There are seven army values that have been part of the Army’s Character Development since 1998. These seven foundational ethics create a standard for behavior for all soldiers wherever they may be. The customs and etiquette of Army personnel ties directly to this 7-part path.
Individuals in the army are expected to remain faithful to each other and the Country. This means supporting fellow officers, respecting superiors and also remaining devoted to family. Despite the chain of command, loyalty is considered a two way street between a solder and superiors – the key being ordering one’s obligations appropriately. There is a time when focus must be on family, and others when it must be on service. No matter the setting, however, one should not speak badly about their unit or superiors.
Understanding and honoring one’s obligations without having to be constantly told what’s required is the foundation of duty. In Army values this means accomplishing tasks, both big and small, to the best of your ability each time. Duty also means that the individual accepts culpability for the outcome of those actions. It’s believed that a soldier’s commitment to duty keeps him or her making the best, right choices particularly under difficult circumstances.
Another value instilled in the military, and one that’s also part of practical etiquette is respect. In the army, one is expected to be able to see worth in others even when you do not agree with all their ethics and outlooks. The purpose is creating a cohesive team by following the “golden rule.”
Putting your personal desires on the back burner is part and parcel of Army training. Soldiers face hardships, and learning to serve selflessly helps them cope with those hardships. Selfless service also turns thoughts away from ego-driven goals toward more communal mission-oriented goals. As the saying goes it’s, “the mission, men and me” particularly for military leaders.
Honor and Integrity
Honor and integrity go hand in hand. Honor means being honest with yourself and others, and staying true to Army values in any situation. Add to that – integrity, adhering to principles and morals not just in words, but daily actions. Honor and integrity do not say, “I’m sorry.” They say, “how can I fix it?” Live your word to achieve this goal.
Finally, mental, physical and ethical courage is part of Army living. Overcoming one’s fears isn’t easy, but necessary. Courage works supportively with honor in order for the solder to keep acting with integrity, even under duress.
The Army life is not for everyone. Living these seven principles takes etiquette and manners to a different level than many of us ever achieve. The protocols within the Army serve to support these ideals and values as a reflection of those on which our Nation was founded.
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