Among the U.S. Army’s goals for 2013 is one to provide education and training to its force in regards to the Army Profession. You see, the Army has designated CY13 as “Year of the Profession.” As some of you may already know, the Army will conduct an Education and Training program designed to institutionalize and operationalize critical Components of the Army Profession and Ethic, or CAPE, for CY13.
The intent of this program hinges on several ideas:
Generate dialogue for our Soldiers and Army civilians to increase their understanding of the Army Profession,
Reaffirm their understanding of “what it means to be a professional,”
Recommit to a culture of service, and (4) identify with the Army Ethic and Culture.
The Army Profession Education and Training program for CY13 begins on Jan. 2, 2013, and will be executed through quarterly themes as noted below:
1st quarter (Jan-Mar): Standards and Discipline
2nd quarter (Apr-Jun): Army Customs, Courtesies and Traditions
3rd quarter (Jul-Sep): Military Expertise
4th quarter (Oct-Dec): Trust
I think it is crucially important that those who serve in the military are able to speak and talk about being a professional and discuss the importance of the Army Profession.
How many of you have heard the words “standards and discipline” used in the same regard when referring to military operations? Do these two terms carry the same meaning, and why are they so important to those who serve in the Army Profession?
These two concepts have been at the baseline and foundation of our military service for over two centuries. So what is “military standards?” It defined as the minimum requirements necessary to complete a task, accomplish a mission or conduct an operation.
Standards (1) specify the norms in which performance is evaluated, (2) assign appropriate responsibility and delegate authority for all to uphold and achieve, or to surpass, and (3) are the established quality of excellence level that must be attained in the performance of duty. Furthermore, standards can be defined as a formal and detailed way of accomplishing a mission or task, and are measurable, describable and achievable.
What is definition of military discipline? The first thing that comes to mind is attitude. You see, discipline can be defined as an individual or group attitude that ensures obedience to instructions, rules, polices and directives. It can also be defined as doing the right thing, even when no one is looking. Some examples of discipline are knowing and adhering to the posted speed limit sign when driving a vehicle , and taking time to proudly render honors to the U.S. flag during the playing of reveille and “Retreat and To the Colors,” respectively. Making on-the-spot corrections when witnessing an unsafe act or uniform infraction, or picking up even a small piece of trash is an act of discipline. It is also ensuring that you are at your appropriate place of duty at the appropriate time, and treating people with respect and dignity at all times.
Military standards and discipline are often reflected in the decision to do what is right, when faced with adversity, obstacles, fatigue, fear, temptation, and road blocks, to name just a few examples. When standards are not met and are allowed to continue, perhaps due to a lack of discipline in providing on-the-spot corrections or re-training and counseling, then a new standard is ultimately set â€“ one that we as professionals do not like: a lower standard.
I am proud to be a Professional of the Army Profession, and I am honored to serve the people of this great nation. Standards and discipline are clearly the hallmark of the Army Profession, and the foundation that sets us apart.