FM 7-21.13 Chapter 3 Section 1
Duties, Responsibility, and Authority
Duty is defined as “Obligatory tasks, conduct, service, or functions that arise from one’s position (as in life or in a group).”- Merriam Webster. To others, it may mean a moral or legal obligation. Such as having a legal duty to obey lawful orders of those appointed over a soldier. According to the Army field manual noted above, junior enlisted soldiers perform all their duties to standard as well as to the best if their ability. Every operation is successful as a result of individual tasks being performed to standard. Likewise, NCO’s also have a duty to take care of their soldiers. We, as professionals, do not simply perform at the bare minimum. We strive daily to accomplish every task assigned to us to the very best of our abilities. We should be able to say “I have given my all each and every day.” This means that we as soldiers should also be able perform any given tasks collectively as a team. Sharing the workload is a prime example of performing as a team. There are three different types of duties. Specified Duties, Directed duties, and implied duties. Specified duties are directly related to a soldier’s job, as well as position. Directives from publications, such as Army regulations, Dept. of the Army general orders, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, applicable soldiers’ manuals, Army Training and Evaluation Program or Mission Training Plan Pubs, and Military Occupational Specialty job descriptions, are what actually specify the duties required. The say what a soldier must do and the standard for doing it. Directed duties are not specifically noted as a part of a Military Occupational Specialty, position within a job or any other directive. Any higher ranking person may give them by mouth or written on paper. An example of directed duties are being assigned as a sergeant of the guard, or being placed on charge of quarters, being the staff duty officer or staff duty runner, the company training Non Commissioned Officer, being the nuclear, biological, and chemical Non Commissioned Officer. These duties may not be found in the unit’s organizational charts. Implied duties frequently help out specified duties, and may not be related to military occupational specialty job position. They may not be written either, but implied in the instructions given. These types of duties are the kind that help to improve the quality of the job, and also help to keep the unit functioning at an optimum level. These things usually depend on individuals. It usually improves the work place and helps to motivate soldiers to do better because they want to, not because it is required of them to do so. Responsibility:
Responsibility is defined as “the legally established and moral obligation a Soldier assumes for his own actions, accomplishments and failures.” Others may say it is a moral, legal, or mental accountability. Those appointed as leaders assume the responsibility for the actions, accomplishments, and failures of their units and their decisions. The leader is the one that is directly responsible for the accomplishment of his assigned missions. Leaders are responsible for the health, welfare, morale and discipline of all of his or her soldiers. He or she maintains and employs the resources if his particular force.
Accountability is directly related to responsibility. This is the requirement to answer to a superior authority, and ultimately to the American people for the accomplishment of the mission, as well as for the lives and care of soldiers, and the effective and efficient use of Army resources. There is also an obligation to answer for the use of authority that has been properly delegated to another. All leaders are accountable for the things that they do, or fail to do. Soldiers account for their actions to their fellow soldiers or organization, their leaders, the Army and the American people.
Responsibility is a unique concept. It can only...
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