No one is more professional than I. This is the first sentence to the creed of the non-commissioned officer. I mentioned in my last posting that it is important to live your life on the basis of a creed. A creed is an ideology or proclamation of one’s beliefs that mold your character. Every type of job should develop leaders in various forms and professions. Someone has to take charge, yet in taking charge also work in accordance with each other.
The Army is not how it used to be. I know that on the basis of how it was intended and designed to work, not because I have seen it change in the last 4 years. In the history of the professional military officers have always been royalty or high-born, of some sort. This helps create a barrier between the enlisted and the commissioned. It makes sense and it creates a professional environment in which soldiers can be subordinate to those appointed over them both because of rank and status. In today’s Army experienced enlisted instead get thrown around by inexperienced boys who graduated a couple of schools and were commissioned. (That statement does not apply to the percentage of enlisted who become officers through hard work and perseverance, for those men are some of the finest leaders I have ever known.)
Instead of being professional like the NCO creed states, those I know in the ranks around me have turned from that into something else entirely. This is a cut throat business, get promoted or get lost. Professionalism aside, creeds aside, people judge you on what it is you can offer them. Not skills in the workplace, or your ability to lead and train, but instead how you “play the game.” We are weak, we have faults and we have strengths. The only way a team can work proficiently is by relying on each other to enhance one’s strengths and to over power one’s faults. You should always achieve rank and stature not on the pretense of who your friends are, but instead how well you can perform and lead others.
I challenge you in your own individual work places to uphold courtesy at all costs, maintain professionalism, do not confront those you despise with false allegations, but instead out-shine them, out-perform them and eventually over power their impotent and hollow excuse for a professional person.
Including the virtue of charity with your professional attitude is probably the single most difficult thing to do in most work places. (especially mine) Maintain an inner calm at all times, remember to pray for peace of mind whenever you get a free second. The un-professional person will always try to undermine your authority and knock you off balance. Do not let this happen! If you are wobbling and feel like you are on that tight rope between being calm and punching the other guy out, always remember the ultimate meaning behind “turning the other cheek.” It will always be better for you and your future to be the one who stood tall while the other person made a fool of themselves in front of others. As long as your subordinates and peers respect and admire you who really cares what anyone above you thinks?
Remember where you came from and always have a clear conscience, it is imperative through discipline and hard work that you go through life being the best but never saying the you are the best. Be the guy (or gal) that every body talks about in whispers. Be the person to stand up for the meek. Saint Paul constantly called upon those in the early Church with inspirational words of leadership, and to stand up for the cause that Christians fought so hard for. Do not condescend, do not patronize, instead, teach with gentleness and reverence. Instruct with authority on the pretense of creating more leaders as opposed to merely giving an outward appearance of caring.
One last thing: Know that no matter what someone said to degrade you or your reputation, that person will answer for their dis-courtesy. The great thing about being Christian in an ever so heathen environment is that we have a creed we live by. A code of ethics, and a long list of philosophical ideals that set us apart from those around us which in turn put us way ahead in the slow marathon to eternal salvation.
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I was an 11B2P from 76-80 + 1 yr in the Guard. My Dad was a 22 yr lifer who enlisted, went OCS and served a tour as an A Team Cpt in the Central Highlsnds from 66-67. His Dad retired a SGM who served in WWII and Korea. Much of what you write resonates with me and at 59, you remind me of myself when I was young. I’m glad you’re not a boozer and based on your experiences of war, you’re very lucky not to be. War can hide out in a man’s soul for yrs. My Dad served out his time sane & sober. 30 yrs after he left Vietnam, he was drinking heavily. Seven years after that, he was running through the woods naked covered in his own excrement. And a year before he died, he told me he thought he killed all the wrong people. I went to the VA for hearing aids and wound up being tested and treated for PTSD. You never know what’s going to happen. I wouldn’t go on like this unless I felt a bond with you and other grunts like you.