Similar to the restructuring in early the 1990s, our Army is transforming from one in conflict to a peacetime force. This is not an easy transition and requires patience, understanding and dedication to the Army’s Values. As funding, available personnel and resources contract, we will all be tempted to cut corners and find the easiest way of conducting business. This easier way is not always the best option. We need to ensure we are always doing what is right.
The Office of the Inspector General, often observes Soldiers whose actions do not reflect the seven Army Values. Whether it is leadership cutting corners or junior enlisted making bad choices, it is obvious these Values are not foremost in all Solders minds.
In 1995, the Army officially adopted Army Values listed in Army Regulation 600-100, Army Leadership, dated March 8, 2007, stating all Soldiers are required to live them daily in everything they do, whether on or off duty.
Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit and other Soldiers. Bearing true faith and allegiance is a matter of believing in and devoting yourself to something or someone. A loyal Soldier is one who supports the leadership and stands up for fellow Soldiers. By wearing the uniform of the U.S. Army you are expressing your loyalty. And by doing your share, you show your loyalty to your unit.
Fulfill your obligations. Doing your duty means more than carrying out your assigned tasks. Duty means being able to accomplish tasks as part of a team. The work of the U.S. Army is a complex combination of missions, tasks and responsibilities – all in constant motion. Our work entails building one assignment onto another. You fulfill your obligations as a part of your unit every time you resist the temptation to take “shortcuts” that might undermine the integrity of the final product.
Treat people as they should be treated. Respect is what allows us to appreciate the best in other people. Respect is trusting that all people have done their jobs and fulfilled their duty. And self-respect is a vital ingredient with the Army value of respect, which results from knowing you have put forth your best effort. The Army is one team and each of us has something to contribute.
Put the welfare of the nation, the Army and your subordinates before your own. Selfless service is larger than just one person. In serving your country, you are doing your duty loyally without thought of recognition or gain.
Live up to the Army values. The nation’s highest military award is The Medal of Honor. This award goes to Soldiers who make honor a matter of daily living – Soldiers who develop the habit of being honorable, and solidify that habit with every value choice they make. Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity and personal courage in everything you do.
Do what’s right, legally and morally. Integrity is a quality you develop by adhering to moral principles. It requires that you do and say nothing that deceives others. As your integrity grows, so does the trust others place in you. The more choices you make based on integrity, the more this highly prized value will affect your relationships with family and friends, and, finally, the fundamental acceptance of yourself.
Face fear, danger or adversity (physical or moral). Personal courage has long been associated with our Army. With physical courage, it is a matter of enduring physical duress and at times risking personal safety. Facing moral fear or adversity may be a long, slow process of continuing forward on the right path, especially if taking those actions is not popular with others. You can build your personal courage by daily standing up for and acting upon the things that you know are honorable.
As the Army begins to restructure its force, leaders must ensure Soldiers at all levels adhere to these values. Soldiers must have a thorough understanding of these values, and live them without an expectance of praise. We have all heard the term “back to basics,” living these values at the core of every individual’s or leader’s decision begins this process. We are a great Army and will be even greater when living by these seven values.