It is important to note first, what accountability is. I will state why it is important as well as go over scenarios in dealing with accountability. Accountability means being liable to being called to account; answerable. A good military definition of the word would be and usually means to be liable for paperwork and or property, and personnel; usually of lesser grade and rank. When dealing with army leadership and duties; being a soldier and or a leader means being accountable for what you do or don’t do as well as implied duties and responsibilities. As a leader, being one means to be accountable not only for one’s actions, but for the actions of the soldiers for which you are assigned. One is to be accountable for equipment that is assigned to one’s-self as well.
The department of defense states and defines accountability to be an 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 safe-keeping. But again, let us not get the definitions confused. The term accountability differs from the term of responsibility. There is a big difference.
There are reporting procedures and processes for recording and accounting for personnel and equipment. There are different types and ways of reporting within different sizes and types of elements of a command. There are also ways in which one will report to one who is in a designated duty position and or of higher rank and grade within different elements of commands. The ways in which a soldier may report can be orally or written in order to account for property, equipment, and or personnel.
Soldiers must always be accountable for their actions. For every action