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The Importance of Accountability and Responsibility in the Military

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What does it really mean to be a United States soldier? They’re the embodiment of bravery, honor, selfless service and sacrifice. But what good would these traits be in the hands of an irresponsible soldier? Every service member has been charged to maintain their arms, equipment and themselves at all times. If they don’t, they could easily be taken out of the fight, putting themselves and their battle buddies in harm’s way. That is where accountability comes into play. No matter if you are a junior enlisted with an M-4, a Specialist with CIF gear, or a Non-Commissioned Officer with a squad, all are held accountable for whatever is assigned to them. One of the facts that make our military strong is that we can assemble at the drop of a dime. This could only be achieved if those in charge are held accountable for themselves. In this essay I will stress the importance of responsibility and accountability in the United States Army.

A Soldier must always hold themselves to a higher standard than the rest of society. From the outside looking in, It would be unreasonable for a citizen to place faith in someone who cannot even be responsible for themselves, especially with as great a task as defending a country. If it was a wide spread problem, it would reflect negatively on our military and we would lose our support. As a soldier grows in their career and attempts to advance through the ranks in the military, they will come across many peers. Some of these individuals’ lives could very well depend on that soldier. So if he or she appears negligent, how could they entrust him or her with their safety? Should this irresponsible person be given a position of power, they would then set a bad example for their subordinates to follow.

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You must be a responsible soldier if you want to make it through deployment alive. Or even worse, if you fail to be responsible you could risk your entire squad’s lives. You can only become responsible when you aren’t ate up. An example of being responsible would be to always arrive on time. Especially to formations. Time management is crucial to survival on the battle field where seconds mean the difference between life or death. As said before responsibility must be used in every part of your life as a soldier, you must do this without having to be constantly reminded or helped. I failed to be responsible when I neglected to take proper accountability of my CIF gear. I left my assault pack with my ACH and eye pro unsecured. The consequence of which one of my battle buddies before me had to bear. He had to pay of a lost ACH that cost $322.

Accountability is an integral part of the Soldier’s Creed:

I am an American Soldier.

I am a Warrior and a member of a team.

I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values. I will always place the mission first.

I will never accept defeat.

I will never quit.

I will never leave a fallen comrade.

I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.

I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.

I am an expert and I am a professional.

I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.

I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.

I am an American Soldier.

The most significant part in the Soldier’s Creed for me at this time is: I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself. If I lack this fundamental lesson I could put myself in danger or some of my battle buddies.

To lose a sensitive item can be detrimental to the readiness of my unit in times of war or training. In times of war losing CIF gear is catastrophic considering you have just given your enemy the opportunity to wield these items against your battles.

In conclusion, accountability of sensitive items are the most important aspect of the military way of life. My team depends on me to keep all my equipment within arms length and in working order. I will strive to maintain proper accountability of my equipment. I will never know what will someday save my life or the life of my comrades. 

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