It is the way of life of a soldier, what defines our actions. No matter past or present beliefs, a set of values designed to guide us thru our life challenges and the hardships of combat. Since day one, when we arrive at Basic Combat Training, we are thought the Army Values. Seven words that us soldiers live by. They are loyalty, duty, respect, selfless-service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. Not much different from the set of values or beliefs, that become norm in society while growing up. They are more than words for those of us that serve in The Army, they guide our way of life, ethically and morally in every decision we make. The Army defines loyalty as bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. constitution, The Army, your unit, and other soldiers. Loyalty is devoting yourself for your service, your peers, and to defend our country no matter the cost. We must endure our duties no matter the hardships we face. We need to fulfill our obligations, that is what we signed for. As kids we grew up with different task that were implied in the house, washing dishes, taking the trash out amongst many others. Those were our duties and we needed to fulfill them no matter what. It is the same thing with The Army to an extent, but still the same. Respect is another one of those values that is all around not only in The Army but also in society. It is fundamental to be able to live in harmony to have respect for others, to prevent conflict, to be able to work together in peace, we must treat others as they should be treated. We grow up respecting our elders, respecting other people belongings it is no different in The Army specially when we spend more time with our peers than our own families.
Probably one of the most difficult value to follow is selfless-service, putting others and your country before yourself. We only live once and to have the commitment to put others before yourself is admirable and one of the most honorable thing we can do. An example of this would be the story of Pat Tillman. A professional football player that chose to join the army after the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. He preferred to leave the NFL and the money he was making to join The Army, to fight for his country and protect our freedoms. His story and the story of many others like him are a great example of selfless-service. Another one of these Army Values and the most important one for me is integrity, to do what is right not only when you are being watch but to have the discipline to do the right thing when no one is there to see you. It takes a lot of discipline and self-respect, and respect for others to do what is right legally and morally. There is a lot of responsibility in being a soldier and we need to be trusted to do what is right on and off-duty so we can accomplish the mission. Staying out of trouble is an integral part of maintaining our unit readiness, and our integrity guide us to making the best choices. We need to have the trust of those with whom we serve at all times.
We can see the stories of those who have given their lives for our country anywhere. Those who face fear, danger and adversity, and still have the drive, that personal courage that don’t let them quit. They put the lives of others, the love for country, before their own lives, at time paying the ultimate price. Those are the soldiers that live up to all their Army Values with honor doing all it takes for our country. As soldiers we should strive to serve with honor to show respect for those who serve before us, respect for our country and to live all the Army Values. Have pride in what we do, in our specific MOS, stewarding the profession being the best we can be.
The Army Values are more than just words, they are our way of life. They are here to shape our character, to be our norm. The more we adhere to these values, the better citizen we are going to be. A better citizen becomes a healthier soldier, a productive soldier. We become more resilient to endure the hardship we face. It builds cohesion within The Army. We can see these values all around they are in our Creeds, we see them in our leaders, our peers. It is up to us to steward the profession be the followers, the servant leaders ambassadors to our Great Nation.