Values must be instilled for smaller force

| August 30, 2013 | 0 Comments


Command Sgt. Maj. John Etter
130th Engineer Brigade
8th Theater Sustainment Command

When I speak to leaders, Soldiers and family members, I inform them that they’re a part of a very small percentage of America’s population that join the military and serve our country in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard.

That small fraction of a number is getting smaller as days and years go by.

Today, the number of all who have served and continue to serve our country remains around .045 percent — less than half of one percent.

People who desire to enter the military today must pass in-depth background checks, physical fitness exams and assorted tests. With these checks, the number of Soldiers entering today’s military is also getting smaller.

When our country sees a man or woman in uniform, its first impression of that Soldier should be, that’s what right looks like. Soldiers are the standard bearers for all others to live by. We are thought to have the sound moral, ethical and legal upbringing that makes us successful and our Army strong.

Our leaders must instill our Army values into all of our Soldiers and their families to gain their trust and commitment to the Army team. This commitment is like no other and comes with many responsibilities and standards to uphold. It comes with honor and traditions that have been emplaced for us to carry on.

I’m sharing my commitment to our military and our way of life to you, and I challenge you to share your commitment as well.

Using the Army Values is one way that I use to frame what commitment to being a Soldier really means:

•Loyalty: Never fail or quit your Soldiers. Stand by them, recognize and reward them. Ensure our Soldiers understand their role as a member of our team. Never leave a fallen comrade.

•Duty: Our country expects us to be elite Soldiers. Be responsible for your actions and that of your Soldiers. Shoulder your fair share of the task and then some. Never accept defeat.

•Respect: Treat others with dignity. Be professional and show military courtesy to superiors and family members at all times. Maintain discipline, mental and physical toughness.

•Selfless Service: Noncommissioned officers are the backbone of the Army and are known to put the welfare of the nation, the Army and our Soldiers first. These actions make our Army the best in the world.

•Honor: I am an American Soldier. Always uphold the prestige of your unit. Never compromise your values or traditions. Lead Soldiers in combat and make our country proud.

•Integrity: Do what is right legally, morally and ethically. It’s your name and your word. Soldiers will never forget. They expect leaders to provide guidance and direction that is genuine.

•Personal Courage: Know the hazards of your chosen profession. Face the fear, danger and adversity of placing the mission first.

This philosophy is my leadership philosophy, and I think the best way to get it out is to share it face-to-face with all incoming Soldiers, NCOs and officers in the 130th Engineer Brigade. I believe it is important to discuss what right looks like in person so that there is no question as to what is expected when it comes to being a professional.

The bottom line is, Soldiers expect and deserve outstanding leadership. If you are not prepared to accept the challenge and represent our Army as a professional, then please exit now. Thank you.


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Category: News, Standing Columns

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