What is accountability? The Army definition is: The obligation imposed by law or lawful order or regulation on an officer or other person for keeping accurate record of property, documents, or funds. The person having this obligation may or may not have actual possession of the property, documents, or funds. Accountability is concerned primarily with records, while responsibility is concerned primarily with custody, care, and safekeeping. However, the way I see accountability is the responsibility of keeping track of the equipment or personnel assigned to you. Accountability is a big thing in the military because it ties in with responsibility and duty. That obviously makes it an important topic, no matter your rank. No matter if you are a private with an M-4, or a Non Commissioned Officer with his squad, you are accountable for whatever is assigned to you. An example of this is morning formation, it is for PT, but it is also to get accountability of all of the soldiers under your command, as well as put out any information that may be needed later in the day such as the days operating procedure or times for formations. Without morning formation the 0900 work call would be mass chaos as people try to figure out where they are supposed to be to meet up with their platoon.
Self accountability is showing up to formation on time with all of my gear and sensitive items on hand. If you were not accountable for your gear something as small as a rhino mount could get lost somewhere between where you came from ad the formation. This would result in a massive police call which could possibly last for hours until this piece of gear is found. Once the equipment is found you will probably get massive amounts of counseling statements asking why you weren't accountable for the sensitive item you signed for. An article 15 could possibly follow in its wake, which would lead to loss of pay, rank, and extra duty. All of this over a little piece of folding