The Army Values
"Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. constitution, the Army, and other soldiers. Be loyal to the nation and its heritage."
I define loyalty as the willingness of a person to sacrifice at their own personal expense in order to protect, uphold, defend and edify those persons, ideals and/or things which they cherish most. The amount of loyalty a person feels towards someone or something determines how much they are willing to sacrifice for them. As a soldier, we are called upon to sacrifice every aspect of our lives - the physical, the mental, the emotional and the spiritual - in order to protect, uphold, defend and edify the U.S. constitution, the Army, our fellow soldiers and the nation and heritage (all those things about America that we have fought and died to achieve as a country; our structure of government, our laws and our freedoms, our prosperity) of our homeland. Our sacrifices demonstrate our loyalty and it is our loyalty that allows the America we know today to continue to grow and prosper as our ancestors hoped. It is worth noting that loyalty, as a rule, does not take into consideration the small, every-day irritants and disagreements that we encounter with the persons and things to which we are loyal; if it did, it would no longer require self-sacrifice but would instead be a matter of business exchange, or more appropriately, mercenary enterprise. This is why the Army definition of loyalty uses the phrase, "true faith"; to have faith means to believe even when the evidence and facts are in disagreement with the desired outcome of one's hopes and action(s). Loyalty means to believe that our personal sacrifices will be worthwhile in the end no matter how bleak the outcome may look in the present.
"Fulfill your obligations.
Accept responsibility for your own actions and those entrusted to your care. Find opportunities to improve oneself for the good of the group."
According to The Free Dictionary:
Duty - the social force that binds you to the courses of action demanded by that force; "...every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty."- John D.Rockefeller Jr."
According to FORSCOM G8, "The essence of duty is acting in the absence of orders or direction from others, based on an inner sense of what is morally and professionally right.... Duty begins with everything required of you by law, regulation, and orders; but it includes much more than that. As a professional do your work not just to the minimum standard, but to the very best of your ability. Commit to excellence in all aspects of your professional responsibility so that when the job is done they can look back and say, “I couldn’t have given any more.” Take the initiative, figuring out what needs to be done before being told what to do. What’s more, take full responsibility for your actions and those of your subordinates. Never shade the truth to make the unit look good—or even to make others feel good. Instead, follow your higher duty to the Army and the nation."
I define a sense of duty as the feeling of obligation to act in accordance to our loyalties; as the actions of those who willingly sacrifice at their own personal expense as required in order to protect, uphold, defend and edify those persons, ideals and/or things which they cherish most. Without a sense of loyalty, there can be no sense of duty; what reasons would you then have to feel obligated to perform to the requested standards, to accept responsibility for your actions or the actions of others, or even to look for opportunities to improve oneself at all? Without obligation - that is to say, without being bound - sacrifice becomes nothing more than masochism at worst, a pity party at best. As soldiers, we are obligated to act on the loyalty we have for our U.S. constitution, the Army, our fellow soldiers, the nation and its heritage. This is our duty.
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