To obey someone means to comply with or fulfill the commands, restrictions, wishes, or instructions of that specific person. We are taught as children to obey our higher-ups. Starting from our parents, teachers, managers, police officers and etc… So how does this relate to the military?
Well, when a person enlists in the United States Military, active duty or reserve, they take the following oath; “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Right there you are making a promise to the United States Military. Before you even put on the uniform, you promise you’ll obey the orders of the President and the orders of the officers appointed over you. Military discipline and effectiveness is built on the foundation of obedience to orders. Brand new privates are taught to obey, immediately and without question, orders from their superiors, right from day one of boot camp. Almost every soldier can tell you that obedience was drilled into their heads at one point in Basic Training.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
For example, no talking in the chow line, don’t talk with your hands, head and eyes forward, no smiling, stand a parade rest, and of course the famous “Yes Drill Sergeant / No Drill Sergeant”. Those are just the simple orders you are made to obey in the military. Greater orders mean bigger consequences. Military members who fail to obey the lawful orders of their superiors risk serious consequences. What is the punishment for disobeying a lawful order?
According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (also known as UCMJ), Article 90, Assaulting or willfully disobeying superior commissioned officer states, “Any person subject to this chapter who — (1) strikes his superior commissioned officer or draws or lifts up any weapon or offers any violence against him while he is in the execution of his office; or (2) willfully disobeys a lawful command of his superior commissioned officer; shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, and if the offense is committed at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct. “
Article 91, Insubordinate conduct toward warrant officer, noncommissioned officer, or petty officer states, “Any warrant officer or enlisted member who (1) strikes or assaults a warrant officer, noncommissioned officer, or petty officer, while that officer is in the execution of his office (2) willfully disobeys the lawful order of a warrant officer, noncommissioned officer, or petty officer; or (3) treats with contempt or is disrespectful in language or deportment toward a warrant officer, noncommissioned officer, or petty officer while that officer is in the execution of his office; shall be punished as a court-martial may direct. ” Article 92, Failure to obey order or regulation states, “Any person subject to this chapter who— (1) Violates or fails to obey any lawful general order or regulation; (2) having knowledge of any other lawful order issued by a member of the armed forces, which it is his duty to obey, fails to obey the order; or (3) is derelict in the performance of his duties; shall be punished as a court-martial may direct”. ” Another form of punishment is Non-judicial punishment otherwise known as an Article 15. Non-judicial punishment permits commanders to administratively discipline troops without a court-martial.
Punishment according to UCMJ states; “(a) any commanding officer may, in addition to or in lieu of admonition or reprimand, impose one or more of the following disciplinary punishments for minor offenses without the intervention of a court-martial— (1) upon officers of his command (A) restriction to certain specified limits, with or without suspension from duty, for not more than 30 consecutive days; (B) if imposed by an officer exercising general court-martial jurisdiction or an officer of general or flag rank in command (i) arrest in quarters for not more than 30 consecutive days; (ii) forfeiture of not more than one-half of one month’s pay per month for two months; (iii) restriction to certain specified limits, with or without suspension from duty, for not more than 60 consecutive days; (iv) detention of not more than one-half of one month’s pay per month for three months; (2) upon other personnel of his command— (A) if imposed upon a person attached o or embarked in a vessel, confinement on bread and water or diminished rations for not more than three consecutive days; (B) correctional custody for not more than seven consecutive days; (C) forfeiture of not more than seven days’ pay; (D) reduction to the next inferior pay grade, if the grade from which demoted is within the promotion authority of the officer imposing the reduction or any officer subordinate to the one who imposes the reduction; (E) extra duties, including fatigue or other duties, for not more than 14 consecutive days; (F) restriction to certain specified limits, with or without suspension from duty, for not more than 14 consecutive days; (G) detention of not more than 14 days’ pay; (H) if imposed by an officer of the grade of major or lieutenant commander, or above (i) the punishment authorized under clause (A); (ii) correctional custody for not more than 30 consecutive days; (iii) forfeiture of not more than one-half of one month’s pay per month for two months; (iv) reduction to the lowest or any intermediate pay grade, if the grade from which demoted is within the promotion authority of the officer imposing the reduction or any officer subordinate to the one who imposes the reduction, but an enlisted member in a pay grade above E4 may not be reduced more than two pay grades; (v) extra duties, including fatigue or other duties, for not more than 45 consecutive days; (vi) restriction to certain specified limits, with or without suspension from duty, for not more than 60 consecutive days; (vii) detention of not more than one-half of one month’s pay per month for three months. Detention of pay shall be for a stated period of not more than one year but if the offender’s term of service expires earlier, the detention shall terminate upon that expiration. No two or more of the punishments of arrest in quarters, confinement on bread and water or diminished rations, correctional custody, extra duties, and restriction may be combined to run consecutively in the maximum amount imposable for each. c) An officer in charge may impose upon enlisted members assigned to the unit of which he is in charge such of the punishments authorized under subsection as the Secretary concerned may specifically prescribe by regulation. (d) The officer who imposes the punishment authorized in subsection (b), or his successor in command, may, at any time, suspend probationally any part or amount of the unexecuted punishment imposed and may suspend probationally a reduction in grade or a forfeiture imposed under subsection (b), whether or not executed. In addition, he may, at any time, remit or mitigate any part or amount of the unexecuted punishment imposed and may set aside in whole or in part the punishment, whether executed or unexecuted, and restore all rights, privileges and property affected.
