The code of honor; know it, embrace it
March 8, 2013
Of all the Army values, honor is the one that embodies all the others. Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity and personal courage in everything you do, according to the Army.
We feel honor while listening to our National Anthem or watching the posting of the colors. We show honor by recognizing the outstanding contributions made by other Soldiers and civilians. We give honor to the flag and to the ideals it represents and the symbolism it lends to the greatness of our nation.
"I, like so many others, have honored the flag and our country with military service and by continued service to service members as a civilian," said Samuel Cunningham, a retired Marine gunnery sergeant and, currently, chief of Internal Review and Audit Compliance at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. "I honor my organization, my co-workers, and especially the Warfighter by doing my job in a way that will always benefit them."
We demonstrate honor by doing the honorable thing even when no one is around to witness it and striving to do the right thing at all times. In doing so, a solid reputation is built making it easier for the people around you to trust you.
"Without honor, you cannot count on someone to do the right thing unless you are watching them all the time, and that is impossible to do," said Kevin Fleischmann, continuous process improvement/lean six sigma advisor at Redstone Test Center in Huntsville, Ala. "Honor to me means doing the right thing to represent yourself, your family, and your company."
When you are viewed as honorable, people trust the information you are providing and the actions you are taking. Honor helps define who you are as a person while serving as a guiding light for your growth and character.
"Having honor defines you to others," said Minerva Peters, chief, Continuous Process Improvement at YPG. "If you have honor, you are a known quantity and therefore can be trusted."
Honor is critical to the success of an organization and is an important ingredient in enhancing mission accomplishment. When you come to work focused on the mission and the betterment of all those you work with and serve, you are demonstrating and exemplifying honor.
"Every day I awake, whether I am in uniform or civilian clothing, my actions and the way I present myself within the military or civilian community are always focused and centered on my duty and obligation to bring honor to our Profession of Arms," said Command Sgt. Maj. Keith West, command sergeant major for YPG.
Honor is also a commitment -- a commitment to standing behind what you say and do and by simply doing the right thing with no expectation of reward or praise.
"I have been that Warfighter in the field far from home and family," said Cunningham. "I honor them most by never forgetting that."
Honor is the fifth article in a series from the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command focusing on the Army's Profession of Arms campaign.