[October 5, 2018] Two years ago I wrote about my 1983 The Army Officer’s Guide and how it propelled me toward success in my many decades of service. I’m fond of it and keep it on my desk. Today, when I pulled it out to flip through its covers, I fondly remembered reading about Army Traditions.
At first, I thought maybe I’d overlooked the importance that tradition has in any organization or society but re-reading Chapter 1 ‘The Code of the Army Officer,’ I got to thinking how similar these are to what I write about here at www.theLeaderMaker.com. Are they important? Yes. Are they well communicated? No … and that is why I’m writing about them today.
Here are the eleven traditions that propelled the careers of many officers from the 42nd Edition of this wonderful book:
- Tradition of Public Service: you are a public servant and must never forget that you are under the orders of the President of the United States.
- Tradition of Achieving the Mission: this is the primary requirement of the military leader. This is done by the display of enthusiasm, boldness, and aggressiveness.
- Tradition of Leadership: this requires the officer to plan work, assign missions, and then to see that their work is done skillfully.
- Tradition of Loyalty: officers have the common mission of protecting the nation and our people, which requires the coordinated best efforts of each individual.
- The Tradition that an Officer’s Word is His or Her Bond: an officer’s statement of fact, opinion, or recommendation must conform fully with his or her belief and be able to provide evidence to support it.
- Tradition of Discipline: to develop discipline within its organization, the leader must set the example of discipline.
- Tradition of Readiness: the officer is always in a position of readiness to meet whatever task arise, including sudden leadership in campaign and combat.
- Tradition of Taking Good Care of Soldiers: second only to accomplishing his mission, the officer’s duty is to improve the moral, physical, and intellectual quality of his men.
- Tradition of Cooperation: cooperation is the art of working with others to attain a common goal.
- Tradition of Being a Lady or Gentleman: this must be manifest in their moral standards, their conduct, appearance, manners, and mannerism as well as the professional standards the establish in the performance of their duties.
- Tradition of Avoiding Matters of Politics: the Army member avoids partisan politics.
These traditions could not be otherwise and must never be otherwise. The armed forces are the final bulwark for the preservation of the Constitution and the security of the nation. Nothing short of this is tolerable.
Copies of nearly all editions of the Army Officer guide are available at around $20 on Internet commercial sites. The same can be said for the other services as well. The parallels of tradition between them are remarkable.