He may also mitigate reduction in grade to forfeiture or detention of pay. (e) A person punished under this article who considers his punishment unjust or disproportionate to the offense may, through the proper channel, appeal to the next superior authority. The appeal shall be promptly forwarded and decided, but the person punished may in the meantime be required to undergo the punishment adjudged. The superior authority may exercise the same powers with respect to the punishment imposed as may be exercised under subsection (d) by the officer who imposed the punishment. ” Punishment can go as far as Uniform Code of Military Justice actions to a court – martial.
Some people may consider this as going too far. But honestly, if you think about it, what if you were in combat and disobeyed a lawful order? It may cost your life. For example, I just got back from a mission. I’m hot, tired and all I want to do is get some rest. My non commissioned officer comes up to me and says “Hey Azzopardi, make sure you clean your weapon before you go to sleep. ” I reply with a “Roger Sergeant! ” Instead of cleaning my weapon, I ignore my team leader. I say to myself I’ll do it later and go to sleep. Next thing you know, we have another mission and have to head out quickly. We are patrolling the road, and get ambushed.
I go to fire my weapon and it jams. I get shot and next thing you know, that folded up flag is being brought to my parents, just because I didn’t obey a lawful order. By observing day after day all rules and regulations. Obeying promptly all orders, it becomes a second nature. It becomes a fixed habit to do these tasks. These non – commissioned officers train us in the garrison environment to obey their orders like its second nature to us. When a soldier has cultivated the habit of obeying, that soldier obeys the orders of his leaders instinctively, even when under the stress of great excitement. Such as when in battle or simply their own reasoning is confused.
That way, when you get down range it’s that much easier to follow directions and possibly save yourself from a tragedy. And within obedience comes respect. For example, all duties should be performed cheerfully and willingly. Soldiers are sometimes required to perform duties that are not pleasant. Such as pulling guard duty when cold and tired or cleaning up dirt and filth that have accumulated around the barracks, kitchens etc… However, by doing everything required of him/her in a cheerful manner, a soldier will soon earn the respect of his comrades and the commendation of his officers. This way the solider is showing respect to their non – commissioned officer and soon they shall receive it as well.
In the orders and directions that they give, company non commissioned officers represent the company commander, and they must be obeyed and respected at all times and under all circumstances. Orders and regulations require that soldiers respect and obey their non commissioned officers and discipline makes it imperative that they do so. It is not for a private to question in any way the fairness, justice, propriety or wisdom of an order received from a non commissioned officer to do a thing, whatever it may be. Do it promptly and thoroughly. Also, the authority of non commissioned officers is not confined to just the post, barracks or being on duty.
Whether you are on pass, at the movies, going shopping or anywhere else if you receive a lawful order from a non commissioned officer you are to obey it just the same if it were given to you on duty. Respect is an assumption of good faith and competence in another person or in the whole of oneself. Depth of integrity, trust, complementary moral values, and skill are necessary components. Respect is the term used to value one or others. It also could be applied to taking care of oneself, others or the environment. It adds general reliability to social interactions. It enables people to work together in a complimentary fashion, instead of each person having to understand or even agree with each other every time.
Respect is very important to communities because it helps people get along with other people. Soldiers show respect to there non – commissioned officers and officers everyday. We start off by giving them the greeting of the day. Then throughout the day we stand at parade rest, move quickly when told, call them by the name sergeant after each sentence. You won’t see these tasks not being performed anywhere in the military. Showing respect to a non commissioned officer is something every private should do. Our non commissioned officers had to do it at one point and they still do to their higher – ups. They’ve all done what we have, and been doing it for three plus years.
