Leadership and Discipline in the United States Army
The tasks of an infantryman can range from mundane activities like scraping wax off of floors to adrenaline pumping activities like jumping out of airplanes or avoiding enemy gunfire. Whether a United States Army Infantryman is conducting area beautification in garrison or clearing a landing zone during a deployment, the common denominator in all infantryman tasks is leadership and the discipline of the soldier to follow the directives and orders of his leaders without questioning the task, the motives behind the directive or order, or the judgement of the leader issuing the directive or order. This is the essence of discipline; maintaining individual creative thought, while at the same time carrying out tasks and duties assigned in accordance with the instructions to which they were assigned. Discipline is doing the right thing at the right time. Leadership is the ability of an individual to motivate and accurately direct the efforts of individuals for whom which the leader has charge to accomplish a task or goal. It requires instilling confidence in the soldiers and providing them with enough direction so that they can achieve the goal in a given time period. In the United States Army Infantry, good discipline and leadership are essential to successful mission accomplishment. Soldiers need to have the discipline to obey an order to attack a machine gun nest and face death. At the same time, leaders need to have the skills to motivate their soldiers to accomplish difficult goals. Discipline and leadership form a symbiotic relationship in which soldiers will recognize good leadership decision making processes and in return, develop a greater trust in the abilities of the leader. This trust will enable the soldiers to work harder to achieve the tasks put forth by the leaders in a manner that is conducive with how the leader would want the tasks to be accomplished. Leadership and discipline are like...
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