What is it? “Our profession’s ethic remains the foundation of trust which the American people place in their military” (Future of the Army Profession, Snider and Watkins, 2002). In turn, our Army Ethic rests on a bedrock of our seven Army Values; Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. It is a unique collection, unlike any other organizations in the world, and reflects the high standards to which the entire Army adheres, regardless of its mission area.
What is the Army doing? The Army is undergoing a major transformation in the way it does business. Just as Army Values guide the thinking, behavior, and professional ethos of every warrior, so will those same values guide the actions of those who support and sustain them. The American people hold the entire Army to a higher standard, not just the front-line Warriors. The priorities we set, the efficiencies we gain, the continuous improvements we achieve, will be attained in keeping with our Army Values. This transformation brings with it many challenges to overcome. Still, we will continually measure ourselves and our success by our adherence to those values.
The Army continues an education and awareness campaign that included a wallet-sized Soldiers Card, listing the values on one side and the Soldier's Creed on the other, and a Values Tag for wear on dog-tag chains. Both the cards and tags are issued to every active duty, Guard and Reserve soldier who enlists in the service of this great Nation.
Other programs, such as the Army Reserve Soldiers two week annual training course, teaches marksmanship, hand-to-hand combat and land navigation; conducting physical training; while instilling Army values. The test phase of training, called "The Bayonet," evaluates not only the recruits' abilities, but the primary focus is on "Seven Army Values." The Bayonet is a culminating exercise that implements each of the seven values and infantry skills in mission scenarios that require Soldiers to use their newly acquired infantry skills, but also focuses on teaching them a value.
Why is this important to the Army? With current and future programs like these placing emphasis on values, soldiers and Department of the Army civilians were expected to know that the Army is an organization in which people do right, treat others as they should be treated, and encourage them to be all they can be.
“Our soldiers continue to serve so well because communities of ordinary citizens have imparted strong values in our nation's sons and daughters. Our soldiers are warriors of character who exemplify the Army values. These values will endure and are nonnegotiable. With these values as our foundation, we will continue to develop soldiers who are motivated, courageous, disciplined, innovative and adaptable at all levels.”
GEN Peter Schoomaker
Chief of Staff of the United States Army