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Discipline and Integrity

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Growing up I was always taught I needed Discipline. Discipline I was told was the key to anything, that if you were disciplined enough and set your mind to it anything was possible. As an adult I remember being taught that discipline was what I needed and being taught to have discipline in small ways; keeping my room clean, doing my homework, feeding the dog, taking out the trash, doing the dishes, helping cook dinner etc. Now that I am on my own however I find myself needing a lot more discipline than what I was taught, the discipline to remind myself to do those simple things, the discipline to sign out, the discipline to keep from doing things I should not, and the integrity to do all those things when no one is watching.

The Army defines discipline as following the seven Army Core Values and the Soldiers' creed. Webster says discipline is "activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; punishment inflicted by way of correction and training; behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control. " In essence they are the same. The Army tells soldiers that we need to follow the Army Core Values and the Soldiers' Creed on and off duty, these are our codes of conduct. In Basic Training and AIT soldiers are trained and controlled to gain discipline. Once the Drill Sergeant leaves, it is a different world, there is no longer anyone there to tell you when you have not been disciplined in the smallest ways so that the small problems do not become bigger problems.

Integrity is defined by Webster as, "adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty." Again, Webster and the Army are closely linked, the Army defines Integrity as doing what is right legally and morally. Integrity in the Army is adhering strictly to the Army Core Values and the Soldiers' Creed at all times, not just when you are on duty or when you think some one is watching. The Army Core Values and Soldiers' Creed are to live by not just to work by. Without integrity you cannot live the Army Values; without discipline you cannot live the Army Values.

All Army Core Values go hand in hand and in order to live the Army Values and Soldiers' Creed you need to have the self- discipline and integrity to do so. You do not have someone watching over you at all times like when you were a child, you have to look out for yourself, your battle buddies, and make sure that you are always doing the right thing. Thankfully though in the Army we have Battle Buddies, peers to look out for each other and tell one another when we are wrong however that does not mean we can slack on our own self- discipline.

In the Military Police Corps there is no room for lack of discipline, integrity, or slip up of the Army Values. Other soldiers look to up to the Military Police, as it has been said many times "We are the standard bearer". We have no room to mess up, we have to enforce the laws, we are not above them, and we have no place to enforce laws that we break.

The Army Core Values spell out LDRSHIP which reminds us that in order to be good leaders, we need to maintain these values in everyday life. Integrity to me is maintaining the Soldiers' Creed and the Army Core Values. The Army Core Values are: Loyalty; Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit, and other soldiers, Duty; Fulfill your obligations, Respect; Treat people as they should be treated, Selfless- Service; Put the welfare of the Nation, the Army, and your subordinates before your own, Honor; Live up to all of the Army Values, Integrity; Do what is right legally and morally, and finally Personal Courage; Face fear, danger, or adversity (physical or moral).

To me loyalty is more than just doing your duty and doing for your fellow soldiers when it is convenient, it is always being there when you are needed and always having their back. Loyalty is the bond in a unit, in a platoon, in a squad, in a team, loyalty makes the mission possible without loyalty there is no ability to work as a team. Duty is not just



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