In the US army we are taught to live by the 7 army values. They are broken down to us in the acronym. Loyalty DDNSBear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. constitution, the Army, and other soldiers. Fulfill your obligations. Respect treats people as they should be treated. Selfless Service Put the welfare of the nation, the Army and your subordinates above your own. Live up to the army values. Integrity Do what is right legally and morally. Personal Courage Face fear, danger or adversity (physical or moral). We are all drilled on these 7 army values from day one of basic training.
First we commit them to memory. Then we learn to live by them. All 7 values have an impact on each other, and are an integral part of ones moral standing. These 7 Army Values however reach FAR beyond the military. Too many people fail to realize the importance these values have on the way that one is perceived by those around them. Take Loyalty for example.
In my personal opinion, Loyalty means being a person that other can count on. That when the time comes, you will be there to do what needs to be done. You will be true and faithful to them no matter the outcome. If that loyalty is not observed by both parties involved however, then that sense of loyalty may eventually change or even fade. Duty to me is accomplishing a task that needs to be done, no matter how much you rather be doing something else. Whether you love it or hate it.
The task is there to be done. If one does not fulfill their duties on a regular basis, then those around them have to pick up the slack, and any sense of loyalty begins to become tarnished. Everyone wants to be respected. It’s in our nature, but in order to obtain respect, first of all one has to respect oneself.
Second, one has to show respect to others in order to gain respect from them. If one doesn’t show respect to someone, that person may often feel slighted and lose respect for the person who slighted them. Selfless Service is the act of performing a service without expecting any type of personal gain.
One does the service for the benefit of other people, and out of the goodness of their heart even out of a sense of loyalty to that person or those people. When things look their best, these are the people that you admire. When things look their worst, these are the people that you pray are by your side. If the seven army values were like a stairway or a pyramid, then Honor would be at the top step.
It takes all seven of the army values and more to have a good sense of honor. Honor can not be obtained without first having a good, strong set of morals and values, and then upholding those morals and values on a day to day basis. Integrity is like the glue that holds all of these other values together. Integrity is about being honest, and doing what’s right. One cannot be morally loyal to someone with a lack of integrity. Also one who lacks integrity can not be counted upon to perform their duties consistently.
Consequentially, one who is moral would not want to be surrounded by people who lack integrity. Respect, although it may be earned through respecting others, can quickly be lost if one is found lacking of integrity. Someone who doesnÐ3Ð ̧å,¢t have integrity is usually selfish, and often wants something for nothing in return. Trustworthiness is KEY when one’s Honor comes into question. If you are not trustworthy, then all sense of honor goes out the window, so to speak, and one MUST have integrity if they are to be trusted for long.
Because it takes integrity for one to own up to one its actions then, if one doesn’t have the courage to own up to their own actions, I ask how can they possibly have it in themselves to do anything else which may require personal courage. Finally, if one does not have integrity, then they cannot be trusted and so, become a liability to those around them. Someone who has personal courage is not someone who is fearless, rather, it is a person who stands up to those fears and faces them head on, or they may put their fears aside. Either way, they overcome their fears and get the job done.
It is someone who stands up for what they believe in, who does what is right. This takes two forms of courage, Physical and moral. Physical courage is to overcome a fear of bodily harm, and Moral courage is a willingness to stand firm on what you believe in, regardless of consequences. While most people are more understanding of physical courage, especially on the battlefield, most of us face moral courage on a much more regular basis.
It takes moral courage to live the 7 army values on a daily basis, and we are faced with choices every day to do the right thing. It’s moral courage that allows us to make the correct choices and do the right thing. I was told to write this essay about the army values, focusing on Integrity and Honor. I must have started 15-20 times only to delete everything and start all over. See, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that all of the 7 army values are intertwined. You can live by some of them and not all of them, it just doesn’t work that way. I didn’t do any research, but I did have to dig deep to remember what some of these values really mean to me, and I only hope that I can live by them a little better in the future.