Last Updated 16 Jun 2020

Discipline and the Effects on the Unit

Category Discipline
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Discipline and the effects on the unit Accountabilities is one of the fundamental of the military. It only brings personal responsibility but it also shows organization of a unit. There are many reasons why being on time is important. The US Army depends solely on its soldiers, enlisted. Warrant officers, and commissioned officers alike. The military would not be anything without the soldiers. When soldiers aren’t there to perform there duties or they are late then the unit looses efficiency. Time management is a very large part of success, military or civilian.

Many people could improve there lives drasticly if they knew how to manage the time properly. Setting priorities is a very important step in time management. If your priorities aren’t set in order then you won’t get the important things done in a timely manner. People often go over there time limits because they are optimistic. Discipline we are taught early in our military careers that shaving is an important part of our daily routine. The routine itself promotes a sense of regularity and discipline.

By being assigned a task that we are to perform daily, we assume a pattern of living comparable with many other (and often larger) tasks given to us. When a part of our job considered to be mandatory becomes a task performed out of second nature, we begin to perform all duties in a similar fashion. If you can shave every morning without having to be reminded or told, you may find that it comes just as naturally to take out the trash, write a monthly counseling statement, or maintain your weapon. Discipline and respect are important in life as well as in the army. Respect is one of the army’s seven values.

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The seven army values are loyalty, respect, duty, honor, selfless service, integrity, and personal courage. While respect is one of the army values, discipline is needed for all of them. You must have discipline in yourself in order to have selfless service, to do your duty, to have personal courage, as well as loyalty, and honor. And it takes a discipline to respect. The definition of discipline is 1. training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline. 2. activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training: A daily stint at the typewriter is excellent discipline for a writer. . punishment inflicted by way of correction and training. 4. the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc. : the harsh discipline of poverty. 5. behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control: good discipline in an army. 6. a set or system of rules and regulations. 7. Ecclesiastical . the system of government regulating the practice of a church as distinguished from its doctrine. 8. an instrument of punishment, esp. a whip or scourge, used in the practice of self-mortification or as an instrument of chastisement in certain religious communities. . a branch of instruction or learning: the disciplines of history and economics. Basically discipline is what is needed in order for order and control to be maintained. The definition of respect is 1. A feeling of appreciative, often deferential regard; esteem. See synonyms at regard. 2. The state of being regarded with honor or esteem. 3. Willingness to show consideration or appreciation. 4. respects Polite expressions of consideration or deference: pay one's respects. 5. A particular aspect, feature, or detail. A lot of people who enlist in the Army do not understand the importance of the step they make.

They do not understand that civilian life with its rules, the life they used to live is left behind. Beginning basic training they learn the new discipline, the Army discipline, and not everybody is able to comprehend its importance. Discipline in the Army is important because of the stakes involved. In civilian world a lack of discipline may case some discomfort or may be some problems with the law.. In the Army poor discipline could result in the unnecessary loss of soldiers’ lives - a cost too you much to pay. As a discipline soldier you place the unit’s mission above your personal welfare.

It simply means the understanding your task and obeying orders promptly because your fellow soldiers and leaders depend on you to do so. The purpose of discipline is to make soldiers to be well trained so that they carry out orders quickly and intelligently under the most difficult conditions. Insistence of performing tasks properly enhance military discipline. For example, ensuring soldiers wear their uniforms properly, following orders, march well or repeat tasks until they do them correctly are part of military discipline. This no harassment or punishment.

Proper and prompt execution of orders will save lives in combat. This is no way means you should not exercise initiative to solve a problem or to ensure the job gets done. American soldiers have a long tradition of displaying initiative and discipline soldiers focus their efforts toward the success of the team. Discipline in routine things like saluting , police calls and physical training leads to discipline in the difficult things like advancing under fire, disposing of unexploded ordnance, and safeguarding enemy prisoners of war.

That is why the Army insists on training to standards. It starts with self-discipline but grows with pride in the unit. In the film saving private ryan a soldier lost his discipline for the mission at hand at the sight of a frightened child and the result for his loss of discipline caused him to also lose focus on his surroundings and was shot by a nazi sniper hiding out in a tower just down the street, also in the same film a young corpral was takin out of his comfort zone as a writer to perform the mission of retrieving private ryan.

During the mission they came across an open area guarded by to machine guns and in the success of bringing bringing down the gunman was torn in a moral delima to let the German soldier live and later on it came back around on him as that same German soldier led a squad to the same location that they traveled to and killed many of the men in the operation two of which were in a building laying down suppressive fire while the corpral was bringing them ammo because of the corpral lack of discipline he coward down and hid while the German soldier killed the two men in the building.

