The Importance of Following Orders
Following orders is of the utmost importance in the military. Obedience is what enables the military to operate in an organized and effective manner which is clearly very important during challenging military situations. While an individual can question the notion of obedience in daily life, this luxury is often not available in the military where the grand goals and aims require smooth internal functioning and hierarchical coordination. Indeed, many of the standards that would be frowned upon outside the military are essential to the work's success within. For example, punishment is not deemed to be a positive occurrence in an average person’s life, whereas the military guide maintains that punishment strengthens one's determination and discipline and enables a person to learn and fully take the importance of following orders in. Not following orders is not an optional choice that recruits can make upon joining the army. The act of disobedience is considered to be an infractions and a person who placed himself in such a situation can find himself facing Article 15 charges. Thus, respect and obedience is of the utmost significance in the military as it helps maintain the internal structure and enables the military therefore to carry out its operations in confidence. The importance of orders to the military become clearer when it is taken into account that Article 15 punishments are administered without a jury or judge. The military recognizes that respect for authority is what maintains order and prevents the eruption of chaos and is hence willing to set an example for all who might be tempted to oppose their leaders, by administering these punishments first hand without any judicial representatives. Furthermore, article 90 makes it clearly illegal to disobey an order by a military officer. The extent to which obedience is safeguarded through strict laws and intolerance of disobedience or disrespectful behavior, underlines how military service's core foundation is obedience. The graver the circumstances during which disobedience occurs, the more likely it is that the punishment carried out is harsher and physically harmful. Disobedience of orders during war can for instance lead to the maximum penalty: the death sentence. If the soldier is not executed, then humiliation follows through dishonorable discharge, confinements in prison and the total forfeiture of pay and allowances. Hence it follows to raise the question, in the context of the aforementioned, of what concerns specifically shape this inflexible attitude regarding the disobedience of orders. First of all, orders are important in helping soldiers maintain a balance between their freedom, society's expectations and the good order of the miliary. This does not mean that a soldier is expected to blindly follow any orders. A soldier is required to namely only obey only lawful orders, which is measured in the following terms: the more ordinary the order is, the clearer it is that it is a lawful order which affirms the importance of obeying it for the soldier. Unlawful orders include for example the task of committing r concealing a crime, which soldiers are rained to disobey. What does however not fall within this category of unordinary tasks, is usually lawful and requires obedience. The military takes this extremely serious and approaches every case of disobedience with stern inflexibility making it hard for the offender to mount a convincing defense. Even the exception of not being held accountable if the order is unlawful is extremely limited to prevent chances of abuse. The military law is clear cut on its position regarding the affair of disrespect of authority and disobedience in the military through its brief but outspoken affirmation that the act of disobedience occurs "at the peril of the subordinate". Soldiers can therefore not disobey an order merely because it is in conflict wit their conscience. A soldier cannot...
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