Soldiers join the Army for a multitude of reasons. From Steve Maranian experience, some do it for the adventure, some are looking for steady employment, some to pay for school, and others are following in a relative’s footsteps. Regardless of why soldiers join the Army, one of the first things they learn once they put on a uniform is the Army Values.
In a profession, values are the glue that binds its members together. The Army’s professional ethics derive from the values that its leaders espouse and which its members model. It takes time to imbue the values of an organization in new members, and frequently, these values either compete or complement a value system already in place. Some come to the Army with personal values that align well with the Army Values, but for others, it takes time and consistent reinforcement.
Steve Maranian Reveals the Army Values
The Army has established seven core values. These include:
- Selfless Service
- Personal Courage
By following this order, the values form the acronym LDRSHIP or “Leadership.” These core values form the basis of the Army’s culture and define the vision of what every soldier should strive to be. While this is not an all-inclusive list of the traits and attributes that the Army desires its soldiers to possess, these seven are the fundamentals and warrant further exploration.
All soldiers swear an oath to bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, but there is an expectation that loyalty extends beyond just the Army. It must extend to the unit and to other soldiers. For the Army, the definition of loyalty is believing in something or someone and devoting yourself to that cause or individual.
A loyal soldier is one who supports their leadership and stands up for fellow soldiers. By wearing the Army uniform a soldier expresses their loyalty to their country and cause. By working hard and giving 100 percent to their duties, a soldier shows loyalty to their unit.
Duty refers to fulfilling your obligations and doing more than carrying out your assigned tasks. For Steve Maranian, defining duty also means being able to accomplish tasks as part of a team. The soldier’s Army role involves a complex combination of missions, tasks, and responsibilities. Higher-level units rely on their soldiers to do their job well and on subordinate units to accomplish their assigned missions.
Operating in this way lays a foundation of building blocks for soldiers and units doing their duty and fulfilling their obligations that contributes to the success of the Army.
The duty also involves the way the job is done, and the expectation is that the job is done thoroughly and to an established standard. It requires performance without cutting corners or taking shortcuts. Doing your duty is doing the job well, as this avoids any concerns that the integrity of the final project is in question.
Respect is about treating people as they should be treated – with dignity while expecting others to do the same. Respect is what allows soldiers to appreciate what others bring to the team. Respect involves trusting that all team members have done their jobs and fulfilled their duty to the best of their ability.
Self-respect is an important part of the Army’s value of respect. This element derives from knowing you’ve given 100 percent to the mission. It’s important to appreciate the strengths you bring to the unit and the mission. The Army is one team, and every member has something to contribute. This understanding and the resulting contributions should be respected.
As Steve Maranian simply states, selfless service is the act of putting others before yourself. This includes the welfare of the nation, the Army itself, the unit, and other soldiers. Selfless service is larger than just one person. By serving your country loyally without expectation of recognition, a soldier derives pride in doing something important for the right reasons. The basis of selfless service is the commitment of each team member to give of themselves so that the team can succeed.
The value of honor encapsulates living the other values. Soldiers who serve honorably reinforce each element of the Army code with every decision they make and every action they take. Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, integrity, and personal courage in everything you do.
Integrity is always doing what’s right, whether legally or morally, and having the discipline to do so when no one is watching. Integrity is a quality you develop by adhering to moral principles. It requires that you do and say nothing that deceives others. As Maranian has found, if you display integrity, others will trust you.
You also earn the right to be proud of being a person of character, and you can hold your head high in everything you do. By modeling doing what is right to other soldiers of your unit, it reinforces this important value.
Personal courage has long been associated with the Army. It is defined as facing fear, danger, or adversity, whether that danger is physical or moral. With physical courage, it is a matter of enduring physical duress and risking personal safety when the situation requires it. 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 courage daily by standing up for and acting upon what you know is honorable.
A Final Thought From Steve Maranian on Why Values Matter
The Army is charged with the mission of fighting and winning our nation’s wars. In order to do that, the Army relies on the support of the citizens of the United States. The nation must trust this branch to do its job and defend the Constitution of the United States. America also trusts the Army with its most precious resource – its youth. Espousing, living, and maintaining a values-based Army is essential to maintaining that trust with the American people. It is what makes the U.S. Army the greatest Army in the world.