Since September, I have had the pleasure of writing this column. It was born as a way to help the Fort Bragg community gain a basic understanding of how the Army works. I’m pleased to say that along the way, I too, was able to learn a thing or two about the Army that I have loyally served in various capacities since I was 17 years old. It is with a bittersweet feeling that I write this column for the last time.
I will no longer be a writer for the Paraglide newspaper and will be moving to a new position outside of the Army realm. I am not quite sure what the future holds for “Basic Training,” it may be written by another member of the Paraglide staff or it may make its departure along with me.
Either way, I felt it appropriate to end this column with one of the first things I learned as a 17 year old private, attending basic combat training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma — the Army Values.
The seven core Army Values help set the ethical and moral standards of a Soldier.
“They are at the core of who we are as individuals, as Soldiers, as professionals and as Americans. Whether on or off-duty, Soldiers live these values every day. The easiest way to remember the Army Values is through the acronym ‘LDRSHIP,’” according to the Training and Doctrine Command 600-4 or “The Soldier’s Blue Book.”
Loyalty — Soldiers must bear faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, their unit and other Soldiers. The Blue Book states that a loyal Soldier is one who supports their leader and stands up for fellow Soldiers and by wearing the uniform of the U.S. Army they are expressing loyalty to the nation, Family and fellow Soldiers.
Duty — Soldiers must fulfill their obligations by carrying out their assigned tasks and being able to accomplish the mission as part of a team. Duty also requires Soldiers to work hard every day to be a better Soldier. Everyone in the Army contributes to the mission if they do their duty.
Respect — Soldiers will treat people as they themselves would want to be treated. Respect allows people to appreciate the best in others. Respect is trusting that everyone has done their jobs and fulfilled their duty. Self-respect is also important and is a result from knowing a Soldier has put forth their best effort. The Army is one team, and everyone contributes best when they are treated with respect.
Selfless Service — Put the welfare of the Nation, the Army and your subordinates before your own. In serving your country, you are doing your duty loyally without thought of recognition, reward, or personal comfort. Selfless services is the commitment of each 36 TRADOC Pamphlet 600-4 team member to go a little further, endure a little longer, and look a little closer to see how he or she can add to the team effort without thought of personal gain.
Honor — Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the Army Values in everything that a Soldier does. It is always doing what is known to be right even when no one is looking.
Integrity — Do what’s right, legally and morally. Integrity is a quality that is developed by adhering to moral principles. It requires that Soldiers do and say nothing that deceives others. As a person’s integrity strengthens, so does the trust others place in them, which is one of the most important things in the Army.
Personal Courage — When a Soldier faces and overcomes fear, danger or adversity they are displaying personal courage, which has long been associated with the Army. Courage involves enduring physical duress and at times risking personal safety.
Facing fear or adversity may require a Soldier to continue forward on the right path, especially if taking those actions is not popular with others. A person can build personal courage by standing up for and acting upon the things that they know are right.
Anyone, whether they are a Soldier or not, can use the Army Values as a guide in their life. I learned the values many years ago and still use them as a tool for my moral compass to this day.