Three attributes that make a good soldier are; discipline, integrity and punctuality. While there is much more to being a good soldier than Just these three attributes, I feel that these three encompass the most important traits that leadership looks for. Discipline is crucial to any military, it is the number one attribute that gives officers confidence in their soldiers to follow orders and builds trust amongst squads ,platoons , companies ,battalions and branches of the military.
If there is no discipline in a squad, platoon, company, or battalion then all order is lost as soldiers ill lose respect for their leaders and likely ignore orders that are not welcomed. Discipline in its simplest form comes down to teaching people to obey orders and no military can function with soldiers that do not obey orders. I also think that integrity and discipline go hand in hand with each other. Integrity means doing what is right not only legally, but morally as well.
Discipline, to me, means doing what’s right, and what you are told to do, without having to be supervised, or babysat. Being disciplined also means, that those who are higher above you, can trust that you will o what your told, and act professional at all times, not only when you know there is somebody watching. A good example of the difficulties that can happen when a military is undisciplined, is captured well in the documentary Camp Victory. I watched this documentary a few weeks before going to basic.
In this documentary, the film captures the United States Army’s difficulties in training an undisciplined Afghanistan Army and one can only feel sorry for the Afghan Army’s General as he encounters problems such as finding stolen ammunition in soldiers wall lockers and oldie’s missing formations so they could eat breakfast. In another scene of the film, the US Army organizes a literacy class for the Afghan soldiers as over 60% of Afghan Army are found to be illiterate.
To the Afghan General’s dismay, not one soldier shows up and the General is seen grabbing his No’s cell phone pleading his soldiers to show up. Watching that, I take pride in being an American soldier. Where we wouldn’t even think about missing formation to eat chow, and much less, have to be begged to do anything. I Just found this documentary very interesting, considering he fact that their army was so undisciplined. It Just goes to show how much we respect authority. My parents are actually the people who instilled discipline in me from a very young age.
My mother and I read book once by Max Enders (creator of the brave new discipleship system) where he says, “Only the disciplined ever get really good at anything. ” If you think about it, he’s right. For example, take a much undisciplined platoon that is always fooling around. Most of the time that is needed to actually teach them something, will be wasted trying to teach them to be spindled instead, therefore they will get nothing accomplished, so long as they stay undisciplined.
This film, or documentary whatever you would want to call it, captures examples of the opposite of the most fundamental military attributes of discipline, punctuality, and attention to detail. When these attributes are absent, the most basic day to day operations and missions end up with disastrous results. Punctuality is also reasons. One reason is that if someone is late for a patrol or convoy that patrol or convoy might have to leave without that person.
That is why we are taught to be punctual, even though you would think reporting for ICQ on time or ten minutes is no big deal, it is actually teaching you to be on time for duty, no matter what hour of the day it is. Another reason is because it will make whoever your relieving have to stay on ICQ for longer than they are supposed to, tired and sluggish because of that fact, giving a high chance that whatever work that person does would be unsatisfactory, and not up to standards because of lack of sleep (Or make them fall asleep in class).
Punctuality also shows your chain of command that you are serious about your Job and are ready and motivated to do said Job to the best of your ability. Let’s say you’re late to a convoy for example, if you had been there your patrol could have seen the ambush with the extra set of eyes watching. Being late could be what makes you lose battle buddies that could have survived if you were there to help. I know it might seem a little drastic but it is relevant to the point I am trying to make. Punctuality should be a main priority. And from now on I will never, ever be late to another for formation.