The specifics of a military career require a different set of personal qualities and put an emphasis on the Army values that guide soldiers to excellence. Respect is one of the seven ideas of the U.S. Army, along with loyalty, duty, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage (United States Government U.S. Army 2). The service in the U.S. Army is more than just a professional choice, and a soldier presents oneself in all aspects of life in accordance with its principles (United States Government U.S. Army 2). Among these ideals, respect requires additional consideration due to the intricate relationships between all soldiers regardless of their ranks. This essay examines the role of respect in the U.S. Army and discusses its importance among soldiers of any position.
The seven ideals, also known as LDRSHIP, lie in the core of the spirit of the U.S. Army and are detrimental to its success. These ideas aim to create positive relationships that are crucial for the successful completion of operations. Their purpose is to uphold the order within ranks, ensure that the chain of command will not be broken under any circumstances, and keep the priorities of soldiers aligned with their mission. They exist for both leaders and their subordinates and must be held at the highest priority at all times. Military leaders are expected to represent these values at their best to serve as an example for their subordinates, who must also strive to live by these standards (Lis 69). These seven ideas are an inseparable part of a soldier of the U.S. Army.
Respect is equally vital among both commanders and soldiers and will be discussed from the point of each position, as well as in general. It is an attribute of a character that must be molded over time and can not be merely trained as a skill (United States Government U.S. Army 6). To understand the value of respect, a soldier must be empathetic towards others to be able to relate to their motives and situation, as well as to predict their reaction to one’s actions and decisions (United States Government U.S. Army 22). This critical personal quality enables proper assessment of any situation that will enhance the performance of an entire unit.
In general, respect guides soldiers through their careers and life. Lis states that “respect for others and treating them as they should be treated are indispensable behaviors for establishing and maintaining a positive organizational climate” (68). Recognition of value in every human being might be a difficult task for a person, especially on a battlefield. Nonetheless, respect saves lives and positively affects both the U.S. Army and the nation.
For every soldier, respect is an indispensable guide through both his or her career and life. Thompson et al. conclude that it is vital for a soldier “to recognize the dignity and worth of all people,” as this realization allows him or her the motivation to perform at the highest level. From such a perspective, respect must be given to any person, including enemy soldiers and noncombatants. Respect towards the enemy can lead to a quicker resolution of a conflict and the prevention of the loss of life (Collins 5). Soldiers must respect civilian values, and the military system must be open to societal changes and influence (Collins 7). Respect is crucial in all relationships of the military system, whether they are aimed outside or inside.
In the army, leaders are people who have earned their respect by proving their competence and strength of character that makes them worthy of it. Thompson et al. state that “the military rank structure is necessary for maintaining good order and discipline along a clear chain of command.” In turn, they are expected to show respect towards their subordinates, inspire them to follow the values of the U.S. Army, and motivate them to exhibit prosocial behavior (Lis 60). A respectful leader increases the confidence in his or her subordinates, assuring soldiers of the importance of their operations (United States Government U.S. Army 27). Tactful communication fosters a nurturing atmosphere that can be a deciding factor in life-or-death situations.
The role of respect is especially critical in an operational environment. Strong leadership is a crucial element of combat power that significantly improve the chances of a unit reaching the desired outcome (Lis 69). Therefore, any soldier undermines the success of an operation by showing disrespect towards his or her peers, as well as subordinates or commanders. The respectful attitude among soldiers of any rank ensures higher efficiency of communication and boosts discipline (Lis 70). This ideal improves the professional image of the U.S. Army’s authority and increases confidence and resilience in soldiers (United States Government U.S. Army 27). These qualities have a strong positive effect on the success of a mission.
It is in the interest of the U.S. Army to promote and teach respectful behavior. Failure to communicate this notion can significantly limit the potential of an entire operation and harm not only the army’s image but also its members. To achieve the desired quality of social interactions, a military organization needs to train its members to possess emotional awareness and acceptance (Collins 9). Moreover, a leader who exhibits respectful behavior can provide a significant boost to the promotion of proper organizational values (Lis 68). Understanding others and treating them ethically and morally right is an appropriate way to express genuine respect.
The lack of respect can lead to disastrous results both in an operational environment and in peacetime. The U.S. Army operates outside of combat situations with the same set of ideas to promote the excellent behavior of its members. In a combat situation, a soldier must prioritize people over egoistic decisions and behavior. Thompson et al. argue that “any disrespectful interaction strips dignity and leaves people feeling oppressed, humiliated, ignored, belittled and de-energized.” Toxic behavior leaves all mission participants in danger, as it opens up a way for unnecessary risk, insubordination, and a self-centered attitude (Thompson et al.). Under the U.S. Army Values, any disrespectful action is strictly prohibited to ensure the strength of the nation.
In conclusion, respect lies in the essence of the U.S. Army’s cohesiveness and efficiency, and it is a mandatory behavior for all soldiers to treat others in accordance with the ideal values. Soldiers must respect the leader’s judgment since this position was given to them due to outstanding personal qualities making them fit for command. This ideal creates an atmosphere within an organization that increases the chance of success of any operation. Furthermore, by showing respect, it is possible to decrease the loss of life of both soldiers and non-combatants. I apologize for my behavior, my actions were not in order with those of the army values, and my actions brought disappointment to the NCOs appointed over me.
Collins, P. “The value of respect: What does it mean for an army?” Journal of Military Ethics, vol. 16, no. 1-2, 2017, pp. 2-19. Web.
Lis, A. “The manifestations of positive leadership strategies in the doctrinal assumptions of the U.S. Army leadership concept.” Journal of Corporate Responsibility and Leadership, vol. 2, no. 1, 2016, p. 51. Web.
Thompson, A., et al. “Treating others with respect is a core value.” Association of the United States Army. 2019. Web.
United States Government U.S. Army. Army Doctrine Publication ADP 6-22 Army Leadership and the Profession. 2019.