When talking about the US Army’s values, the first thing that comes to mind is the acronym LDRSHIP. This acronym’s seven letters stand for the seven core army values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. In this essay, I will describe how I adopted the listed values. The paper also contains ideas on how to create an environment of respect and dignity.
To begin with, it is necessary to explain the meaning of every value mentioned in the introductory paragraph. Loyalty means that a soldier should be committed to the US Constitution and the US Army itself. Duty implies that a solder should be a responsible person whose actions are driven by the feeling of rightness and who always fulfills the obligations. Carter (2015) claim that duty was the single value that identified the first Army ethos established in the early 1990s. The value of selfless service signifies that a soldier of any rank is expected to sacrifice himself for the sake of the well-being of the nation, the superiors, and even subordinates. Integrity suggests that a solder should do only legal and morally right things. In the 1980-s, in the US Army, integrity “was the glue that held everything together” (Carter, 2015, p. 1). Carter (2015) emphasizes that the values of duty, selfless service, and integrity are tightly related. That is because selfless service and integrity are an indispensable part of the former value.
If one wants to show respect, he or she should treat others in a decent manner and not insult them. The concept of personal courage implies that a soldier should not shrink from challenges and dangerous situations. Finally, all of the previously described values have little sense without honor. According to Kusch (2011), honor is the most significant value for a line soldier. This value obliges a soldier to live following the army values and never recede in the face of danger and fear of death.
Having briefly outlined the essence of the seven army values, it should be noted that adopting some values required to change the worldview. Specifically, this refers to the concepts of selfless service, integrity, honor, and personal courage. Without a doubt, an ideal soldier will be willing to give life if it could help the nation or another person. The problem with these values is that children are raised with the idea that there is nothing more precious than life even if one loves the country, where one lives, and to which one serves. Therefore, the adoption of these two values required some time.
The commitment to these four values was inspired by the feats of US Army soldiers. One example is Ty Carter’s actions in the Afghan War while defeating a Combat Outpost Keating. In spite of the fact that Carter’s union was surrounded and significantly outnumbered, for 12 hours, he managed to maneuver between different positions under enemy fire to strengthen weak points and let the wounded soldiers a chance to cover. In the words of Votaw (2015), Ty Carter did this “disregard for his own wounds and safety” (para. 5). There are also numerous other inspiring cases, and all of them convinced me that the desire to care only about personal well-being is not compatible with an image of a perfect military man. Besides, the phrase that I have chosen to dedicate my life to the US Army should be more than just words; it should be supported by appropriate actions and behavior.
Regarding the other three values, I have adopted them much earlier than I decided to relate life with military service. No matter what is the profession of a person and how old he or she is, it seems necessary to be honest, loyal toward others, and responsible. Undoubtedly, in some circumstances, it is tough to follow some of these values. Nevertheless, striving to be a decent person motivates me to adapt to the values of loyalty, duty, and respect and never forget them. Probably, the most useful way to adapt to these values was to ask myself if my behavior and actions correspond with an image of an ideal soldier and worthy community member.
To conclude, I would like to address how to enable an environment of respect and dignity. First of all, the absence of harassment, abuse, humiliation, and discrimination is not the only factor contributing to the establishment of such an environment. It is essential to encourage mutual support and create appropriate conditions in which this support could be shown. It is also vital to train soldiers to demonstrate respect and dignity and explain to them on real-life examples why these qualities are essential. If soldiers are aware of the devastating consequences of the absence of either of two values, they are more likely to remain committed to them. Finally, it could be suggested that it is impossible to create an environment of respect and dignity if the superiors do not suppress gossip and bullying.
Carter, W. B. (2015). Army values: “C-LDRSHIP”: Confronting the realities of change. Military Review, 1-2. Web.
Kusch, J. (2011). Employing the seven Army values to win hearts and minds. The Journal of Values-Based Leadership, 4(2), 1-8. Web.
Votaw T. D. (2015). The Army; Selflessly Serving. U.S. Army. Web.