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Where does military professionalism start? Firstly the basics that make up military professionalism start within how a soldier respects one another, not just peer to peer, but superior to subordinate. It also derives from the amount of discipline that a soldier has. It has to increase when a soldier is progressed in rank and the time of service they have. Another point one has to have for military professionalism is their military bearing. Military bearing is a crucial part of military professionalism as to how you are viewed is by one’s bearing when it comes to having respect and discipline towards one’s superior.
Respect, according to definition, is an attitude of deference, admiration, or esteem; to give the correct amount of attention to and to give consideration towards an individual and to treat them courteously. In the Military Respect is the integrity that a soldier must have in order to maintain good discipline and act according to the Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers appointed over them. One must respect Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) because they can be and are, at times, your seniors in either position or rank. Their actions determine the capabilities of a unit and their overall accomplishment of the unit’s mission. The Commander and senior NCO aren’t just given to any person. They have to go through vigorous training to become the leaders they should, and often at times, need to be. Through classes, training, and experiences they gain the knowledge and experience that is required to lead train and develop their subordinates and future replacements. Without respect, a soldier degrades their position and it gets documented within the organization. They can also set a bad example for whoever falls under them and it will hinder or end their career in the military.
Respect is something that is needed in the Army since as an individual is promoted, they take on more responsibilities. Respect is an attribute that must be earned to be given. In order to be a great leader, you must give your all those around you respect regardless of rank. You must first be able to treat other soldiers as adults. Without respect in the Army, there would be no form of standards in which a leader can hold a soldier to the standards of regulations. Respect is a major aspect of everyday life in both a on and off duty. Respect is the key point of which both the military culture and non-military cultures is built upon. This is a unique position for those in the military because the cultures of both sides have to be observed. The laws from both cultures are based on respect, both for ourselves and those around us. Soldiers are more apt to respect leaders that show them respect instead of those that do not show them respect. And leaders expect those subordinate to them to respect them. Respect is one of the core army values and every soldier should live by and they must adhere to the all the Army values in their everyday lives.
What discipline means to an everyday person. Discipline comes from the Latin word Disciplina which means, among many other words, instruction; discipline; training; method; and regulation of life. Discipline can be one of a few forms of instruction that can develop controlling one’s impulsive actions, one’s character within the military and how efficient one can accomplish a task. Military Discipline is a state of mind and practice with training that instills obedience as an instinctive trait under every type of condition. It is founded on respect and loyalty for all with whom you are assigned (in a team, squad, unit, etc.). While it is developed by Drill and Ceremony, every part of life in the military affects military discipline. It is usually indicated by a military member or ex-military member by appearance and actions; by how neat and tidy they dress and what they dress in, organization of their residence and usual work equipment, respect for subordinates, peers, and seniors, by how well and quick a subordinate can execute lawful orders.
Military Bearing is something that should be learned by every soldier while in Basic Training. Every soldier practices military bearing, throughout their military career, in order to have good discipline and ethics. Military Bearing is having or projecting a commanding presence and a professional image of authority. Army regulations and soldiers in the profession of arms illustrate how a military service member should conduct themselves daily, on and off duty. Loyalty, duty, respect, commitment, honor, punctuality, reliability, integrity, and personal courage are Army core values.
The United States Army is structured on several values and principles that it upholds, among these are: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. Leaders should be able to make the decisions that can alter lives and futures with confidence while also keeping in line with their military bearing. A leader should look like a leader, disciplined, confident, and has the skills and abilities to be dependable. In order to do that one must show to their peers, subordinates, and seniors that they can do the right thing at the right time, be respectful, arrive at work and appointments on time, meet deadlines, be a role model for those around them to emulate, not act impulsively, and have a plan of action for anything that can be assigned for them to do. Dependability is one of the major aspects of military bearing. Without dependability, one can neither perform properly in the workplace nor be depended upon by their peers, subordinates or seniors to carry out their military duties properly.
The role of an army leader is to provide purpose, direction, and motivation to soldiers while continuing to carry out the mission or task that is at hand. As a leader in the army, one must maintain their knowledge of the standards of conduct, policy, law, rules of engagement, and the Geneva Conventions. Leaders of the army must be able to understand that their actions, behaviors, and decisions are direct reflects of their leadership and the Army as a whole. As a leader in the Army, one must be able to stand for the army’s leadership values as a direct representation and they must be able to be a role model for their soldiers to follow. Army leaders are committed to developing value-based leadership and seeing to the well-being of Soldiers and their families. Filling the role of an Army leader extends influence beyond the direct chain of command. An Army leader is an ambassador of the organization in which they represent and the military. As a leader in the Army, one must lead by example and must be a direct representation of the standard and good behavior. Leaders are responsible for establishing and maintaining positive mental attitudes and behaviors, which produce the setting for positive attitudes and effective and encouraging work behaviors.
Leaders must be able to encourage and support the growth of individuals and teams to facilitate the achievement of organizational goals. Leaders need to prepare others to assume positions within the organization, ensuring a more versatile and productive organization. Guidance is important for being a leader in the army by ensuring those tasks are consistent and accomplished promptly. According to Army Regulation 600-100, there are three levels of leadership. The levels of leadership are direct, organizational, and strategic. As a direct leader, you are the front line leader to the soldiers such as their team leaders or squad leaders. Direct leaders are responsible for building cohesive bonds among their team and to empower their subordinates along with implementing policies to be able to accomplish the mission. As a direct leader, you must be able to operate independently, but within the limits of the commander’s intent.
Organizational leaders, on the other hand, are those that must deal at higher echelons such as a battalion or brigade level. Their policies influence the command climate, and they must be adept in communication, negotiation, critical reasoning, and interpersonal skills. They must be skilled at complex decision making and problem solving and have a good understanding of the entire range of full-spectrum operations. Strategic leaders set the organizational structure, allocate resources, and articulate the strategic vision. Strategic leadership involves running the army from developing strategic plans, policies, guidance, and laws to determining force structure designs based on future mission requirements and capabilities. As a strategic leader, they must be able to prioritize over-arching army programs against competing interests while articulating army programs and policies to the highest levels of DOD and the government. All leaders have the responsibility of mentoring those junior enlisted soldiers below them in rank and to develop them to the fullest extent possible. Army leaders can develop junior soldiers through training and education and are responsible for providing feedback to the soldier through counseling, coaching, and mentoring.
As a leader when you coach a junior soldier, you are merely providing guidance to the soldier in ways to accomplish a task at hand. Coaching is a tool best used to bring out individual quality as a future leader and to enhance their leadership abilities. One of the most important roles as an army leader is to mentor lesser experienced soldiers and help them to reach their fullest potential both personal and professional. A leader must be able to mentor soldiers in both a professional and casual manner. Another role of a leader is to train soldiers in a way that they will exemplify the warrior ethos as it is stated in the soldier’s creed. The Army has a commitment to the development of its future leaders by providing the proper training in values, attributes, and increasingly complex and unstable world.
Military professionalism is derived from having and giving respect, regardless of what one is doing or what kind of day one is having. By keeping one’s discipline and not losing it no matter how one is being treated. Also by having military bearing and maintaining it throughout any type of situation. And finally it can also be found within the leaders of the military. Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers need to be the exemplary leaders the junior leaders and junior soldiers need to look up to. Respect, discipline, military bearing and leadership is something that goes hand in hand.
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