The Importance of Documentation

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The Importance of Documentation

Documentation: Material, printed or electronic, that provides official information or evidence or that serves as a record. Why is documentation important? Without it there would be no record of anything. Humans have been documenting and recording important information for centuries. Information from inventory lists to details of wars, weather reports, past civilizations, and census data.

As a non-commissioned officer having documentation when required is important in many aspects of my duties at work and even at home. At work there are medical files and profiles, leave paperwork, ammunition requests, forms for vehicle repairs, parts requests, dependent documents… the list goes on and on but each document is important for its own unique reasons. Without medical files there would be no documentation of injuries or illnesses and what was done to treat them. What if the issue reoccurred? A physician would need the details of past treatments and medications to determine what the current treatment should be. A medical profile is an important document for showing proof of health or injury related limitations or restrictions to avoid causing the issue to worsen. Without properly completed and filed leave paperwork a soldier’s leave request would be denied. Other paperwork ignored or improperly completed can result in mission failure, delayed repairs, etc. Dependent documents are imperative to ensuring eligible family members receive the benefits entitled to them.

The NCO Creed:

No one is more professional than I. I am a Noncommissioned Officer, a leader of soldiers. As a noncommissioned officer, I realize that I am a member of a time honored corps, which is known as "the Backbone of the Army." I am proud of the Corps of Noncommissioned Officers and will at all times conduct myself so as to bring credit upon the Corps, the military service and my country regardless of the situation in which I find myself. I will not use my grade or position to attain pleasure, profit or personal safety. Competence is my watch-word. My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind -- accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my soldiers. I will strive to remain technically and tactically proficient. I am aware of my role as a noncommissioned officer. I will fulfill my responsibilities inherent in that role. All soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership; I will provide that leadership. I know my soldiers and I will always place their needs above my own. I will communicate consistently with my soldiers and never leave them uninformed. I will be fair and impartial when recommending both rewards and punishment. Officers of my unit will have maximum time to accomplish their duties; they will not have to accomplish mine. I will earn their respect and confidence as well as that of my soldiers. I will be loyal to those with whom I serve; seniors, peers and subordinates alike. I will exercise initiative by taking appropriate action in the absence of orders. I will not compromise my integrity, nor my moral courage. I will not forget, nor will I allow my comrades to forget that we are professionals, Noncommissioned Officers, leaders!

As an NCO, as a leader of soldiers, it is my responsibility to set the standard. It is my responsibility to be the example and demonstrate that which I expect from my soldiers. Leadership, competence, responsibility, and accountability are the foundation of successful operations within the United States Military. That ability to train, prepare and lead men into combat has been a defining characteristic of our military for hundreds of years. The importance these skills cannot be underestimated. Leaders apply these skills to ensure a successful mission.

Since the revolutionary war, men have been dedicating their lives to the freedom of our country. These men were part of a team that received orders from leaders about how to overcome the enemy of the...
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