re·spect (rfile:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Owner/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.gif-spfile:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Owner/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.gifktfile:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Owner/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image003.gif)
tr.v. re·spect·ed, re·spect·ing, re·spects
1. To feel or show deferential regard for; esteem.
2. To avoid violation of or interference with
3. To relate or refer to; concern.
1. A feeling of appreciative, often deferential regard; esteem
2. The state of being regarded with honor or esteem.
3. Willingness to show consideration or appreciation.
4. respects Polite expressions of consideration or deference"

According to FORSCOM G8, "Army leaders honor everyone’s individual worth by treating all people with dignity and respect. The leader who feels and gives the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them regard for himself. While he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect toward others, especially his subordinates, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself. Respect for the individual forms the basis for the rule of law, the very essence of what makes America. In the Army, respect means recognizing and appreciating the inherent dignity and worth of all people. This value reminds you that your people are your greatest resource."

I define respect as the ability to recognize and regard a person's boundaries, limits, and autonomy in both their personal and professional spheres of life. Appropriate interactions are based on this definition of respect. A senior noncommissioned officer recognizes the boundaries and limits of their position of authority as well as the boundaries and limits of the junior enlisted soldiers in their care, and vice versa; militarily, this is most commonly known as the "chain of command". The Army defines many of these boundaries for soldiers through codes of conduct, expected duties, and rules regarding fraternization; it also defines the limits of each soldier's career positions through policies, standards and identified levels of MOS training. It is most important to note, however, every individual’s ability and freedom to make their own choices - that is to say, their autonomy - and the ways that those choices may be influenced at the crux of decision. All the codes and standards and regulations in the world cannot change the fact that soldiers, as human beings, face the choice every day to react with respect or disdain in any given situation; and as human beings, they do not always live up to one another's expectations. It is the recognition of each person's autonomy that allows both leadership and peers to take into consideration the individual's boundaries and limitations, and to offer them the respect they are due, which more often than not then paves the way to respectful reciprocation. As noted in the paragraph above, those who feel respect and give respect to others most often inspire it from others for themselves. Respect can be summed up (albeit rather simplistically) as the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Selfless Service
“Put the welfare of the nation, the Army, and your subordinates before your own.Selfless service leads to organizational teamwork and encompasses discipline, self-control and faith in the system.Live up to all the Army values.”

According to FORSCOM G8, "Selfless service leads to organizational teamwork and encompasses discipline, self-control and faith in the system. Selfless Service means doing what’s right for the nation, the Army, your organization, and your people—and putting these responsibilities above your own interests. The needs of the Army and the nation come first. Selfless service means that you don’t make decisions or take actions that help your image or your career; for a team to work, the individual has to give up self-interest for the good of the whole. The requirement for selflessness doesn’t decrease with one’s rank; it increases.

I define selfless service as the actions soldiers perform above and beyond the call of duty as demanded by their sense of loyalty towards their cause. In essence, the loyalty soldiers feel toward the U.S. constitution, the Army, their fellow soldiers, their nation and its heritage drives them to go to even the most extreme levels of action in order to protect, uphold, defend and edify those persons, ideals and/or things which they cherish most. Selfless service is how the "average Joe" becomes the celebrated war hero; it is also how mountains of paperwork are finished long after COB has come and gone, and often how the overly-enthusiastic party-goer mysteriously gets back to the barracks before curfew. Selfless service is, to be honest, the only reason the Army can function at all.

“Live up to all the Army values.”

According to The Free Dictionary:
hon·or (file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Owner/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image004.gifnfile:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Owner/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image003.giffile:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Owner/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image005.gifr)
1. High respect, as that shown for special merit; esteem
2. a. Good name; reputation.
b. A source or cause of credit

3. a. Glory or recognition; distinction.
b. A mark, token, or gesture of respect or distinction: the place of honor at the table.
c. A military decoration.
d. A title conferred for achievement.

According to FORSCOM G8, "What is life without honor? Degradation is worse than death. - Lieutenant General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. Honor provides the “moral compass” for character and personal conduct in the Army. Though many people struggle to define the term, most recognize instinctively those with a keen sense of right and wrong, those who live such that their words and deeds are above reproach. Honor is demonstrating an understanding of what’s right and taking pride in that reputation means this: Live up to all the Army values. Implicitly, that’s what you promised when you took your oath of office or enlistment. You made this promise publicly, and the standards - Army values are also public. To be an honorable person, you must be true to your oath and live Army values in all you do."

