obeying orders

Topics: Soldier, United States Army, Virtue Pages: 6 (2539 words) Published: December 11, 2013
Obeying Orders
Im here to talk on the importance of obeying orders. Obedience is important in the military way of life, in and outside the work place. Obeying orders is what allows us to operate in an organized and effective manner which is very important during these challenging times that the military goes through. While an individual can question the notion of obedience in daily life, this luxury is often not available in the military where the goals and aims requires a smooth internal functioning and well planned out coordination. Indeed, many of the standards that would be frowned upon outside the military are essential to the military work success. 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.

To obey someone means to comply with or fulfill the commands, restrictions, wishes, or instructions of that specific person. We are taught as children to obey our higher-ups. Starting from our parents, teachers, managers, police officers and etc… So how does this relate to the military? Well, when a person enlists in the United States Military, active duty or reserve, they take the following oath; “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.” Right there you are making a promise to the United States Military. Before you even put on the uniform, you promise you’ll obey the orders of the President and the orders of the officers appointed over you. Military discipline and effectiveness is built on the foundation of obedience to orders. Brand new privates are taught to obey, immediately and without question, orders from their superiors, right from day one of boot camp. Almost every soldier can tell you that obedience was drilled into their heads at one point in Basic Training. For example, no talking in the chow line, don’t talk with your hands, head and eyes forward, no smiling, stand a parade rest, and of course the famous “Yes Drill Sergeant / No Drill Sergeant”. Those are just the simple orders you are made to obey in the military. Greater orders mean bigger consequences. Military members who fail to obey the lawful orders of their superiors risk serious consequences. Seems like pretty good motivation to obey any order you're given, right? Nope. These articles require the obedience of LAWFUL orders. An order which is unlawful not only does not need to be obeyed, but obeying such an order can result in criminal prosecution of the one who obeys it. Military courts have long held that military members are accountable for their actions even while following orders -- if the order was illegal. "I was only following orders," has been unsuccessfully used as a legal defense in hundreds of cases (probably most notably by Nazi leaders at the Nuremberg tribunals following World War II). The defense didn't work for them, nor has it worked in hundreds of cases since. The first recorded case of a United States Military officer using the "I was only following orders" defense dates back to 1799. During the War with France, Congress passed a law making it permissible to seize ships bound to any French Port. However, when President John Adams wrote the order to authorize the U.S. Navy to do so, he wrote that Navy ships were authorized to seize any vessel bound for a French port, or traveling from a French port. Pursuant to the President's instructions, a U.S. Navy captain seized a...
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