Accountability and Being on Time

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The dictionary defines punctual as: Acting or arriving exactly at the time appointed; prompt. Under the rigid and disciplined structure of military life there is no margin for error. The slightest modicum of hesitation or procrastination can result in the tragic loss of innumerable lives. There are many circumstances where a failure to be prompt could have dire consequences. Under certain circumstances not arriving for guard duty at the designated time could allow a breach of security that could ultimately end in the brutal murder of your peacefully slumbering, unsuspecting battle buddies at the zealous hands of our insurgent foes. Choosing an example from a different segment of the spectrum of responsibility, we see how a noncommissioned officer’s failure to release his soldiers in a timely manner can affect the combat effectiveness of the entire unit. If this leader’s long windedness results in a soldier consistently being released to go on shift without enough time to eat, the soldier may resort to eating junk food to prevent his stomach from reaching a painful, distended state. Over time these seemingly minor indiscretions on the part of this senior noncommissioned officer could culminate in the sum total of a malnourished, ineffectual soldier. Keeping in mind that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, the callused behavior of one leader can exponentially reduce the combat readiness of an entire unit. On a lesser scale missing a movement probably won’t result in loss of life but can easily damage one’s career. Then again even this event that seems so trivial in the large scale of things could have a tragic and unforeseen outcome. Imagine our unfortunate soldier that has missed his flight to beautiful, sunny Afghanistan. Now because he missed his flight due to fate, folly or indiscretion he has been relegated to fly out with another unit at a later time. As the rest of this hapless soldier’s comrades begin their descent towards the gritty, decrepit...
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