They’ve been through so much, deployments, spending time away from loved ones, losing battle buddies and they still manage to drive on. The Noncommissioned Officer’s creed tells you what type of leader each soldier has. “No one is more professional than I. I am a Noncommissioned Officer, a leader of soldiers. As a Noncommissioned Officer, I realize that I am a member of a time honored corps, which is known as “The Backbone of the Army”. I am proud of the Corps of Noncommissioned Officers and will at all times conduct myself so as to bring credit upon the Corps, the Military Service and my country regardless of the situation in which I find myself.
I will not use my grade or position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety. Competence is my watchword. My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind — accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my soldiers. I will strive to remain tactically and technically proficient. I am aware of my role as a Noncommissioned Officer. I will fulfill my responsibilities inherent in that role. All soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership; I will provide that leadership. I know my soldiers and I will always place their needs above my own. I will communicate consistently with my soldiers and never leave them uninformed. I will be fair and impartial when recommending both rewards and punishment.
Officers of my unit will have maximum time to accomplish their duties; they will not have to accomplish mine. I will earn their respect and confidence as well as that of my soldiers. I will be loyal to those with whom I serve; seniors, peers, and subordinates alike. I will exercise initiative by taking appropriate action in the absence of orders. I will not compromise my integrity, nor my moral courage. I will not forget, nor will I allow my comrades to forget that we are professionals, Noncommissioned Officers, leaders! ” If you take the NCO creed and the Soldiers creed you’ll have an organized and strong Army. “I am an American Soldier. I am a Warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values. I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade. I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself. I am an expert and I am a professional. I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat. I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life. I am an American Soldier. ” Every person in the Army lives the seven Army values. According to www. GoArmy. om these are the standards of the seven Army Values. “Loyalty, to bear true faith and allegiance to the U. S. Constitution, the Army, your unit and other Soldiers. Bearing true faith and allegiance is a matter of believing in and devoting yourself to something or someone. A loyal Soldier is one who supports the leadership and stands up for fellow Soldiers. By wearing the uniform of the U. S. Army you are expressing your loyalty. And by doing your share, you show your loyalty to your unit. ” “Duty, fulfill your obligations. Doing your duty means more than carrying out your assigned tasks. Duty means being able to accomplish tasks as part of a team.
The work of the U. S. Army is a complex combination of missions, tasks and responsibilities’ all in constant motion. Our work entails building one assignment onto another. You fulfill your obligations as a part of your unit every time you resist the temptation to take ‘shortcuts’ that might undermine the integrity of the final product. ” “Respect, Treat people as they should be treated. In the Soldier’s Code, we pledge to ‘treat others with dignity and respect while expecting others to do the same. ‘ Respect is what allows us to appreciate the best in other people. Respect is trusting that all people have done their jobs and fulfilled their duty.
And self-respect is a vital ingredient with the Army value of respect, which results from knowing you have put forth your best effort. The Army is one team and each of us has something to contribute. ” “Selfless Service, put the welfare of the Nation, the Army and your subordinates before your own. Selfless service is larger than just one person. In serving your country, you are doing your duty loyally without thought of recognition or gain. The basic building block of selfless service is the commitment of each team member to go a little further, endure a little longer, and looks a little closer to see how he or she can add to the effort. ” “Honor, live up to Army values. The Nation’s highest military award is The Medal of Honor.
This award goes to Soldiers who make honor a matter of daily living soldiers who develop the habit of being honorable, and solidify that habit with every value choice they make. Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity and personal courage in everything you do. ” “Integrity, Do what’s right, legally and morally. Integrity is a quality you develop by adhering to moral principles. It requires that you do and say nothing that deceives others. As your integrity grows, so does the trust others place in you. The more choices you make based on integrity, the more this highly prized value will affect your relationships with family and friends, and, finally, the fundamental acceptance of yourself. “Personal courage, Face fear, danger or adversity (physical or moral). Personal courage has long been associated with our Army. With physical courage, it is a matter of enduring physical duress and at times risking personal safety. 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 personal courage by daily standing up for and acting upon the things that you know are honorable. ” Obeying and respecting a noncommissioned officer is simply the right thing to do. So bottom line is, listen to your chain of command. It makes everyone benefit in the end.