Honor, to me, is the book of my life whereupon all those things which I was ever proud of or fulfilled by doing are written. It is interspersed with paragraphs - regrettably, sometimes even whole chapters - of times and things I will spend the rest of my life lamenting having done and gone through. But it is this book that I look to when all other reasons for struggling forward in life are too dim to see, too far to reach for support: my honor reminds me that not only can I continue on but that I must. For what is the point to anything, in this life or the next, if it does not in some way reveal more facets of your true self to you and the rest of the world? At least... that is what honor means to me.

“Do what is right, legally and morally.Be willing to do what is right even when no one is looking.”

According to The Free Dictionary:
integrity - an undivided or unbroken completeness or totality with nothing wanting
[Middle English integrite, from Old French, from Latin integritfile:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Owner/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image006.gifs, soundness, from integer, whole, complete; see tag- in Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company (http://www.eref-trade.hmco.com/). All rights reserved.

According to FORSCOM G8, "It is our "moral compass" an inner voice. People of integrity consistently act according to principles—not just what might work at the moment. People of integrity do the right thing not because it’s convenient or because they have no choice. They choose the right thing because their character permits no less. Conducting yourself with integrity has three parts:
1. Separating what’s right from what’s wrong.
2. Always acting according to what you know to be right, even at personal cost.
3. Saying openly that you’re acting on your understanding of right versus wrong."

My definition for integrity is simply this: "Honesty, consistently, in action." To be honest is to face oneself and see not what could be or what should be there, but what is. It is to acknowledge the facts of a thing and to base one's actions solely on those facts; it is to eliminate personal preference as much as possible so as to achieve the necessary outcome or goal, not simply the one that best benefits oneself. Honesty allows a person to see the entire puzzle and determine which pieces are lacking or are incorrectly placed, and to seek out the necessary pieces and positions so that the picture can emerge whole. When soldiers are acting consistently in honesty, in every circumstance and for every task, not only does it allow them to fill in their own empty spots (through practice, training and collaboration) but it allows leadership to correct and rework things so that the unit functions even more smoothly. Honesty, from the lowest level to the highest, should create opportunities for the Army today to become stronger and more battle ready than the Army of our past; integrity is what makes that happen on every level.

Personal Courage
“Our ability to face fear, danger, or adversity, both physical and moral courage.”

According to The Free Dictionary:
cour·age (kûrfile:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Owner/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image003.giffile:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Owner/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.gifj, kfile:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Owner/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image007.gifrfile:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Owner/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image003.gif-)
The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.

[Middle English corage, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *corfile:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Owner/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image006.gifticum, from Latin cor, heart; see kerd- in Indo-European roots.]

According to FORSCOM G8, "Personal courage isn’t the absence of fear; rather, it’s the ability to put fear aside and do what’s necessary. Personal courage takes two forms, physical and moral. Good leaders demonstrate both. Physical courage means overcoming fears of bodily harm and doing your duty. It’s the bravery that allows a soldier to take risks in combat in spite of the fear of wounds or death. In contrast, moral courage is the willingness to stand firm on your values, principles, and convictions — even when threatened. It enables leaders to stand up for what they believe is right, regardless of the consequences. Leaders who take responsibility for their decisions and actions, even when things go wrong, display moral courage. Courageous leaders are willing to look critically inside themselves, consider new ideas, and change what needs changing."

I will quote Winston Churchill for my personal definition of courage, "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." I must add that speaking ought to be done with adequate forethought, and listening ought not to be done as an afterthought.

I will move on now to the second topic of this essay; unsurprisingly enough, it is likely that my reader(s) will find it to be mostly composed of previously discussed ideas under my initial topic, The Army Values.

Respect for Leadership
There’s an old saying among Army leaders: "Take care of your people, and they’ll take care of you." The Army's strength lies in its people . . . "More than any other single factor of combat readiness," a former Chief of Staff of the Army once noted, "it is the way soldiers feel about themselves, their fellow soldiers and their outfit that is most likely to carry the battle." For the Army to work properly there must be a bond between the leader and those being led: a bond that rests not on authority alone – but on professionalism, good will, and above all mutual respect. The chain of command must respect soldiers, and the soldiers must have respect for the chain of command.Even with the very founding of the U.S. Army in the Revolutionary War, NCOs were instructed to treat all soldiers in their care with dignity and respect. That principle was well-stated a hundred years later (in 1879) by Gen. John M. Schofield, who wrote: "The discipline which makes the soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh and tyrannical treatment. On the contrary, such treatment is far more likely to destroy than to make an Army. It is possible to impart instruction and to give commands in such a manner and such a tone of voice to inspire in the soldier no feeling but an intense desire to obey. The one mode or the other of dealing with subordinates springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander. He who feels the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them regard for himself, while he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect toward others, especially his inferiors, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself."Today the Army defines respect as (Quote) "The regard and recognition of the absolute dignity that every human being possesses; incorporates diversity and compassion." An even easier way is to think of it as The Golden Rule – treating fellow soldiers exactly the way you would wish to be treated.

