The Importance of Sending Text Messages to My First Line

Topics: Ethics, United States Army, Value Pages: 6 (2168 words) Published: November 4, 2011
This is a 3000 word essay on the importance of obeying a direct order from my first line. I am writing this essay because my first line told me to report in to him with a text message after I had been let go from my duties to take a driver’s test. I completely ignored this order and went along doing my own thing.

It is extremely important to obey my first line, because if I do not, the consequences will be bad. Also, by not obeying my first line, I violated Article 92 of the UCMJ, which could be punishable with up to an Article 15, and also loss of rank.

Article 92 states:
“Any person subject to this chapter who—

(1) Violates or fails to obey any lawful general order or regulation;

(2) having knowledge of any other lawful order issued by a member of the armed forces, which it is his duty to obey, fails to obey the order; or

(3) is derelict in the performance of his duties; shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

As a soldier, you must be a person of strong and honorable character committed to the professional military ethic. The p.m.e. is central to everything that we do. It expresses what we believe and value as a profession and serves as the moral compass that guides us as we strive to live out those beliefs. Our ethic is as old as the Army itself. Forged throughout our history, it remains relevant – even vital – in today’s era of constant conflict. As the character of conflict in the 21st century evolves, the Army’s strength will continue to rest on our values, our ethos, and our people. Our soldiers and leaders must remain true to these values as they operate in increasingly difficult environments where moral-ethical failures can have unplanned consequences. Most of our soldiers do the right thing – and they do it well – time and again under intense pressure. But we must stay vigilant in upholding our high professional standards, especially when it comes to following orders. We must think critically about our professional military ethic and encourage dialogue at all levels as we deepen our understanding of what this time-honored source of strength means to the profession today. Being in the military calls us towards a deeper understanding of what it means to be a professional, to be part of a professional body, and our responsibilities to that body and to the nation it serves in continuing to advance our ethics. Within the military itself, the Army has its own set of ethics. The Army’s ethic is to maintain the Army’s effectiveness. This suggestion is as clear as it is true-without such an ethic, the Army cannot be effective at what it does. The Army’s ethics provide the primary means of social direction and control over their members as we perform our expert duties and orders, often under hectic conditions. How, and how well, do the individual professionals within the Army—officers, nco’s, enlisted soldiers, and civilians alike—assume the Army ethic in their daily lives such that the Army’s leadership is seen consistently on duty and off duty, 24 hours a day? This is done by following all orders that are given to us-from the most basic of orders (such as sending a text message to my first line) to the most complex of orders given to us on the battlefield. I was given a direct order yesterday to text message my first line after I finished taking my driver’s test. Once I finished my test, I failed to follow through with that order. If I had been given this order while in a combat situation, I could have compromised the mission, and lives could have been lost because I failed to follow through on a direct order. Text messages are a way for me to stay in contact with my first line, and anyone else who needs me. And when I fail to respond to a text, or I fail to send a text, then my first line and others do not know if I have completed my orders, or the mission. By not sending my text message to my first line, I was showing that I was not being trustworthy as a soldier, and...
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