Another military film that shows lack of discipline is Jarhead in this film the one scene that stands out the most in my mind is where the main character talks another fellow soldier into taking his guard shift so he could drink with his buddys that night and the result from the carless actions was a trailor caught fire and a bunch of fireworks and flares were set off and possibly gave away there position, the sitiuation could have been a lot worse then what it was.

With the examples used from those two films it shows that with the lack of discipline the effect on the unit can be dangerous and life threatning, just like a chain it only works properlly if every link does its job, if one gets in trouble we all get in trouble, one broken link and the whole chain is no good Do to my irresponsibility and lack of discipline to wake up and be at the gym at 0530 like normal I decided to sleep in and then was late to the 0630 PT formation which caused PFC Bucini to run around through out the entire hanger and out to the barracks in order to locate me and also me being late not just looks bad on me but it also looks bad on the platoon and the company. I made it look bad on my Platoon Seargeat ( SFC Duffy) in front of the other platoons of not knowing where his soldiers are and to the First Seargeant. To understand how standards and discipline are related, you have to start with the basic premise of how we grow sergeants in the army. This is a three step process. Step one; establish a standard.

Army regulation 670-1, wear of the uniform, is a stadard that tells us how to wear the uniform, items on the uniform and all the accessories. It guides our unifor in the field. The items we wear on the uniform or carry with us is a standard usually IAW a unit SOP. The PMCS we perform on our hummv in the motor pool is done to outlined in the operators manual. A patrol of soldiers coming off mission in Baghdad, Iraq clear their weapons upon entering their base camp IAW the standard published in the weapons handling procedures developed by the safety center. Now with an understanding of standards, step two is put someone in charge of enforcing the standards.

This is where the sergeant is now responsible for his or her piece of the army, those three or four soldiers. It is the sergeant who conducts daily inspections of soldiers uniforms. It is the sergeant who conducts pre-conduct checks (pcc) of his or her soldiers arms and equipment before going out on patrol. It is the sergeant who supervises the PMCS of the HUMMV during maintenance periods, and it is the sergent who over-watches the soldiers coming off patrol to ensure all have cleared their weapons to standard. Step three in growing our leaders is to hold the sergeant accountable. This is where the more senior leaders above the sergeant have their resopnsibility. To see what is being done to standard, senior leaders have to inspect.

A soldier on patrol missing a piece of equipment means it was missed during PCCs by the sergeant and obviously missed by a more senior leader during the pre-combat inspection (PCI). This same analogy extends to every standard we set for our units and our sergeants to enforce. So for the more senior leaders above the sergeant you must always remember your role in growing sergeants. Lead by example by demonstrating the standard in all that you do. This leading by example empowers the sergeant to enforce standards on their small piece of the army. We have always said when a more senior leader demonstrates a lesser standard; this demonstration now becomes the new standard. The demonstration of a lesser standard goes far deeper than just setting a new standard, it circumvents the authority of the sergeant.

I have learned that the two basic building blocks for a sergeant to establish his or her authority and establish discipline in the organization begin with basic uniform and saluting standards. Enforcing basic standards and holding sergeants accountable for their soldiers is critical to developing these young leaders. In every case where a soldier has died because of an accident and the cause of death was negligence by sergeants to enforce standards and how these were enforced and the discipline within the organization. In every case where the sergeant stops enforcing fundamental standards and senior leaders do not hold him accountable, the enforcement of standards in other areas begins to slip.

Short cuts in performing PMCS begin to become routine, soldiers stop wearing seatbelts, PCCs are not performed in detail, complacency begins to set in and sergeants stop making on the spot corrections. The importance of the squad and platoon leadership in establishing standards and holding sergeants accountable is critical to the performance of the organization when you walk into an organization as an outsider and you see everyone in the same uniform, vehicle load plans are organized, basic fundamental drills are performed aas routine, you learn a lot about the units discipline. You know as an outsider that standards are established, everyone knows the standard, and there is a leader in charge. The bottom line , be the standard, know the standard, and enforce the standard. The army is an old institution.

In this country it dates back to the washingtons time in 1775-76 when the Revolutionary war took place to proclaim our freedom from the British. One particular thing which washingtons army had in common with our modern army today is discipline. This is very important in order to keep ou forces organized. A well disciplined army will always come out the victor in battle. Take a look at musolini’s army in italy in the last war. When the going got tough, their troops got disorganized, failed to obey orders, and finally decided it was time to surrender. And so it happened with Hitler’s Third Reich. His troops got disorganized from the lack of proper discipline and as the proverb goes, “united we stand, divided we fall”. The Third Reich fell.