It should be noted that respect among members of the United States military should be offered even when the ideal - that is, mutual trust and loyalty between leadership and junior enlisted soldiers - is woefully absent. Proper military courtesy must still be rendered regardless of the failure on any soldier's part to conjure personal respect from their comrades. Such appropriate behavior can and should be mustered in spite of personal offenses, indifference or distracting circumstances.

Which brings me to the third and last topic of my essay, the importance of tact in the military.

According to The Free Dictionary,
tact (tfile:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Owner/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image008.gifkt)
1. Acute sensitivity to what is proper and appropriate in dealing with others, including the ability to speak or act without offending.
2. Archaic The sense of touch.

[French, from Old French, sense of touch, from Latin tfile:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Owner/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image006.gifctus, from past participle of tangere, to touch; see tag- in Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: tact, address, diplomacy, savoir-faire
These nouns denote the ability to deal with others with skill, sensitivity, and finesse. Tact implies propriety and the ability to speak or act inoffensively: "He had . . . a tact that would preserve him from flagrant error in any society" (Francis Parkman).
Address suggests deftness and grace in social situations: "With the charms of beauty she combined the address of an accomplished intriguer" (Charles Merivale).
Diplomacy implies adroit management of difficult situations: Diffusing the confrontation required delicate diplomacy.
Savoir-faire involves knowing the right or graceful thing to say or do: The hosts set the shy visitor at ease with their savoir-faire.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company (http://www.eref-trade.hmco.com/). All rights reserved.

It is a favored quote among the working class of Americans that tact is, "... making someone kiss your a** and like it." A less crass way of putting it may be, "Getting your way by making someone else think it was theirs." These are of course very negative ways to define the art of tactful conversation, but they make a pronounced contrast for the proper meaning of tact as I see it; that is to speak honestly in a manner that gets your point across without offending the individual to whom you are speaking (and who is likely not quite seeing eye-to-eye with you on the topic of conversation). A tactful conversation fulfills all the Army values: it demonstrates your loyalty to a common cause and your concern for your duty to it, affords respect to all parties in the discussion, shows selfless service in your willingness to go beyond common sentences such as, "Hey, I'm talking here!", brings you (and subsequently that which you represent) greater honor, is in keeping with your integrity and exercises your personal courage. That is my definition of tact.

This concludes my essay on The Army Values, respect for senior leadership and the value of tact in the military world.
Word count: 3400

References & Resources
FORSCOM G8 http://www.forscom.army.mil/reeng/Army%20Part1%20Values.htm#Respect (http://www.forscom.army.mil/reeng/Army%20Part1%20Values.htm#Respect)
The Free Dictionary http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/)
Corps of Discovery: United States Army http://www.history.army.mil/lc/The%20Mission/the_seven_army_values.htm (http://www.history.army.mil/lc/The%20Mission/the_seven_army_values.htm)
Word Count Tool: http://www.wordcounttool.com/ (http://www.wordcounttool.com/)

October 24th, 2009, 06:42 AM
I had to write something like that on exircise once but it was about the importance of not faling asleep while on gaurd duty lol.

That was a fun day honest cause living out of fox holes and writing is so much fun in the poring rain still i learnt my lesson.

I learnt that at night 2 persons are used for a reason and that the maximum stag should last is one hour shame i didn't knw back then or i'd have questioned my orders lol.

And writing beats getting charged any day of the week and i'm sure you learnt the key lesson which is don't get cault ^_^

October 28th, 2009, 04:33 AM
Actually, the only lesson I learned was that this particular officer didn't know themselves why we have rank; otherwise, the appropriate topic for the essay would have been the history of the military rank system and it's purpose. But then, what do I know? I'm just a lowly PFC.

October 31st, 2009, 06:06 AM
Welcom to my world, i have found i hard to belive that i keep being told i don't get paid to think, then on the other hand i keep getting told use your iniative i guess you just can't please them all