What does It really mean to be a United States soldier? Most would say that it takes the embodiment of bravery, selfless service, honor, and sacrifice. And most would be right. But what good would these coveted traits be in the hands of an irresponsible soldier? Every service member has been charged to maintain their arms, equipment and self at all times. If they don’t, they could easily take themselves out of the fight, putting themselves and their battle buddies In harm’s way. This Is called accountability. No matter if you are a Private First Class with an M-4, a Non-
Commissioned Officer with a squad, or a Brigadier General in charge of a post, everyone is accountable for whatever is assigned to them. One of the things that makes our military strong is the fact that It can assemble at the drop of a dime. This could not be achieved If those In charge were not accountable for themselves and their subordinates. In this paper I will stress the importance of responsibility in the United States Army. A Soldier must always actively strive to reflect well upon the Army. To do this, they must hold themselves to a higher standard than the rest of society.
From the outside looking in, It would be unreasonable for a citizen to place faith in a person who cannot even be responsible for themselves, especially with a task as great as defending a country. If It was a wide spread problem, It would reflect negatively on the united States Army and we would lose our support from the home front. As a soldier goes through his or her career and attempts to advance through the ranks in the Army, they come across many peers and superiors. Some of these peers’ lives could very well depend on that Individual soldier. So If he or she appears ate up, how old they entrust hall or her with their safety?
If somehow this irresponsible person were given a position of power, they would set a bad example for their subordinates to follow. Integrity is a value closely linked to responsibility. The Soldier’s code that states “treat others with dignity and respect while expecting others to do the same,” results In Increased Integrity because everyone holds themselves to higher values and expectations not Just for others, but also of themselves. Senior ranking personnel must be able to trust their soldiers to get the Job done, right, so that they can focus n their own responsibilities.
No’s and officers are not baby-sitters. At the same time, Junior enlisted personnel need to be able to trust that the higher ups will be able to guide them using their wealth in experience, knowledge, and personal motivation that has been instilled in them over the course of their career. Accountability and communication are important for unit cohesion because you are a unit, a team. Each of you are Important to the success of the overall mission. Professional reputation results from personal accountability.
Although Army leaders re responsible for mission accomplishment, their performance is measured by how well they perform. Just obtaining responsibility is not enough. What helps motivate performance is that we In the Army hold ourselves accountable through performance evaluation systems as well as Army Regulations and the uniform Code of Military Justice. 1 OFF Ensuring strict accountability for our military members should be relatively easy; soldiers are required to provide their supervisors with up-to-date contact information for the alert roster when they depart on leave and pass.
Even on their time off, they re required to be accounted for. A soldier is a soldier twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year. Self accountability is showing up to formation on time with all of the appropriate gear and sensitive items on hand. Someone with a clearance should especially be accounted for, because of all the sensitive information they have stored away in their memory, as well as any physical items or information that they have that could pose a threat to national security should the public get a hold of it.
Both responsibility and accountability differ from authority in the respect authority an be delegated, while both accountability and responsibility are universal and cannot be. First formation is especially important because your superiors can report to their First Sergeants and Sergeant Major how many soldiers are prepared to train and how many are tasked out. Accountability doesn’t Just mean showing up on time. It means responsibility. It means that if you fail a small part of the mission (to be on time), you must be held liable for your failure. For example, you were supposed to depart for a mission outside the wire on a deployment.
You are late to the convoy rife, the convoy brief must be given to you again, everyone is late to mount up, and the convoy misses its SP time. The Infantry unit waiting to link up with your convoy for additional protection might get ambushed because your convoy is late. This is all a result of the single event of a soldier not arriving on time. Accountability also reflects the responsibility the unit has over each and every person in that unit. Everyone is required to report for duty so that the commander can verify that he/she has all the unit personnel.
If a service member doesn’t show up and body notices, then the commander reports 100% accountability. If the soldier were to be found injured or worse, that commander would be in a world of hurt, as would each and every service member appointed over that soldier. A good soldier should be two steps ahead of the game at all times. That’s why showing up early, having an open line of communicate amongst peers and first line supervisors, and backwards planning can go a long way towards shaping a good, reliable and dependable soldier.
A good service member will not make excuses for himself, and will take responsibility for any mistakes that they will make so as to solve he problem head on rather than to go in circles playing the “Blame Game. ” Also, Before any action is made, all the possibilities must be considered and a solution must be handy. As a military intelligence analyst, I am trained that whenever I go into an area, I need to be fully aware of the surroundings I will encounter; to include the political happenings, economic standings, military operations as well as the military’s stance information is disseminated.
I need to know what the threat is capable of and what their previous tactics and methods were, their ideology and their strength in numbers. I should be cognizant of the climate, weather, terrain, structures in the area, and significant events taking place. Studying all of these things helps me to come up with a course of action when presented with a dilemma. From my knowledge base I can predict a second and third order effect of any action taken by friendly, neutral , or enemy personnel as well as gauge reactive possibilities that could occur from any other source such as a natural disaster or an emergency.
Being trained to think like this, I can also apply this level of preparation to everyday life in order to be more responsible. For example, If a soldier is going to go home on leave, it is that soldier’s responsibility to check the weather forecast so as to know that they will be covered for whatever Mother Nature throws at them, afterwards adjusting travel plans to come back the day before they are due and to verify transportation from a trustworthy source and budget properly before going on leave.
Sometimes being responsible means making personal sacrifices to ensure your own personal safety and accountability. If the forecast indicates that the weather will not operate with you so that you can’t report back in when you want to, then leaving a day earlier will ensure that the soldier is back on time, safe and sound. The military charges its service members to be financially responsible.
Every branch may have their own rules, but there are three fundamental areas of financial stability requirements that remain consistent across the board: family care, care insurance, and payments on time. A soldier not up to date with these things can become a serious target for information extraction due to the fact that the service member has need that a threat can supply. Financial negligence is a prime example of a soldier not taking care of himself.
A soldier’s future, and that of our nation, will rise or fall based in part on their willingness to accept personal accountability and their adherence to standards of behavior and moral values. Like ancient Rome, The United States Army can only be destroyed from the inside. It’s never too early to begin planting seeds of accountability in ourselves and our peers. Teach them, and remind yourself, that the winning strategy to the “Blame Game” is simply not to play.