Accountability and Report Times essay example
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Accountability and Report Times

The purpose of this paper is to describe and explain the importance of accountability and report times as it relates to being in a combat environment, or deployment setting. With large organizations like the United States Army, accountability is a monumental piece of leading such a vast group. The decisions you make affect more than just yourself, and the consequences of your actions not only affect you but also the people around you. Therefore, we as soldiers and Non- Commissioned Officers must be accountable always. If someone in the military has ever been in any type of leadership position they would understand the importance of reporting and updating their first line supervisor on daily work calls and taskings.

When it comes to failing to be accountable or not reporting on time in a combat setting, a soldier can face some serious consequences. There are three major things that fall in line with this type of misconduct. They are AWOL which is absent without leave, missing movement, and desertion. An example of a military member going AWOL would be for instance, if a soldier left post and did not report back to his unit and has been gone for more than twenty-four hours with no notice to his or her chain of command. Their pay would then be suspended, and they would not be able to do anything because it goes on a federal blotter report. The second example would be that of missing movement. There was a case at my last unit where we were getting ready to leave for the National Training Center. The battery was told that our report time to get on the charter bus would be at 1900 hours and we would SP from the battalion footprint to start the drive to California. A soldier in the battery decided he did not want to go, so he left his room and the base and went to another state with his girlfriend. This is clearly a drastic example seeing how it places him in the AWOL and missing movement category but an example none the less. The last example of these type of misconducts is that of desertion. Bowe Berghedal was a key example and controversy that took place within the military community about his actions while being deployed. He had left his post unattended and was then captured by the Taliban resulting in course of actions set in place by our governing officials to return him to our country. This again is an extreme example of this type of misconduct, but it is still not tolerated within the military community. Regarding desertion the individual would be gone for thirty days or more before it transitions to this from being AWOL.

As it relates to being on time, the army uses what is called the Uniform Code of Military Justice. If you are told to be at a specific place at certain time you would fall into articles of this code. This would also apply to people in a garrison environment as well, it is more severe in a combat situation seeing as you are hurting your team in accomplishing the mission. Everything we do as soldiers is directly affecting those to our left and our right. In combat you rely on each other for just about everything. If you cannot even trust one of your brothers to show up on time how can you trust them if a life our death situation would arise. No matter how big or small the offense is it takes away from the key Army Values that our supposed to be instilled in every one of us. Another reason why it is important to be on time in the Army is the fact that the military plans everything down to the most minute detail. For example, if you are late in a combat situation you could possibly catch yourself in enemy fire for not moving when you are told to do so. Another example would be that you are tasked to provide support by fire or in the artillery world provide counter-fires. If these fires are late, members of an adjacent unit or your own, could possibly suffer the consequences of your actions.

Another part of being accountable and reporting on time relates to promotions within the military. Being on time and accountable always shows that you are punctual and that you pay attention to detail which is huge in the Army. As a Non-Commissioned Officer we receive an annual report which is used to analyze and highlight what we have done as a leader during the year. This is key in order to move up in the ranks showing that you are capable of being a trustworthy and competent leader. Your subordinates would also see your leadership and would be trained and ready more than someone who is untrustworthy and cannot be taken serious as a leader in today’s military fighting force. This also demonstrates your potential as a future leader as well.

With accountability I believe that discipline comes hand in hand. It takes integrity and discipline to let others or leaders where you are always, so they know about your wellbeing. Informing your supervisor or supervisors where you are, and why you are doing what you are doing shows that you know how to follow orders even if they seem unimportant to you. They certainly are important to the organization. Discipline can be as simple as showing up to accountability formations on time like I was not or having light and noise discipline in combat so that you do not give away your position to the enemy. This discipline could not only save you and your sections lives, but also other people that happen to be on the battlefield as well. In the case where I was late I showed a lack of discipline by not letting my superior know that I was having a personal issue and did not sleep the night prior to being late. Accountability has a huge role seeing how there is always an end state because there is no excuse for being late.
If we were in a combat zone and for instance, I was late in picking up sensitive items or if I misplaced them, which falls into the accountability aspect of this. The enemy could use this against innocent people or friendly forces that were fighting with us in combat. This being why accountability is so important. My leadership has my best interest in mind, so they know what I am doing, this way if a major event would happen they would be able to help or assist me, so I would not have to do it on my own.

The morning that I was late to formation showed a tremendous lack of discipline on my part. What I did made me look irresponsible to myself, the chain of command, my direct supervisors, and subordinates. It showed my lack of motivation to do the right thing even though something tough was happening in my life. It showed disrespect to my first line and leadership because in inadvertently ignored the orders they had given to the platoon and myself, leaving them unaccountable for my whereabouts.

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Since being in this platoon I have held several different positions. I have been an Ammunition Team Chief, a Gunner, and an acting Section Chief. I realize that my actions are a direct reflection of my peers and leadership. I would not want my soldiers to think that I am uncapable of being a leader. I love being a mentor and teacher which go hand in hand with being a leader. This act of lacking in discipline only shows my soldiers and my platoon that I am uncapable of being that type of leader. Therefore, I understand the ramifications of my actions so deeply and can ensure that events like this fail to occur in the future.
Success in the Army is paramount. Accountability is something that plays a pivotal role in that aspect. If we can’t be accountable for these small things, then how can we be accountable when push comes to shove and we need to kick things into high gear. In order to prevent something like this from happening again I have developed a plan of action for myself as well as a notification process to my seniors and chain of command in case something major would have happened in my life or daily routine. I plan on letting my leadership know of what I am doing or letting them have a better knowledge of personal affairs that I may be dealing with for now on instead of trying to tackle them on my own accord. To caveat off that, if I ever have any questions, I will automatically direct them to my first line to ensure there is an open, free communication line that can be easily understood and followed.

In closing, I believe that discipline and accountability are two in the same. They both feed each other in the military and provide for great leadership. The failure of reporting on time not only hurts the individuals own career progression and reputation but is also detrimental to the overall success of the team’s goals or mission. This is what I believe is true about being accountable when it relates to reporting in a combat zone.

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