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Being
punctual is more than just arriving to your appointed destination at your
appointed time. It’s about your ability to follow orders and follow through,
respect, and discipline. There are a plethora of things that go along with
being punctual but I feel that these three should be considered as the most
important of them all. These three, are all character traits that if built well
enough will ensure that not only will you have a successful career but you will
also live a successful life. Two of these traits, which are Duty and Respect,
are also listed among the Seven Army Core Values of which as a soldier you are
meant to live by. Discipline is held in such high regard amongst the military
community that at most times it feels like it is a core value.

            Your ability to follow orders and
follow through is also seen as the value of Duty. Fulfilling your obligations shows
that you are dependable and this is held in high regard when doing anything, not
only in the military, but life in general. When you show that you are
dependable it reassures those around you that even if somehow they cannot
perform; you are ready, willing, and able to step up to take on any task that
needs to be done. This is especially crucial when in life or death situations;
which as a soldier, you are more than likely to find yourself in a handful of
times while serving your country. For instance, I know that if I were to be out
with a patrol and couldn’t depend on the men or woman around me then I would be
terrified and unprepared to come into contact with any enemy because I would
not know if the people around me are ready to fulfill their duties and preform
as a soldier should. In the military life something as simple as showing up to
an appointment or showing up to a formation on time shows that you have the
ability to fulfill your obligations and therefore shows that you are someone
that can be depended on.

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            It could easily be consider a blatant
sign of disrespect to your command when you are not punctual. Someone is
depending on you to do what is already expected of you and when failing orders
such as reporting for formation you are not only letting them down but potentially
showing that you do not respect them as a leader. Although, that is not the
case for most soldiers who struggle with punctually it can be portrayed as such
to not only the leaders but those who also work next to them. When other
soldiers see one of their peers lacking in one of their sworn values it can
cause tension in the work place and be detrimental to missions because when one
does not show respect to their leadership it undermines the authority of said
leadership. For example, in a combat related scenario; if you take a unit that
has such complications and thrust them into a hostile situation, subordinates
will begin to question their leaders decision making skills; therefore,
rendering them combat ineffective. An example shown in the following passage
from The Army Core Values, perfectly
describes the reason behind the importance of punctuality in relation to
respect.

“Army leaders honor everyone’s individual worth by treating
all people with dignity and respect. The leader who feels and gives the respect
which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them regard for him or herself.
While he/she who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect toward others,
especially his subordinates, cannot fail to inspire hatred against him or
herself. Respect for the individual forms the basis for the rule of law, the
very essence of what makes America. In the Army, respect means recognizing and
appreciating the inherent dignity and worth of all people. This value reminds
you that your people are your greatest resource.” (Pg.2)

            When a
command is given it requires self-discipline for one to follow through with it.
A trait that is reinforced through all military trainings, it typically starts
when you enter basic training and is practiced throughout every aspect of your
life both in and out of the military. During basic training you are broken down
and built up with one of the strongest abilities being your new found ability
to practice self-discipline to complete each mission or assignment. Without
being disciplined a soldier will not stay on task or obey simple orders such as
punctuality. When you practice discipline you practice order and routine, you
go to bed at a specific time so you are able to wake up and show up on time.
You have your uniform squared away at all times and all bags or gear prepared
for any situation that should arise. Discipline means knowing what you need to
do for yourself and others so that you maintain that expectations set in place
by your leadership. Without practicing discipline orders will not be accomplished
in a timely manner which could in turn jeopardize a mission, the trust your
leadership has in you or how a commander views the unit as a whole.

            In
conclusion punctuality has more factors than just simply making sure you are on
time but instead requires you to practice many Army Core Values on a daily
bases. As a squared away soldier you are held to the highest standards and punctuality
can damage a person’s reputation as well the unit he or she represents. Punctuality
reinforces your value of duty; it shows your peers as well as your command/leadership
that you respect their time as much as your own. Being prompt shows your
willingness and use of self-discipline to complete any give task or carry out a
command. If this one simple task and/or action implies a variety of things that
reveal our morals and values to those involved in our day to day lives than you
can only imagine what other small daily tasks we carry out that reflect on our
character. 

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