Values guide Soldiers on, off duty
November 3, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Watching some of this year's World Series baseball action, I was reminded of the fact that solid fundamentals are essential to mastering skills, regardless of whether we are talking sports abilities or the profession of arms.
Take successful ballplayers, for example, and you will see that they are well-schooled when it comes to the fundamentals, and can make the difficult appear routine. They seem to execute so effortlessly and automatically, whether it's turning a double-play, moving base runners, or simply pitchers being able to set up a batter for the strikeout.
A mastery of the fundamentals is also the key to excellent Soldiering.
A great Soldier has the basics down pat and is always prepared to make knowledgeable decisions and execute. Much of what the Army considers fundamentals are introduced to new Soldiers right here during their 10-week Basic Combat Training cycle.
There are probably no fundamentals more important than our Army Values. New Soldiers need to comprehend the values' importance and understand what they really mean to us. The Army Values -- loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage -- come together to form our foundation. This process, defined as "transformation," is the most critical and unique process within our Army. The Army Values are the substance and the traits that define how we act and conduct ourselves.
As you know, the Army has certain norms of conduct that include a unique service that is expected of all Soldiers. These values form a solid structure, which in turn, allows us to extend outward and grow as Soldiers.
Despite the fact that we teach our Soldiers the physical, academic and occupational knowledge in their transformation from civilians to Soldiers, we also nurture their new feelings in what it means to be a member of the United States Army. In no time, they develop pride.
Proud Soldiers live by these values every day. The values factor into everything that Soldiers do or undertake whether they are on or off duty.
As you are aware, the holiday season is not that far away. During this time, many of you will find yourselves away from post, and you will be representing our Army. You will be expected to conduct yourselves accordingly. The Army Values should serve as your compass and GPS.
You will never go wrong if you allow our values to guide you in your actions, behavior and decision-making. As I have been saying since the first day that I arrived at Fort Jackson, character has no secret ingredients. If you are loyal and live our Army Values, you will earn the respect of others and build pride in yourself.
Respect is vital in maintaining good leadership, and leadership is essential in carrying out missions properly. The Army's mission and its obligation to the nation demand the very best in all of us today as well as tomorrow. Our legacy to the generations that follow must be one of selfless service, coupled with strong and positive leadership.
The Army realizes that it has the best Soldiers in the world. In order to maintain that reputation, Soldiers must continue to live their Army Values. As Soldiers and members of the profession of arms, we will always be loyal to our country and have a duty and respect for people. Our selfless service will always make us put our nation first, with honor, integrity and physical and moral courage.
Army Strong and Victory Starts Here!