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Professionalism: soldier and non-commissioned officer

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On the nineteenth of may at approximately 1600, I was very unprofessional in my operation of a military vehicle with passengers. I let my emotional frustration get the better of me and decided to drive recklessly. I accelerated through a ninety degree turn on loose gravel and an uneven road with the intention to slide the vehicle sideways. I was successful in my endeavor and everything turned out okay. I showed little to no regard for my safety or the safety of others while partaking in this action. Despite the fact that everything turned out alright this time, I could have seriously injured or even killed everyone in my vehicle and the possibility of killing others on the road at that time to include drivers of other vehicles and pedestrians.

Also, I could have also damaged military equipment that is vital to successful mission completion costing the Army thousands of dollars. Other repercussions of my actions could have lead to a local national being killed and their offspring or surviving family in turn hating America and joining the Taliban or Al Qaida and endangering all ISAF forces. Also, my actions reflect poorly on the United States of America, American military forces, and all Soldiers.

You should always exhibit professionalism and military bearing while operating military vehicles. Your actions could cost you or a friend, battle buddy, or your Soldiers their life. Just think how would you feel if you were to wreck a vehicle due to negligence and being unprofessional and you survived the accident but your Soldier did not. Just think about that Soldiers family and having to stand face to face with them to explain how that Soldier died. Think about the look on their faces and the rush of emotions when they find out that it was your fault their Soldier is not coming home.

Think about how disgusted they will be when they find out that the reason their Soldier died was do to your negligence and how everything could have been avoided. What if that Soldier has kids, who will teach them the things a parent should teach their kids? If this is not enough to encourage you to drive safely and take into consideration the possibilities and consequences of not doing so, imagine all of these scenarios once again but this time, imagine you are the one that died to another Soldiers negligence and disregard for safety. If that is still not enough to convince you to be a safe and cautious operator of a military vehicle, you should not be allowed to drive or operate any military equipment.

Let us look at this from a slightly different angle. Let us say that the same accident occurred except for this time everyone survived but everyone in the vehicle was seriously injured and the vehicle was damaged beyond repair. You are now responsible for injuring all of your Soldiers and damaging military equipment costing the Army hundreds of thousands of dollars and compromising mission success. You are banged up and bruised with a broken arm, one of your passenger has broken both legs and has a concussion, and the other passenger is now paralyzed from the waist down.

The vehicle is damaged beyond repair and can not be operated to drive you to the nearest base. Not only have you taken out three essential personnel out of the mission but you have also have crippled the unit’s transportation abilities. In this particular scenario, there are no radios in the vehicle so you can not call anyone to come to assist you nor call in for a medical evacuation. You and the other two Soldiers are now stranded and injured. Even if you survive this ordeal, you will have to live with the fact that you caused these injuries to the Soldiers whose lives and well being were in your hands. One Soldier may never walk again or be able to teach their children how to play sports. Again, everything could have been avoided by abiding by safe driving laws.

Professionalism and military leadership go hand in hand. As leaders, it is our responsibilities to teach and train Soldiers not only how to perform duties and tasks, but also to show theses Soldiers how to perform such tasks with military bearing and professionalism. The more we let our professionalism slack as leaders, the more these Soldiers will slack on theirs as they become leaders. Soldiers not only learn from what we instruct them but also they learn through our actions and how we as leaders carry ourselves. Soldiers show respect to leaders who maintain professionalism even under extreme stress. Soldiers look up to this leader and strive to be more like them.

We as leaders can not be afraid to do the right thing under any and all circumstances. Once a leader loses his or her professionalism, they also lose their credibility. We should strive to improve ourselves to become the role models that Soldiers want to be like when they too become leaders. We need to instill the basic Army values in our Soldiers to ensure a bright future for the most professional army in the world. The main point is that Soldiers are the most important thing in the Army. The Soldiers are the future of the Army. The Soldiers are the ones who execute needed tasks to accomplish the mission. The more you take care of your Soldiers, the more your Soldiers will take care of you.

The first line of the Creed of the Non-Commissioned Officer states “ No one is more professional than I.” That one line is a statement. That statement should be owned and instilled in every Non-Commissioned Officer. All Non-Commissioned Officers should strive to live these words on duty and off duty. We should all be examples to all Soldiers of how to be professional. Another line in the Creed of the Non-Commissioned Officer states “ I am proud of the Corps of Non-Commissioned Officers and will at all times conduct myself so as to bring credit upon the Corps, the Military Service, and my country regardless of the situation in which I find myself.”

This goes to further show that we need to be professional in all aspects of our lives so that we do not bring down our organization and country. In the second paragraph it says, “ My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind – accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my Soldiers.” If you disregard the safety of your Soldiers, you are not looking out for the safety of your Soldiers therefore endangering their welfare. The last two lines of the Creed of the Non-Commissioned Officer says “ I will not compromise my integrity, nor my moral courage. I will not forget, nor will I allow my comrades forget that we are professionals, Non-Commissioned Officers, leaders!” This statement shows the dedication to professionalism and how important it is for a leader to exercise professionalism regardless of the situation and what it could mean for them good or bad.

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