ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (April 25, 2013) - Personal courage has long been associated with our Army; and now more than ever, we are seeing Army Soldiers, civilians and contractors demonstrating personal courage as the nation faces a fiscal crisis.

The Army defines personal courage as "facing fear, danger or adversity (physical or moral)," and indicates "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."

As an Army Soldier or civilian, we are expected to stand up for and act upon the things we know are honorable even during the most daunting of circumstances. While having the courage to stand our ground in the face of opposition is never easy, it can be rewarding.

"By choosing the path in my decisions that may not be of the least resistance, it sometimes makes the outcome more rewarding and makes me a better person," said Jody Roberts, logistics maintenance control manager at Redstone Test Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Personal courage oftentimes requires us to step outside our comfort zones and let go of the fear holding us back from doing the things we normally wouldn't.

"I think I demonstrate personal courage by performing new functions at work that I have always been fearful of or never been comfortable with like giving briefings to the workforce or voicing my opinions in an open forum," said Ricardo Rivera, personnel resource assistant with RTC.

Rivera believes that without personal courage we will never be able to realize our full potential. "Living in fear keeps you from learning new things, making new contacts and expanding your horizons," he said.

At times personal courage requires personal sacrifice which is often done without thinking. Our Soldiers exemplify the truest meaning of personal courage when they put themselves in harm's way to defend our country or to shield their fellow comrades from danger.

Master Sgt. Brian Davis, alcohol, tobacco and firearms non-commissioned officer at Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Ariz., understands this all too well. He learned the true meaning of personal courage when an Army Soldier courageously sacrificed his life to save others by throwing himself on a grenade that had been thrown into his vehicle by the enemy.

"He had lots of training on how to properly exit a vehicle under those circumstances but, as the situation evolved, he made the decision to go against his training in order to save his comrades," recalled Davis.

With physical courage, it is a matter of enduring physical duress and at times risking personal safety. Whether physical, mental or emotional courage, Army Soldiers and civilians exhibit personal courage each day.

In the months ahead, sequestration, looming budget cuts, and the threat of impending furloughs will undoubtedly test the personal courage of many of us Army civilians as we are impacted by the nation's fiscal uncertainty. The Army civilians across ATEC will most certainly continue to persevere as they have for decades.

"It takes personal courage to say, 'I will continue, undaunted, and do the very best I can with what I am given, without sacrificing my personal principles or violating the Army values and my civilian creed,'" said Jeff Lipscomb, technical director at YPG's Cold Regions Test Center in Fort Greely, Alaska.

"Personal courage is what keeps you advancing instead of hiding behind the barrier that stops the bullets or the easy way out that stops the criticism."

Page last updated Mon April 29th, 2013 at 00:00