Customs and Courtesies in the Army

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The Army in an extremely nostalgic organization with a copious amount traditions and has about a million different methods of conducting its business. Some are old and some are new, but possibly the oldest one that has been around since before the Army was officially established and still lives today is the Armys rules, regulations and policies on customs and courtesies. In this form of a remedial block of instruction given to me by my team leader, due to certain circumstances I am to explain the Armys customs and courtesies and the importance they have always and still do hold within the Army.

The Army is an organization that imprints pride and discipline in its soldiers, both enlisted and commissioned officers, because of its history, mission, capabilities, and the respect it has earned in the service of the nation. A reflection of that pride and discipline is visible in the customs, courtesies, and traditions the Army holds. Inversely the pride and discipline is visible because the customs, courtesies and traditions of the Army are regularly practiced. There are many ways in the Army to instill discipline, such as drill and ceremony for example. Like drill and ceremony, practicing of the customs, courtesies, and traditions is yet another effective means of instilling discipline, a sense of pride in ones self and ultimately the Army, and professionalism that we are well known for. Courtesy among members of all the branches of the military is important to maintain discipline. Military courtesy essentially means having good manners and respect in dealing with other people. Courteous behavior provides a foundation for developing good people skills. Its inevitably one of the small pieces that make up the bigger picture of serving in uniform. Failing to conduct ones-self in these mannerism IAW AR 600-24 or chapter 4 of FM 7-21.13 just labels that person as careless or raised poorly. A scary amount of people however seem to forget that courtesy and respect is not a one way street and that you have to give respect to get respect, at least between two men anyway.

Customs and traditions have their rightful in garrison life but they still serve what might be an even more important purpose in combat as well. In war they keep the soldier fighting, they urge him, they motivate him, they push him, they give him the will, they give him to the desire to want to face his enemy, close with and destroy him as the many soldier with unflinching bravery before him did. The pride and discipline passed down from the beginning until present day possesses us in the face of the enemy. We as soldiers fight for our brigade, our battalion, our company, our platoon, our squad, and our battle buddies to out left and our right. When most people in the Army today think about customs, courtesies and traditions they just know and think about one kind. All they think about is, standing at parade rest for NCOs and saluting officers. Yes of course that important for the sake of discipline and professionalism and shouldn't be forgot but there is so much more to who we are and the things we do than just that. Another way customs, courtesies and traditions serves us in combat is this, if a soldier doesn't respect his seniors then the soldier won't listen to them in combat when they could be getting told to do something of importance. The soldier will neglect his duty and could very well get himself or multiple other solders hurt or killed, plan and simple. Unless his senior is just a complete idiot (and lets not be naïve because there are way too many of them out like that out there) he should respect him and listen to him/her.

Not displaying the proper customs and courtesies also has a negative affect not on just the person guilty of this but on his team as a whole. From the outside looking in people see an NCO who cant control and discipline his soldier. That NCO might possibly want to go to a school or might desire some sort of favorable action and...
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