Accountability in the Army

Table of Content

Accountability is a crucial principle for soldiers in the United States. It requires bravery, selflessness, honor, and sacrifice. However, possessing these qualities alone is not enough; soldiers must also regularly maintain their weaponry, equipment, and personal well-being to fulfill their responsibility. Neglecting this duty can lead to removal from the battlefield and endanger both oneself and fellow soldiers. This principle of accountability applies to all members of the military, regardless of rank or position.

Every individual in the United States Army, regardless of rank, bears the duty to carry out their assigned tasks. Whether they are leading a squad or overseeing a post, officers and generals alike have an essential role in ensuring the military’s efficiency and prompt mobilization. This essay underscores the importance of responsibility within the army by emphasizing the soldiers’ obligation to consistently uphold a positive image for the organization. To accomplish this, they must adhere to higher standards than civilians.

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From an external perspective, it would be unreasonable for a citizen to have faith in someone who cannot even take responsibility for themselves, especially when entrusted with the significant task of defending a country. The United States Army could potentially lose support from the home front if this issue becomes widespread. Throughout a soldier’s career in the Army, as they strive to progress through the ranks, they encounter numerous peers and superiors whose lives may depend on them. Therefore, if that soldier appears incapable or unfit, how can they be trusted with the safety of their comrades?

If this irresponsible individual were to achieve a position of authority, they would have a negative impact on their subordinates. Responsibility and integrity are closely connected values. The Soldier’s code emphasizes treating others with dignity and respect while also expecting the same treatment in return, which promotes increased integrity as everyone holds themselves to higher standards and expectations, both for others and themselves. It is vital for senior-ranking personnel to trust in their soldiers’ ability to effectively complete tasks so that they can focus on their own responsibilities.

No’s and officers are not responsible for watching over babies. However, junior enlisted personnel should have confidence that their superiors possess the necessary expertise, knowledge, and personal drive acquired throughout their careers to provide guidance. Unit cohesion relies on accountability and communication, as every member contributes to the mission’s success. Personal accountability fosters a professional reputation.

While Army leaders are accountable for mission accomplishment, their performance is evaluated based on their effectiveness. Mere responsibility is insufficient. The motivation for performance arises from our commitment in the Army to hold ourselves accountable through performance evaluation systems, Army Regulations, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. A straightforward approach to ensuring accountability for our military personnel is by requiring soldiers to furnish their supervisors with updated contact information for the alert roster when going on leave and passing.

Even during their time off, soldiers are obligated to have their whereabouts known. A soldier is always a soldier, regardless of the time, day, or year. Demonstrating self accountability involves arriving promptly to the assembly with all necessary equipment and classified items in possession. It is particularly vital to account for individuals with security clearances due to the confidential knowledge they retain in their minds and any materials or intelligence that, if revealed to the public, could jeopardize national security.

Both responsibility and accountability differ from authority in that authority can be delegated, while both accountability and responsibility are universal and cannot be. The first formation is particularly crucial because it allows superiors to report to their First Sergeants and Sergeant Major on the preparedness of soldiers for training and their task assignments. Accountability is not just about showing up on time; it encompasses responsibility. This means that if you fail in a small aspect of the mission (such as being on time), you must be held accountable for your failure. For instance, if you were supposed to depart for a mission outside the wire during a deployment.

The convoy is running late because you are late to the briefing. You need to receive the briefing again since everyone is late to mount up. As a consequence, the convoy misses its SP time. The Infantry unit, which is supposed to join your convoy for extra protection, might face an ambush due to the delay. This entire situation stems from a single soldier’s failure to arrive on time. Accountability is also important as it highlights the unit’s responsibility for every individual within it. It is mandatory for everyone to report for duty so that the commander can confirm the presence of all unit personnel.

If a service member fails to appear and no one notices, the commander declares 100% accountability. If the soldier were to be discovered injured or worse, both the commander and every service member in charge of that soldier would be in serious trouble. It is essential for a competent soldier to always be prepared, which is why arriving early, maintaining effective communication with peers and supervisors, and engaging in backward planning can greatly contribute to the formation of a good, trustworthy, and reliable soldier.

A responsible service member will not offer excuses for their actions and will assume accountability for any errors made, aiming to resolve issues directly rather than engaging in the “Blame Game.” Moreover, it is crucial to thoroughly assess all potential options and be prepared with a solution before taking action. As a military intelligence analyst, I am taught to remain fully cognizant of my environment, encompassing political occurrences, economic conditions, military maneuvers, and the military’s approach towards sharing information.

When faced with a dilemma, it is important for me to have knowledge of various factors. These include the threat’s capabilities, previous tactics and methods, ideology, and size. It is also crucial to consider other aspects such as the climate, weather, terrain, structures, and significant events in the area. By studying these factors, I can develop an appropriate plan of action.

Using my knowledge base, I can anticipate the consequences of actions taken by friendly personnel, neutral parties or enemies. Furthermore, I can assess potential reactions from other sources like natural disasters or emergencies.

By being trained to think in this manner, I can apply this level of readiness to my daily life, making me more accountable. For instance, if a soldier intends to take leave and go back home, it becomes their responsibility to check the weather forecast beforehand in order to be prepared for any weather conditions. They should then modify their travel plans accordingly and come back a day earlier than scheduled. Moreover, they should confirm transportation information from a trustworthy source and plan their expenses appropriately prior to starting their leave.

Sometimes, being responsible entails making personal sacrifices to ensure personal safety and accountability. If the forecast indicates unfavorable weather conditions that could prevent timely reporting, leaving a day earlier guarantees the soldier’s safe and punctual return. The military emphasizes financial responsibility among its service members.

Every branch may have their own rules, but there are three fundamental areas of financial stability requirements that remain consistent across the board:

  • Family care
  • Care insurance
  • Payments on time

A soldier who is not up to date with these things can become a serious target for information extraction because the service member has needs that a threat can satisfy. Financial negligence is a prime example of a soldier not taking care of himself.

Both the soldier’s future and our nation’s future depend on their willingness to take responsibility and follow moral values. The United States Army, like ancient Rome, can only be destroyed from within. It is important to start instilling a sense of accountability in ourselves and our peers early on. Teach others and always remember that the best way to handle the “Blame Game” is to not participate.

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Accountability in the Army. (2018, Feb 01). Retrieved from

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