Our american army is a well organized fighting force and always will be, with the proper kind of discipline which we have now. The officers in charge of each army, corps, division, regiment, down to the platoon and squad are all experienced , level headed men and women, whose job it is to keep the men and women under them disciplined as well as informed as to what is goin on and thereby gaining the men’s and womens cooperation. From the five star general down to the lowly private, it is his duty to see that whatever his job is, it will be done properly. With such a fighting force, how can we lose? Remember “united we stand, devided we fall”. We shall not fall.

With so many distractions around you, what does it take to stay focused on your goal and keep going until you succeed? The answer is, self discipline. Self discipline, absolutely must be developed in order to succeed. Self discipline is the ability to force yourself to do something you know you should do, whether you feel like it or not. Whilst you may not have a global corporation or a country to run (and so can probably get away with a few extra hours in bed! ) the point is, successful people dislike the same things you dislike but discipline themselves to do it anyway. Why do we do things we dislike? Because we know that is the price to pay for success.

This is why self discipline is so important in achieving success. Self discipline means overcoming your natural urge to do what is fun, easy and quick. Self discipline takes time to develop, but just like any other skill the more you practice using self discipline the stronger it will become. Every act of self discipline you practice will strengthen your level of self discipline. Over time it will also strengthen your character, confidence and self esteem. If you can force yourself to do what you should do, whether you feel like it or not, your success is virtually guaranteed. Now that you are aware of what it takes to be successful, is success what you truly want?

Or are you happier living the lif you currently live? Because if you want success, you can have it, anyone can. Just like in a shop you must first decide what you want, pay the price and it will be yours. “discipline is the soul of the army, it makes small numbers formidable procures success to the weak, and esteem to all” –George Washington. Among the many issues facing us, discipline proved critical in understanding what went wrong in Somalia. Much of the problem of the CAR as a unit, most of the incidents that occurred during the preparation stage in Canada, and the many troubling incidents involving Canadian soldiers in Somalia all have a common origin – a lack of discipline.

For the ordinary citizen who has little exposure to the military, discipline is understood to be the cornerstone of armies, the characteristic that one would have expected to be much in evidence in an armed force as renowned for its professionalism as the Canadian forces. It was the difference between this public expectation and the actual events of the Somalia mission that captured the attention of Canadians and contributed to the call for this inquiry. For example, there were 20 incidents of accidental or negligent discharge of a personal weapon and two incidents of accidental or negligent discharge of crew served weapons in theatre. One caused an injury and another killed a Canadian forces soldier.

The board of inquiry into the leadership, discipline, operations, actions, and procedures of the Canadian airborne regiment battle group remarked that these accidental discharges occurred “to an unacceptable degree”. These incidents call into question the standard of self discipline in the Canadian contingent. Few professions are as dependent on discipline as the military. An army is best seen as a collection of individuals who must set aside their personal interests, concerns, and fears to pursue the purpose of the group collectively. The marshalling of individual wills and talents into a single entity enables an army to face daunting challenges and great adversity and therefore to achieve objectives unattainable except through concerted effort. The instrument by which this is accomplished is discipline.

The chief purpose of military discipline is the harnessing of the capacity of the individual to the needs of the group. The sense of cohesion that comes from combining the individual wills of the group members provides unity of purpose. The group that achieves such cohesiveness is truly a unit. Effective discipline is a critical factor at all levels of the military, and nowhere more so than at the unit level. However discipline plays a vital role at all levels within the military. Too frequently armies treat discipline as a concern regarding the lower levels: a matter to be attended to primarily by non commissioned officers at the unit level and below.

But discipline is important for the proper functioning of the chain of command throughout the military. Undisciplined staff officers of commanders who hold themselves above the rigours of discipline can do far more harm to the collective effort of the military than any soldier in the rankes. We have determined that the CAR displayed definite signs of poor discipline in the early 1990s in spite of the remedies recommended in the 1985 Hewson report examining disciplinary infractions and anti social behavior. A number of factors contributed to the disciplinary problems in the CAR, specifically in two commando, prior to deployment, including periodic lack of commitment on the part of the CAR’s parent regiments to ensure that their best members ere sent to the CAR; the inferior quality of some junior officers and NCOs; doubtful practices in two commando in the recruitment of NCOs; the ambiguous relationship between master corporals and soldiers; the high turnover rate within the CAR and the sub units; mutual distrust and dislike among a significant number of the CARs officers and NCOs; questionable suitability of individual officers for the CAR and the ranks they occupied; a tendency to downplay the significance of disciplinary infractions or to cover them up entirely; and the continuing ability of CAR members to evade responsibility for disciplinary infractions. The CAR was simply unfit to undertake a mission in the autumn of 1992, let alone a deployment to Somalia.

