Barracks Life
Staff Sgt. Tanya Thomas, 4IBCT Public Affairs

FORT STEWART, Ga. - As our nation reflects on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this week, I encourage our Soldiers, Family Members and Department of the Army Civilians at Fort Stewart -Hunter Army Airfield to pay tribute to the American hero by embodying the beliefs and ethics that he exhibited during his lifetime. It's no coincidence that these same beliefs happen to provide the framework for our Army--we know them more commonly as core Army Values.

The values Dr. King exemplified helped him to become a prominent and notable leader during the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the 1950's and '60s and helped him to become one of the most influential leaders of our nation's history.

As leaders in our organization and in our Army community, it is important that we revisit and carry out these Army Values so that we too, can make a lasting, positive impact on our society.

Loyalty: Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit and other Soldiers. Despite open criticism and what was considered unpopular, Dr. King remained loyal to not only Black Americans but to all Americans as he continued his move toward equal rights. In turn, a loyal Soldier stands up for other Soldiers under all circumstances.

Duty: Fulfill your obligations. Duty means accomplishing all tasks to the best of your ability. Carry out all assigned tasks without shortcuts. Just as Dr. King stepped up to plate and was a deeply committed activist, we need to remain committed to our Army mission. If you don't do it, no one else will.

Respect: Treat people as they should be treated. Dr. King always taught to treat other people with respect and to settle disagreements with love instead of hate. His non-violent fight for equal rights and respect for all individuals was at the forefront of his agenda. Respect begins with an understanding that all people possess worth as human beings. In our Army, respect breeds unit readiness, higher morale and unit cohesion

Selfless service: Put the welfare of the nation, the Army and your subordinates before your own. Dr. King suffered hardships as a result of his action for equality. The pain he endured, though, was all for the betterment of others as he placed his duty above his personal desires. Selfless service is larger than just you. And like Dr. King, in serving your country, you are conducting the Army mission without the thought of recognition or gain.

Honor: Live up to all the Army Values. Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living our core values. Make these values a part of your every-day life. Dr. King was a man of honor. he was honest with himself, truthful and sincere in all actions.

Integrity: Do what's right, legally and morally. Live by your words, and be honest in all that you do. Dr. King gave hope to millions of Americans as he remained steadfast in his moves toward civil rights. Having integrity builds trust and credibility.

Personal Courage: Face fear, danger or adversity. In the face of danger, oppression and violence, Dr. King remained peaceful, faced all fears and continued his mission to gain racial tolerance in our nation. As Soldiers, having personal courage is what makes us unique as we stand in harm's way to defend and preserve our nation's freedoms.

Dr. King was assassinated April 4, 1968, but we have the opportunity to carry out his legacy by living the Army Values, daily. It is important that we keep these values Dr. King practiced and preached alive. Together we can make King's dream a reality.

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Page last updated Fri January 20th, 2012 at 09:14