meeting deadlines on or about mission critical tasking comes down to a lack of
time management and managing that time efficiently. Time management also is dependent
on discipline, or “training that produces obedience or self-control, often in
the form of rules and punishments if these are broken” (Cambridge Dictionary).
A lack of discipline creates complacency and a lack of the ability to manage
their time. Fulfilling deadlines is a way for leadership to see demonstrated
potential and commitment in a service member. If there is a potential for a
lack of deadlines, or no deadlines explicitly given, counterproductive members
of a team will tend to procrastinate and maximize non-productivity; thus
lowering potential output of an individual or a group of their peers.
Essentially, deadlines create productivity by creating a hard line or goal to
meet or exceed. Time management is equally important, as time lost is time not
spent towards furthering the self or the team. The military utilizes time as a
central pillar to its’ operations. There is a start and a stop to the workday.
There is a time when people arrive to the work center, and there is a COB.
There are operations and missions the Army and intelligence services depend on
that are time critical. Whether it’s sending up a PERSTAT, or dropping a JDAM
on a terrorists’ head, one little cog operating out of sync can cause the whole
machine to fail. No matter how small something may be, time management is
Army as a whole depends on these individual cogs to make up the larger machine
that is the power arm behind the military might that is the United States of
America. The United States’ ability to remain a superpower since the1800’s has
been solidified by the organization’s inherent and cohesive usage of time
management and discipline. Meeting deadlines and managing time is reflective of
discipline, whether of the unit’s discipline as a whole, or an individual
soldier’s discipline. The Army is dependent on results and effects; not excuses
on why a deadline or goal was not met. Results are critical, and largely affect
the country as a whole. Not only is the Army dependent on this critical time
management and discipline, but so too is the government; firefighting brigades
saving a house from burning down, or a police officer stopping a drunk driver
demand time sensitive actions on the part of the individual, the unit, and an
Failure to adhere to standards and
given deadlines has no place in the unit or this organization. Failure to do so
impacts the team, the unit and the organization. Failure to do so impacts
results needed for the United States military to remain the superpower it
remains to this day.
In order to be successful in any
profession, both Army and private sector, following directions is extremely
critical. Receiving, comprehending, and acting upon given orders is a valuable
and necessary skill in the Army so events, missions, and tasks can proceed as
directed in an orderly fashion. Following directions is critical in preventing
a misstep, injury, or even a possible death.
Direct Orders also instill
discipline and obedience. Orders follow the chain of command or the NCO Support
Channel as a method of proper communication and unity on the task at hand. By
definition, obedience is “compliance with an order, request, or law or
submission to another’s authority” (Oxford Dictionaries – Obedience). In the
military, this is a critical task, and outlines the success and safety of
soldiers accomplishing a mission. The disciplined thing to do when orders are
given are to follow those orders. Failure, at an individual or team level,
occurs when these orders are not followed. Failure of orders also affects the
team: lack of confidence in each other and the inability to have trust in one
another. Such situations compounded on one another may result in injury or even
Orders also allow leadership
potential to grow and flourish. Orders passed down the chain to be received by
your subordinates command respect and demonstrate ability to follow directions.
The abilities of a good leader to follow orders and the ability to lead others
go hand in hand, and demonstrate leadership potential. Essentially, if a leader
cannot rally their troops, they are not an effective one.
Disseminating orders and the
following of them also uphold the command structure inherent in the military.
In the civilian sector, a manager or head of a department issues tasks to
complete, and the subordinate must follow. This idea is also true within the
military. Orders are inherent and given from the first day of the military, in
that all soldiers say the Oath of Enlistment as their first official duties to
be upheld. The Oath states:
(first/last name) do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend
the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and
domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I
will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of
the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code
of Military Justice” (Army Oath).
The line “obey the orders of the President of the
United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me” is the
example by which I refer to this Oath. Following of orders is given in an
implied task on day one.
Not following orders also has its
own set of punishments. According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice
(UCMJ), an Article 15 or Article 92 may be placed upon a soldier based on the
severity. An Article 15 is known simply as a Nonjudicial Punishment and requires
approval by the commander, a Noncommissioned Officer may only recommend an
Article 15. An article 15 is used to deal out “in house” punishments that do
not require the use the court martial system. An Article 92, or “Failure to Obey Order or Regulation” is
when the court systems are utilized to punish a soldier for the failure to
follow orders or regulations and violations of these orders.
Respect, meaning “A feeling of deep admiration
for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or
achievements” (Oxford Dictionaries – Respect), is the third Army Value and is a
central pillar to the beliefs and principles upheld by the United States Army.
These beliefs and principles are representative of this organization and are
integral to the behaviors between superior and subordinate, team member to team
member, or officer to Noncommissioned Officer, and are central to customs and
courtesies that we must all adhere to. Respect and courtesies that travel both
up and down the chain are not only critical, but highly revered and regarded by
all. Respect is expected from the lower ranks upward, even if the soldier does
not necessarily like that person. All soldiers from top to bottom deserve
respect. Thusly, this concept is interwoven into the mindset of the average
soldier. Respect of a Non-Commissioned or Commissioned Officer is expected,
else challenging of authority is punishable legally. This concept is an
integral part of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), as once somebody
joins the US Army, they essentially waive their civilian rights of free speech
against a superior. Whether you agree or disagree with your superior, a simple
“ACK” or “ROGER” can be stated in order to be respectful, and in compliance of
an issuance of orders.
Respect also allows and builds upon
structure and discipline. Structure provides order and the necessary balance
within an organization or ensure duties and responsibilities. Respect for rank,
position, or authority ensures duties and tasks are accomplished by all to the
best of their abilities. Respect ensures goals and tasks are executed and met.
Respect is reflective also upon one’s own respect and discipline for themselves
and others. For example, saluting an officer is a custom and courtesy that
hinges on respect. If you do not care about the military, and are rude or
disrespectful, and just walk by an officer without rendering a salute, you will
most likely get immediate corrective training from said officer. This same
principle applies to a greeting of the day to a senior Noncommissioned Officer.
A proper “good morning” to the First Sergeant is fairly respectful. These
examples further solidify the idea that without the basic respect for
authority, the military would lack structure, rank, and authority. This lack of
respect would and can negatively unit cohesion and individual discipline. At
the end of the day, proper respect is needed to overcome interpersonal issues
in order to receive and act upon orders necessary to accomplish the mission.
In conclusion, I realize that my
lack of time management impacted the ability for me to further myself and my
career as an individual. The perception of these actions came off as
disrespectful, of which was not my intention, nor my purpose or reasoning. I
will utilize this learning opportunity to not make this mistake again and
manage my time and efforts more wisely.