The three incidents of October 2 and 3, 1992, indicated a significant breakdown of discipline in 2 commando during the critical period of training and preparation for operations in Somalia. Military pyrotechnics were discharged illegally at a party in alognquin park. The illegal possession of these pyrotechnics was the result of theft from DND and the making of false statements. A search conducted on the soldiers’ premises uncovered ammunition stolen from DND, as well as 34 Confederate flags. These incidents were so serious that LCOL morneault proposed to leave 2 Commando in Canada unless the perpetrators came forward. BGEN Beno, after consulting MGEN MacKenzie, opposed this plan. Almost everyone suspected of participating in the October incidents was permitted to deploy.

Several of these individuals created difficulties in Somalia. In spite of established doctrine, practice, and procedures, there were problems at the senior levels of the chain of command in providing adequate supervision, resulting in poor discipline, fualty passage of information, untimely reaction through advice or intervention, and ineffective remedial action. Such problems appear to have been so frequent as to indicate a significant systemic failure in the exercise of command. In short, the attitude of all ranks toward the importance of good discipline, from junior soldiers to the most senior commanders in the Canadian forces, was decidedly weak.

When there is insufficient respect for and attention to the need for discipline as a first principle, military operations can be expected to fail. And in respect of discipline, the mission to Somalia was undoubtedly a failure. The fact is that , at the time of the Somalia mission, discipline was simply taken for granted. It seems to have been assumed that trained soldiers in a professional military would naturally be well disciplined. The matter was tracked and reported on indifferently and inconsistently, with no central co-ordination or sharp focus at the highest levels. Above all, discipline was the subject of inadequate attention, supervision, guidance, enforcement, or remedy by the senior levels of the chain of command; it was, shockingly, simply ignored or downplayed.

In facing the future, the first requirement is to take steps to recognize the importance of discipline and the role it must play as a matter of fundamental policy. Discipline requires not only policy definition and emphasis in doctrine, training and education, but also a prominent and visible focus in the interests and concerns of the most senior leadership. Under the UCMJ, the noncommissioned officer (NCO) does not have the same authority as the commissioned officer. Principally, NCOs do not have authority to punish personnel under their supervision. Punishment is administered only through the use of article 15 or courts-martial. Since NCOs punitive authority, what actions can they take to ensure discipline among their people?

These questions will be answered as we consider the need for discipline in the military. I will focus on the NCOs role in dealing with discipline problems. If preventive techniques fail, NCOs should be aware of methods available to them for correcting subordinates when their behavior impairs mission accomplishment. Indeed the NCO plays an important role in influencing punishment when it is necessary in achieving mission readiness. Discipline can best be defined as “a state of training, resulting in orderly conduct. ” This state of training must be achieved and maintained during peacetime so that our forces will be prepared for war time contingencies.

It is too late to prepare for war once war has started, which is sometimes a difficult concept for lesser experienced NCOs to accept. often the feeling is, we are a technical force; technicians do not need to same state of disciplined readiness as combat soldiers. This feeling perhaps fosters a false assumption that air force members will not be expected to fight during wartime; instead, we will maintain a support role (i. e. , aircraft maintenance, supply, personnel, etc). the questions then become “is it necessary for air force people to maintain a high state of readiness? Is it really necessary to be disciplined for war? These questions must be answered by all NCOs who are ultimately responsible for achieving success in peacetime readiness as well as in actual warfare.

History shows us that we cannot leave this state of readiness to pure chance; we must prepare for any emergency. Discipline, of course, is vital. Rudyard kipling recognized this need for discipline when he had one of his tommy atkinses explain: We was rotten ‘for we started- we was never disciplined; we made it out a favor- if an order was obeyed. Yes every little drummer ad is rights and wrongs to mind, so we had to par for teaching- and we paid! General George patton, a strong disciplinarian who was equally as adamant about preparedness, told his commanders if they did not enforce and maintain perfect discipline, they were potential murders.

