This essay
will address the criticality of meeting deadlines, following orders when
directed, and courtesies in regards to respect, both within and outside of the
army.

 

Meeting Deadlines

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            Ultimately, meeting deadlines on or
about mission critical tasking comes down to a lack of time management and
managing that time efficiently. Time management also is dependent on
discipline, or “training that produces obedience or self-control, often in the
form of rules and punishments if these are broken” (Cambridge Dictionary). A
lack of discipline creates complacency and a lack of the ability to manage
their time. Fulfilling deadlines is a way for leadership to see demonstrated
potential and commitment in a service member. If there is a potential for a
lack of deadlines, or no deadlines explicitly given, counterproductive members
of a team will tend to procrastinate and maximize non-productivity; thus
lowering potential output of an individual or a group of their peers.
Essentially, deadlines create productivity by creating a hard line or goal to
meet or exceed. Time management is equally important, as time lost is time not
spent towards furthering the self or the team. The military utilizes time as a
central pillar to its’ operations. There is a start and a stop to the workday.
There is a time when people arrive to the work center, and there is a COB.
There are operations and missions the Army and intelligence services depend on
that are time critical. Whether it’s sending up a PERSTAT, or dropping a JDAM
on a terrorists’ head, one little cog operating out of sync can cause the whole
machine to fail. No matter how small something may be, time management is
critical.

The
Army as a whole depends on these individual cogs to make up the larger machine
that is the power arm behind the military might that is the United States of
America. The United States’ ability to remain a superpower since the turn of
the 19th century has been solidified by the organization’s inherent and
cohesive usage of time management and discipline. Meeting deadlines and
managing time is reflective of discipline, whether of the unit’s discipline as
a whole, or an individual soldier’s discipline. The Army is dependent on results
and effects; not excuses on why a deadline or goal was not met. Results are
critical, and largely affect the country as a whole. Not only is the Army dependent
on this critical time management and discipline, but so too is the government;
firefighting brigades saving a house from burning down, or a police officer
stopping a drunk driver demand time sensitive actions on the part of the
individual, the unit, and an organization.

            Failure
to adhere to standards and given deadlines has no place in the unit or this
organization. Failure to do so impacts the team, the unit and the organization.
Failure to do so impacts results needed for the United States military to
remain the superpower it remains to this day.

Direct Orders

            In
order to be successful in any profession, both Army and civilian, following
directions is extremely critical, else the world would be in shambles.
Receiving, comprehending, and acting upon given orders is a valuable and
necessary skill in the Army, and in life, so events, missions, and tasks can
proceed as directed in an orderly fashion. Following directions is critical in
preventing a mis-step, injury, or even a possible death.

            Direct Orders also instill
discipline and obedience. Orders follow the chain of command or the NCO Support
Channel as a method of proper communication and unity on the task at hand. By
definition, Obedience is “compliance with an order, request, or law or
submission to another’s authority” (Oxford Dictionaries – Obedience). In the
military, this is a critical task, and outlines the success and safety of
soldiers accomplishing a mission. The disciplined thing to do when orders are
given are to follow those orders. Failure, at an individual or team level,
occurs when these orders are not followed. Failure of orders also affects the
team: lack of confidence in each other and the inability to have trust in one
another. Such situations compounded on one another may result in injury or even
death.

            Orders also allow leadership
potential to grow and flourish. Orders passed down the chain to be received by
your subordinates command respect and demonstrate ability to follow directions.
The abilities of a good leader to follow orders and the ability to lead others
go hand in hand, and demonstrate leadership potential. Essentially, if a leader
cannot rally their troops, they are not an effective one.

            Disseminating orders and the
following of them also uphold the command structure inherent in the military.
In the civilian sector, a manager or head of a department issues tasks to
complete, and the subordinate must follow. This idea is also true within the
military. Orders are inherent and instilled from the first day of the military,
in that all soldiers say the Oath of Enlistment as their first official tasks
to be upheld. The Oath states:

“I,
(first/lastname) do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend
the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and
domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I
will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of
the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code
of Military Justice” (Army Oath).

The line “obey the orders of the President of the
United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me” is the
example by which I refer to this Oath. Following of orders is given in an
implied task on day one.

            Not following orders also has its
own set of punishments. According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ),
an Article 15 or Article 92 may be placed upon a soldier based on the severity.
An Article 15 is known simply as a Nonjudicial Punishment and requires approval
by the commander, a Noncommissioned Officer may only recommend an Article 15.
Article 15’s are used to deal out “in house” punishments that do not require
the use the court martial system. An Article 92, or “Failure to Obey Order or Regulation” is when the court systems are
utilized to punish a soldier for the failure to follow orders or regulations
and violations of these orders.

Respect

            Respect,
meaning “A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by
their abilities, qualities, or achievements” (Oxford Dictionaries – Respect),
is the third Army Value and is a central pillar to the beliefs and principles
upheld by the United States Army. These beliefs and principles are
representative of this organization and are integral to the behaviors between
superior and subordinate, team member to team member, or officer to Noncommissioned
Officer, and are central to customs and courtesies that we must all adhere to.
Respect and courtesies that travel both up and down the chain are not only
critical, but highly revered and regarded by all. Respect is expected from the
lower ranks upward, even if the person demanding the respect is unworthy of
that respect. Something I personally have heard that I hold close to my heart
is that “You don’t have to respect the person, but you must respect the rank.”
Thusly, this concept is interwoven into the mindset of the average soldier.
Respect of a Non-Commissioned or Commissioned Officer is expected, else
challenging of authority is punishable legally, with reprimandation as a
possibility. This concept is an integral part of the Uniform Code of Military
Justice (UCMJ), as once somebody joins the US Army, they essentially waive
their civilian rights of free speech against a superior, and have little
ability to speak their opinion openly and freely without repercussions. Whether
you agree or disagree with your superior, a simple “ACK” or “ROGER” is what
should be said in compliance of an issuance of orders.

            Respect also allows and builds upon
structure and discipline. Structure provides order and the necessary balance
within an organization or ensure duties and responsibilities. Respect for rank,
position, or authority ensures duties and tasks are accomplished by all to the
best of their abilities. Respect ensures goals and tasks are executed and met.
Respect is reflective also upon one’s own respect and discipline for themselves
and others. For example, saluting an officer is a custom and courtesy that
hinges on respect. If you do not care about the military, and are rude or
disrespectful, and just walk by an officer without rendering a salute, you will
most likely get a couple dirty looks and a immediate corrective training from
said officer. This same principle applies to a greeting of the day to a senior
Noncommissioned Officer. A proper “good morning” to the First Sergeant is
fairly respectful. These examples further solidify the idea that without the
basic respect for authority, the military would lack structure, rank, and
authority. This lack of respect would and can negatively unit cohesion and
individual discipline. At the end of the day, proper respect is needed to
overcome interpersonal issues in order to receive and act upon orders necessary
to accomplish the mission.

 

            In conclusion, I realize that my
lack of time management impacted the ability for me to further myself and my
career as an individual. The perception of these actions came off as
disrespectful, of which was not my intention, nor my purpose or reasoning. I
will utilize this learning opportunity to not make this mistake again and
manage my time and efforts more wisely.