Accountability and Responsibility in the Army

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As I have learned over the past seven years that I have been in the Army is that accountability and responsibility are the two most important things that the organization focuses on. In this essay, I will be discussing the importance of accountability and the responsibilities as a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO). Accountability is concerned primarily with records, while responsibility is concerned primarily with custody, care, and safekeeping. Accountability is defined as, the obligation imposed by law or lawful order or regulation on an officer or other person for keeping accurate record of property, documents, or funds.

The person having this obligation may or may not have actual possession of the property, documents, or funds. Though I am aware of the different types of accountability in my case, I failed to ensure one of the most important, which is personal accountability. One of the values in the United States Army, that most seek in soldiers is accountability. Accountability (in this case) means that you can be relied upon to arrive to work and appointments on time, meet deadlines, be in the right place at the right time, and do what needs to be done to complete the mission at hand.

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Failing to be accounted imposes actions to be taken not only upon yourself but on your chain of command as well. As a NCO, I know that I must lead from the front and set an example for the junior enlisted soldiers as well as my peers, and subordinates. I knew that once I raised my right hand and recited the oath, I became accountable not only for myself but for my fellow comrades as well and I learned that it begins with self. If I can’t fully account for myself how can or why should I expect to be held accountable for a soldier, squad or platoon.

As a non-commissioned officer, I know that my unit, immediate leaders and the army expects me to be accountable. I must ensure that I follow the regulation (s) in the event that I may be out of work by: ensuring that my chain of command is informed and well as providing any type of documentation that will support what I am saying to prevent any questions or concerns being brought about. I’ve also learned that ties in with discipline. Being accounted for is part of disciplinary actions and a part of being rofessional and a soldier is by living the army values none more overpowering than the other. I’ve learned that a good leader should always have accountability of their soldiers, but it starts with self. Being accountable is also knowing that your soldier(s) physical, mental, and spiritual needs are accounted for and taken into consideration; so that they can be functional as a unit, team, and ensuring that they are mission ready. Accountability is an Army and nationwide thing.

No matter who you are or where you are your number one responsibility is accountability whether it is for yourself, comrades, and/or equipment. It extends from the highest to the lowest level. Responsibility is being accountable for what you do or fail to do. As a Non-Commissioned Officer, I am responsible not only to fulfill my individual duties, but also to ensure my teams and units are successful. Any duty, because of the position I hold in the unit, includes responsibility to execute that duty. As a NCO, I am accountable for my personal conduct and that of my soldiers.

Also, each soldier is individually responsible for his/her own personal conduct and that responsibility cannot be delegated. I am accountable for my actions to fellow soldiers, leaders, units and the US Army. As a leader, I must ensure that my soldiers and myself clearly understand our responsibilities as members of the team and as a representative of the Army. Commanders set the overall standards, but all leaders must provide the guidance, resources, assistance and supervision necessary for soldiers to perform their duties.

Mission accomplishment demands that officers and NCOs work together to advise, assist and learn from each other. Responsibilities fall into two categories: command and individual. Command responsibility refers to collective or organizational accountability and includes how well the unit performs their missions. For example, a company commander is responsible for all the tasks and missions assigned to the company; his superiors hold him accountable for completing them. Commanders give military leaders the responsibility for what their sections, units, or organizations do or fail to do.

NCOs are therefore responsible to fulfill not only their individual duties, but also to ensure that their team and unit are successful. The amount of responsibility delegated to you depends on your mission, the position you hold and your own willingness to accept responsibility. One point you need to get straight is that although a list of duties can be drawn up describing what is expected of you, it will not tell you how to do your job. For example, one of an NCO’s duties is to enforce standards of military appearance.

This means you are responsible for correcting soldiers who wear the uniform improperly and for teaching them the correct standards of appearance. It also means that you should inspect for proper and serviceability, clothing and equipment of your soldiers. Remember that you must set the example first and your soldiers will follow in your footsteps. Individual responsibility as a noncommissioned officer means you are accountable for your personal conduct. Soldiers in the Army have their own responsibilities.

For example, if you write a check at the commissary, it is your responsibility to have sufficient funds in the bank account to cover the check. Individual responsibility cannot be delegated; it belongs to the soldier that wrote the check. Soldiers are accountable for their actions, to their fellow soldiers, to their leaders, to their unit and to the United States Army. As a leader you must ensure that your soldiers understand clearly their responsibilities as members of the team and as representatives of the Army. As a NCO I learned that I am responsible for the following:

You are responsible for your own actions on and off duty hours and on and off post. Ensure that you are doing the right thing at all times and conducting yourself appropriately by constantly applying your seven Army Values each day. You are an ambassador of the United States, carry yourself as such. Excessive drinking, drug use, drinking and driving, un-authorized violence, reckless driving, shoplifting, sexual harassment, fraud waste and abuse, assaulting a fellow Soldier, sexually assaulting a fellow Soldier ect. will not be tolerated.

With any offence to the above mentioned, the punishment process will be out of my hands. My self and our chain of command will do everything in their power to ensure that maximum punishment is enforced. So please stay out of trouble!!

You are responsible for ensuring that your family members are taken care of. If you happen to deploy, go to the field, or go TDY for training, ensure that your family has enough money and food to live comfortably and all special arrangements are made so they are taken care of ahead of time.

Ensure they know of your whereabouts at all times. Ensure your family members are receiving the medical care they need, ensure they are staying healthy and ensure they are not missing their appointments. If you are having any issues at all when it comes to your family, do not hesitate to let me know and I will assist you so that you can square the issue away or I will point you in the right direction of someone who will square the issues away. You are responsible for budgeting your money properly.

Ensure that you are monitoring your Leave and Earnings Statements (LES) regularly and that your LES is reflecting what is being entered in your banking account. Ensure that you are budgeting your credit cards and checks properly. Also, ensure that your bills aren t exceeding what you bring home each month. Live within the means of your budget. Moreover, ensure that you are paying your bills by the time specified. Do not be late on your bills. If you notice any issues at all in your pay, DO NOT hesitate to bring it to me. I will ensure that it gets taken care of immediately.

You are responsible for ensuring that your vehicle is maintained and serviceable. You are responsible for ensuring that your vehicle has valid vehicle registration, has valid insurance, is currently registered on post and has the current tags. It is also your responsibility in insuring that you have a valid driver s license and that you maintain updated copies of each of these things mentioned in your possession at all times while operating your vehicle. I will regularly inspect your vehicle to ensure that it is serviceable and all requirements to operate your vehicle are being updated.

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Accountability and Responsibility in the Army. (2016, Oct 01). Retrieved from

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