He went on to say “that is a blunt way of putting it, but war is blunt, and war is what we must all prepare for. ” General Robert E. Lee, one of the greatest military leaders of all time, was equally firm when it came to discipline. He wanted his soldiers to understand that, in addition to efficiency, discipline guaranteed a soldiers safety; that if his forces did not prepare themselves for war when they had a chance they would pay dearly. The Air Force, recognizing the need for discipline, published AFR 30-1 air force standards, in which four types of discipline are identified: task, group, imposed, and self. Task discipline is defined as how well we meet the challenges of the job.

First, we must recognize that the job is important, and how well we perform will influence the effectiveness of our work section and our unit. Task discipline requires a strong sense of responsibility in performing our jobs to the best of our abilities, volunteering for the tough jobs, and working overtime, if necessary, to accomplish our mission as it relates to the air force mission. Group discipline means teamwork. Since most air force jobs require that several people work effectively as a team, group discipline is very important. Just as we must have a sense of responsibility to our job, we should also have a sense of group responsibility and effective team membership.

We must pull our own weight and at times we may have to deny some personal preferences for the good of our work section, unit, or group. Imposed discipline is known as enforced obedience to legal orders and regulations. It is absolutely essential in combat or in emergencies when there is no time to explain or discuss an order. Most air force training teaches us to carry out orders quickly and efficiently. During peacetime, a continuation of this type of discipline provides the structure and good order necessary throughout the organization to accomplish the mission or task, regardless of the situation. Self discipline is a willing and instinctive sense of responsibility that leads us to do whatever needs to be done.

Getting to work on time, knowing all aspects of the job, setting priorities, and denying some personal preferences for more important values or duties are all measures of self discipline. Far above our acceptance of imposed discipline, self discipline reflects our personal commitment and sense of duty. Often we emphasize one type of discipline at the expense of another. For instance, we allow ourselves to become so task disciplined that we fail to recognize the necessity for discipline of other types. The ultimate solution for the NCO is to create an environment where the necessity for imposed discipline is minimized or eliminated, but this is not always possible. Therefore, we must understand how to impose discipline when it is clearly indicated.

Three general approaches can be taken in dealing with discipline: the preventive approach, the corrective approach, and the punitive approach. Initial consideration should be given to the preventive approach because it is logically first and is positive and constructive in its development. The preventive approach includes understanding human behavior, using good management and leadership techniques, setting the examples, and enforcing the standards. These are not all inclusive; however, they represent the majority of preventive techniques to discipline problems. There are numerous lessons in dealing with preventive techniques, and most of our NCOs fully understand these techniques for preventing discipline problems.

Organizations usually have a few people who do not respond well to preventive techniques, which leads us to the next approach in dealing with discipline problems: correcting the individual who has not responded to preventive techniques. The NCO supervisor is limited in his use of preventive and corrective approaches, since only officer commanders can use the punitive approach. This fact alone creates the undeniable necessity for NCOs to understand and employ fully the corrective actions available to them. The first action available to NCOs for correcting individuals who have not responded to preventive techniques is the verbal reprimand. Verbal reprimands should be given only for performance or conduct and should never leave an individual feeling personally attacked. In other words, individuals should be reprimanded for unacceptable behavior not personality.

A memorandum for record should be kept to be used for later action, if necessary. The second corrective action is the documented counseling. The documented counseling does not have to follow any prescribed format; in fact, most major air commands have their own forms. Individuals reviewing subsequent case files will have a better understanding of the situation if they include the following items: a statement of the problem, a discussion of the problem, and personal observations. This documented counseling should be filed in a general correspondence folder, marked specifically with the action included in the folder (i. e. , disciplinary action).

The third corrective action NCOs can take is the letter of admonishment/reprimand. Administrative reprimands and admonitions are management tools available to commanders, supervisors, and other superiors to instruct and reprove subordinates for departing from acceptable norms of performance, conduct, or bearing. There is no prescribed format for writing this letter. A reprimand is more severe than an admonition and carries a strong implication of official censure. The letter of admonition should be written when no unfavorable information file is necessary, although either the letter of admonition or reprimand can be placed in the individuals uif.

The letter of admonition may also be filed in the same manner as the documented counseling. However, since the letter of reprimand is more severe than a letter of admonition, it should be forwarded through the individuals uif. Supervisors can write a letter of reprimand, but only commanders can forward it to the cbpo for placement in the uif. The last and final action is administrative discharge action under the provisions of AFR 39-10 or AFM 39-12. These procedures are too complex to address in this article. However, it should be pointed out that if all the preceding preventive, corrective, and punitive actions have not disciplined the individual, then discharge is the next step.

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