In the military there are set standards, most of which are pretty simply accomplished. All soldiers are expected to meet these standards on a daily basis, as being in the Army is a 24 hours a day, 7 days week job. One of these standards that holds great importance is accountability, as well as being on time.
Failure to meet these standards can and will result in some quite extensively negative consequences. Soldier’s are responsible for reporting to their squad leaders. This allows the NCO and the rest of the chain of command to ensure that they are at the right place at the right time.
Without proper accountability it is impossible to know if, for instance, a soldier is injured or missing. Having proper accountability can prevent much confusion, frustration, and even dangers among the unit. If someone has not reported to their squad leader, they may assume that that person is missing, injured, or simply AWOL. Morning formation is the most important formation of the day. First formation tells the chain of command who is where. If the enlisted in charge can not give a list of who is where at that time, it can cause issue down the chain.
This formation lets the higher command know who is available to be assigned to additional details, and who is currently on a detail. It ensures that everyone who is supposed to be there is showing up on time for work, earning their paycheck. The work call formation can be just as important as morning formation. When someone doesn’t show up, it can cause complications for the current mission(s) and the unit. The responsibilities of that person will have to fall upon the others in the unit, creating frustrated and tired soldiers.
If a soldier does not show up at the mandated time and place, it will then be the chain of command’s responsibility to implement corrective training that matches the offence. If the soldier can not be at the right time and place, it gives the impression that they are not dependable. Having a soldier in your ranks who you can not count on or trust can have a chain reaction of negative effects. Distrust in itself can lead to negative feelings toward each other. These negative feelings can spread, and cause soldiers to become hostile and possibly violent with others.
In garrison, these issues can be more easily solved. However, when overseas the soldiers will be together far more often, and will need to count on each other to have their backs and possibly save their lives. Trust is a very important attribute to have within the unit. If someone is always late, undependable, and can’t be trusted, how are the other soldiers supposed to count on that person to have their back overseas? A unit cannot act as a team without this necessary dependency on each other. In instances such as missing movement, harsher consequences will follow.
Article 87 from UCMJ states that “Any person subject to this chapter who through neglect or design misses the movement of a ship, aircraft, or unit with which he is required in the course of duty to move shall be punished as a court-martial may direct. ” This means that if a soldier knowingly, either by neglect to prepare or by intent misses a movement, they will go to trial by court marshal. If a movement is missed, it opens up a whole world of problems for the rest of the unit. If the soldier can not be found in time, they may need to come up with a replacement to that person’s job.
When no replacement can be found, the working unit will be left one man short. Again, that persons responsiblities will fall on everybody else. In an overseas environment where stress and depression rates are higher, this is not a good thing. It is my opinion that someone who misses movement is essentially abandoning their buddies. Each and every soldier in the Army is trained to be punctual and responsible. We are taught from the first day at basic training to be 15 minutes early to each and every formation. It is a basic soldiering skill, that does not require much skill or thinking at all.