One of the values the United States Army most seeks in its soldiers is accountability. According to Army Regulation 600-8-14, the wear of identification tags is governed in such a way requiring each and every soldier to wear their identification tags when in a field environment, while traveling via aircraft carrier, and when the soldier is outside the continental United States. All personnel should be wearing identification tags around their neck except when there are safety considerations such as during physical training.
At the times listed above and when in the duty uniform, a minimum of two dog tags are to be worn. The US name tape, last name tape, American flag, and insignia must also always be worn with the uniform. Army regulation 670-1 regulates how to wear and the correct appearance of the United States Army uniforms and the insignia upon it. According to these concise regulations, uniforms are supposed to be worn properly to standard, and the soldiers must present themselves with a respectable military appearance.
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Their uniforms should always be neat and clean, have no stains at all, and in good working repair. Army regulations 670-1 clearly outlines the proper wear of unit insignia, rank, name tapes, and branch representations on the army combat uniform. The Army combat uniform must be free from holes and tears. Stained and dirty uniforms are considered unacceptable under the standards set forth. A soldier’s current unit patch is worn centered upon the Velcro of the left sleeve of the blouse. If the soldier has a combat patch it will be worn on the right sleeve of the blouse.
Name tape should be over the right chest and branch affiliation tape should also be worn over the left chest of the army combat blouse. Rank would be affixed to the center, front of the army combat uniform. All soldiers must wear a tan t-shirt under the army combat uniform blouse. Tan rigger belts are also required to be worn. Me being female am required to wear my belt to the right. Socks are to be knee high green or black only. Eight inch desert combat boots are required to be worn with the army combat uniform.
The most important formation of a soldier’s day is morning formation. The Army uses morning formation to account for everyone and announce any information that soldiers need to know. If not everyone is accountable for morning formation, the Army will not know where everyone is and will not be able to ensure that everyone knows what he or she needs to know to do his or her job. Accountability is one of the founding instruments used in the military to maintain order and account for all the Soldiers, determine whether they are alive, dead, or missing.
On time. On time? On time! These are the most stressed on words to come out of the Army. There is not a single thing that happens in the Army or the rest of the world that is not on some kind of time schedule. Being in the right place, at the right time, and in the correct uniform only sets a soldier up for success. Soldiers cannot miss information, change of plans, or new schedule changes if they are where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there.
A long time ago my father told me, “Seconds kill hundreds. Minutes kill thousands. I never knew what he meant until recently joining the army. He would tell me it only takes a seconds hesitation of pulling your trigger before the bomber kills the entire crowd. To know where your soldiers, comrades, and superiors are at will ensure a well-oiled machine to stay in motion. Being in the Army and never knowing when a mission will come up it is important to keep everyone informed. Not only with where an individual is but also with what is going on around them Nationally, Locally, as well as down to the platoon.
Even if a soldier is not going to make it to a formation or place of accountability at least make some type of communication with any person in the platoon so at least there is either a written or verbal accountability when a visual is not available. These practices cannot be stressed on enough. Even though it may not seem like it, letting someone know where you are has the potential to save your life. Step by step instructions of what an individual is doing are not a hundred percent necessary. At the minimum inform someone in the same squad and of higher rank of what needs to be dealt with, and that it is being taken care of.
Even though it may feel like being baby sat or that an individual is not trusted, it is a necessary and a safe act to allow the people a soldier works with knows where and when the individual will be. I know even the Warrior Ethos is important mainly because being on time and being where you’re supposed to be are not the only ways of being accounted for. Owning up for your actions are the basic tools to make life in the Army easier. As well as to show leadership a soldier is reliable and responsible.
The Warrior Ethos, I feel, is a great motivational tool and words to live by. I am all about doing this job and helping to ensure the safety of our country, but also feel the safety of the soldiers should be kept in mind. The mission cannot get accomplished if our military has no soldiers due to injury or punishment. When a soldier does their part to fill all the pieces of a puzzle the mission no matter how hard or how long does not seem to bear so much weight. Everything has to move in perfect sequence and play as one moving body or it will all fall apart.
I will try harder to be a better part of the big picture and fill my slot, and help those around me to do the same. Together we can pick up the slack where there are holes being made and help fix those areas without hurting the overall function of our part. In one way or another way, you can relate accountability to the seven Army Values. When you take it upon yourself to actually show on and be ten minutes prior to the formations or whatever events called for, you are demonstrating not only duty because you fulfilled your obligations, but also loyalty.
You are being loyal to your unit and the soldiers around your by accounting for yourself, being exactly where you are supposed to be. It is also a way of showing respect to your battle buddies and the platoon sergeant in charge because that way they won’t have to run while trying to track you down. By you showing up bright and early for the formations you are letting it be known that you understand the importance of accountability and you show that you are alive and well, prepared for the days mission.
Personal courage can be related to accountability as well because a soldier should be willing to do whatever may be necessary to get themselves accounted for. They should have the will to make all formations in a reasonable time. Even integrity is involved because I have to have the integrity to own up to my mistake of not being ten minutes prior to accountability formation. Have we been in an hostile environment I could have jeopardized the mission and failed everyone counting on me to come through.