Respect and Integrity in the Military

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Respect and integrity, what really do those mean? I could look up those words in the Oxford English Dictionary or Websters, or Dictionary.com and give a scientific, perscise and exact answer to these words. And while that tells you what they mean, does that really give their meaning. Well by Dictionary.com's standards respect is a noun that means to hold in esteem or honor, and to show regard or consideration for. And Dictionary.com says that integrity means an adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character, honesty, and the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished as to morality. The Army on the other hand has their own, similar, but specific definitions for these words, they call values, and are one of the seven Army Values that are at the core of how the Army expects each and every soldier to live and act. To the army Respect, is straight forward, treat someone as they should be treated. Simple enough. Integrity on the other hand is a little more in depth. To the Army Integrity is doing what is right, legally and morally. But what do all of these words really mean? What do they stand for? Why do they matter?

While I do not disagree with the Army or Dictionary.com's definitions, at the same time I don't fully agree. There is so much more to respect and integrity then these simple definitions. The concept of what they really mean is so much larger, so much deeper, means so much more, and is much more important.

Lets start off with Respect. Respect is one of those strange things that people throw around far too often that I'm not sure if they really know what they are saying. You ask a street thug what respect is, they might tell you that respect is fear, and that you can only get respect through fear and intimidation, and respect can only be found at the end of a gun or bat. Is that really respect though? Will that thug still be respected when the fear is gone? You ask a parent what respect means, they might tell you that it means their children's obedience of their rules and following their guidance with out question. While this is a show of respect do the children really respect their parents or are they just following along. You ask roommates what respect means, they might tell you something along the lines of keeping out of each other's stuff, and keeping the common area's clean, and not hogging the bathroom. Is this respect. Eh. Its polite and courteous, which is a kind of respect but its also common sense that not doing any of these things would piss the other person off and start a fight between two people who have to live together.

Lets take a look back at the Army and it view of what respect is. As I have stated earlier the Army has seven basic principles that they want and expect every soldier from the lowest Private to the highest General to live up to. They are called the Army Values. They are Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless-Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal courage. Together they spell LDRSHIP or leadership.

Respect is the third of these values, and the Army also has its own definition for it. Under the Army Values, Respect means to treat people as they should be treated or to put it a slightly more narcissistic, yet relevant way, to treat others as you would want to be treated. It is this value that makes sure that everyone is acting curiosities towards everyone. Even when a person first enters the Army they are taught the meaning of respect within the Military. It is the very first thing a new soldier is taught. Respect for sergeants, respect for the Army, and respect for their country. The reason that respect is so important within the Army is this, without respect, how can one follow ones orders if they do not respect the person giving them? I mean sure you can respect the rank that they hold, but if you truly don’t respect the person then there would be chaos and mayhem running though out the military. When someone is...
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