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Professionalism is something that is extremely important for any job a person may have, yet it comes into play even more so with the military. War is something that requires a large amount of discipline, respect, and commitment. A soldier in the US Army has multiple professional responsibilities. They must preserve the trust of the American people by sustaining five essential characteristics of the profession: Trust, Military Expertise, Honorable Service, Esprit de Corps, and Stewardship.
Without the trust of ones subordinates and fellow soldiers a leader is not able to successfully take charge of a situation and lead them in the right direction. One does not build to the trust of their comrades by cursing at them for their mistakes. This will lead to dissent within the ranks which is the breakdown of trust among the troops. Without trust the Army will not stay together and will collapse.
The next characteristic is Military Expertise. A soldier must be fully trained in the tasks that they will be required to do. Even though a soldier may not like everything that they have to do, part of being a professional is doing those tasks you do not wish to do.
Honorable service is extremely important in the professionalism of a soldier. A soldier must have pride and integrity and serve his country honorably. Without the desire to be honorable, a soldier cannot become a professional.
Esprit de Corps is a feeling of pride, fellowship, and common loyalty shared by the members of a particular group. Soldiers have to not want to fail or quit. It’s important to keep motivated no matter what circumstances you are in. Soldiers may be in a situation that seems hopeless, yet the trust and comradery shared between troops will allow them to prevail through any circumstances. Without morale, soldiers will give up instead of fighting on.
Stewardship is the conducting, supervising, or management of something entrusted to one’s care. In the military this ranges from the supplies one is responsible for to the lives of the men one may lead. An Army Officer has to be willing to take responsibility for everything he is accountable for. They must never leave a man behind and always be aware of the state their subordinates are in. Even though an Army Officer may not be the person firing all of the weapons in the field, he/she is still responsible for their proper return and care.
Discipline is another aspect that makes up a military professional. In the past, discipline was based on the ability for a solider to stand in a tight formation and be able to fire in unison with the soldiers around him. Nowadays discipline is no longer taken in this regard. Modern military discipline is based on the ability for a soldier to follow orders when given, maintain their weapons, and be able to use the proper amount of force. If a soldier is not disciplined one may cause needless damage and still lose a battle.
Commitment is another factor that is extremely important for a military professional. A soldier must be committed to the cause no matter what the circumstances are. They must commit themselves to their country, the service, and each other to be able to successfully complete the mission at hand. Even though soldiers may be required to work extremely long hours under rigorous conditions, commitment will allow them to continue pushing forward even when their bodies say otherwise.
A military professional cannot do much without skill, even if they have extreme discipline or even the commitment of a zealot. Skill is the factor that enables soldiers to finish the tasks that they are assigned to the best of their ability. A soldier has to be specialized in the skills he needs: infantrymen must be able to shoot straight and accurately, engineers must be able to build, and a pilot needs to be able to fly. If a soldier lacks either knowledge or skill then it may mean death for someone when there may only seconds to return fire to the enemy or stop the bleeding of a fellow soldier.
Professionalism is a necessity for all members of the military from enlisted to the highest ranking of officers. An unprofessional soldier won’t be able to garner the respect necessary to properly lead a team and take charge. That’s why it is extremely important to always keep your cool and be professional at all times.
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