Respect in the Military

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Respect, especially in the Army is a very important value to live by. It is much more than just talking kindly and listening to someone. It is the process of taking into consideration someone’s emotions, feelings and needs. You must also focus on their ideas, thoughts, and preferences. It is showing someone that you value their time; that you care what they have to say. Showing someone respect allows that person to know and acknowledge that you are tracking them and that you comprehend and believe in what they are saying, It is important to allow someone to feel your respect for them. It will ease the conversation and create trust. Behavior and attitude will allow the person demanding respect to feel that respect. When we respect each other, there are fewer conflicts. People get along easier and avoid the un-necessary drama associated with a lack of respect. For those of us in the military, this is very important.

Respect is not only shown verbally, but also by one’s behaviors and actions. For example, if someone (be it a soldier or not) you respect asks you to do something—you should show him or her the respect they are asking for and do what they say. Don’t argue, just do it. In the Army this often comes into play on a daily basis. If someone you respect asks you to do something, you should do it immediately and without hesitation. You should do it quickly. For instance, if someone asks you to go knock out twenty-five pushups, mountain-climbers, dips, pull-ups, crab walks, bear crawls, or another exercise, you should immediately show them the respect and do it. Do it fast and do not complain. Do not question them, do not ask for further explanation, and do not do anything other then what they ask. That might give them the impression that you do not respect them. If you perform the duty they ask, It will help show them you respect them and their word or authority. When someone has the feeling that you are respecting him or her, than they will behave accordingly. If someone gets the impression that you are not respecting what they have to say, they will also act accordingly—and sometimes that comes with negative consequences.

The concept of respect is not a new one. It has been around for thousands of years, from ancient tribes to the kings of Europe. Back many thousand years ago people who were not respected could easily die. If a group of hunters and gathers were out wandering around and thought that someone was not contributing and respecting the group, that person could easily be left behind to die. They would consider this person to have no worth or value—when in those kind of situations your life depends on this. There would be no need for this person to be around to bring the rest of the group down. If they can’t contribute and respect the others, they are a waste of space. That is why respect is so important. One individual could bring the whole group down. One person disrespecting an NCO or an Officer could get a whole group of squared away people smoked. Stuff like that is unacceptable.

Today this concept is somewhat different. A trust fund baby might inherit a super large amount of money—say 100 million dollars. They can hire a large group of staff: maids, butlers, assistants, etc. The trust fund baby might treat these assistants like lower-class inferior people. He might give them attitude and treat them inhumanely. The workers might not respect their boss in the slightest degree, but the boss will continue to survive due to his fortune. They will have to continue to work and show him respect in order to survive themselves, though in reality they do not respect him. It is comical in a way because this trust fund baby may not have ever been respected; yet now with all of the money he feels that he commands this respect. This is an example of how people can succeed and command respect without earning it.

In reality, respect needs to be earned. There are many different ways to earn...
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