accountability military and time

Accountability…. What does it mean? The responsibility of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to clearly show the results. The army definition of accountability is “the obligation imposed by law or lawful order or regulation on an officer or other person for keeping accurate record of property, documents, funds or soldiers”. Accountability should not be taken lightly, it is important for NCOs and squad leaders to have accountability over their soldiers. This could be at a formation or meeting, or through a phone call or text message.

This is one of the most important things to make sure you have in order in the Army. Poor accountability can effect not on the person missing and the person looking for them, but the unit as a whole. Being accountable doesn’t stop after the formation is released. It reaches into everything you do. You can be accountable by calling your NCO, and text messages stating where you are and what you’re doing. These are just as important as any formation you could provide and should held as such. Ignoring a phone call or deleting a text from your supervisor is just as bad as skipping formation; it is also going against your Army Values.

While making it to a formation is the top priority of any U. S. Army soldier, things do tend to come up. Your child may be sick or you may have an appointment or something. Your spouse may be called into work, or you might get stuck in awful traffic. Things may happen which you may have not seen coming. This is where accountability via text message and phone calls comes in. Calling your supervisor to let them know of your issues and why you won’t be making it to formation could mean the difference between positive accountability and a negative counseling for missing formation.

Accountability is one characteristic that plays a big part in time management or other words being on time. Not being in the prospected time when given is not accepted and is considered to be frowned upon. Being on time is never on time! Ten minutes prior is army wide for a reason. For example you are told to be at work at 0900 work call, you are supposed to be there at 0850. But, you may ask, how does me not being at 0630 formation on Fort Hood for PT put other people’s lives in danger? Well, it doesn’t.

But, making being on time, or even a bit early, a habit can help when you eventually do end up down range and you need to be on time for a mission. Civilians are also expected to be at their right place at the right time. The only difference is being on time is on time in the civilian world. If work is at 10:00 then as long as it’s not 10:01, then you are in the clear. Showing people you can be on time not only shows you have discipline, but you respect for your superior leaders. Punctuality shows that you are responsible, trustworthy and can follow directions.

Punctuality isn’t just an order that the Army requires, but also a good personal trait that is a reflection of a person’s character, it shows that you have personal integrity and self-discipline. While some of us are occasionally late due to circumstances beyond our control, habitual tardiness shows a lack of respect for other people and their time. If someone is late continually that shows that they more than likely do not care about what their NCO tells them. Nobody wants to depend on a person that can’t even simply show up for a formation that is held every day at the same time and place.

In basic accountability and being on time was strongly instilled in us as basic soldiering. The Army ways even back then still had about the same standards for this specific subject. It demonstrates diligence and illustrates that you honor your commitment. You can become very successful if you obtain this quality, and once you obtain it and obtain a higher position, you will expect your subordinates to attempt ad eventually obtain the same quality. One of the most common attributes of all successful people is being able to master the ability to manage time wisely.

Time is money and money is time. Now I know exactly what it means! The fact of being able to keep track of your time shows respect for them and yourself. Making sure you are at the right place, at the right time, and in the right uniform is a core element of being a soldier in the U. S. Army. A minute too late or a mile too short or a missing item could mean the difference between everyone being safe and everyone being hurt. This is fundamental. This will always be true in every facet of the Army lifestyle. Promptness is not only a duty, but is also a part of good manners.

It is favorable to fortune, reputation, influence, and usefulness. Lack of punctuality is a theft of someone else’s time and a complete lack of respect for others. You should be punctual in everything you do. Punctuality goes hand in hand with military discipline. Starting out as a soldier in basic we are taught to obey, immediately and without question, orders from their superiors, right from the day one of boot camp. Military discipline and effectiveness is built on the foundation of obedience to orders. “Accountability breeds response-ability” Steven R. Cove.

Responsibility is a lot of different things and has many different parts. One part of responsibility is social responsibility. Social responsibility is being responsible to people, and for actions that affect people. When you do the wrong thing other people may pay for it. If I’m late and my supervisor does not know where I am or what I’m doing, then she may also get in trouble for not knowing where her soldier is. In the military we are taught from day one to be accountable for our actions. Being ten minutes prior doesn’t just prevent a soldier being late to formation, but it also teaches responsibility.

Every soldier who comes into basic training is taught to be responsible. In the “big” picture if every soldier is taught and IS responsible, the army would flow much better and accountability would be less of an issue for soldiers and their superiors. I do believe every soldier is given the tools they need to become well-functioning responsible soldier. The problem is that as time goes by some soldiers including myself tend to loose these tools given to us by our drill sergeants and supervisors. It is up to our NCO’s and supervisors to reprimand us and put us back in the path of being responsible soldiers.

Saying that, it is not our supervisor’s job to have to keep correcting us, we should be able to learn from our mistakes and take their advice and put it into effect and be responsible soldiers. “Thinking well is wise; planning well, wiser; doing well wisest and best of all. “- Persian proverb. I believe this quote can be used in our everyday military life. Being in the military we are taught to plan for what may or may not happen. I admit I have not been applying this often to my military life. Being a supply soldier I know things can often go wrong, which is why we should plan even for the unexpected.

This will help our mission run smoother and will give us better accountability. Planning ahead of time can get you to where you want to be, as we discussed earlier. Think about it, would any supervisor want to hire a person who is capable and will plan for the expected and the unexpected or a person who simple believes everything will go as it should and believes there is no reason to plan further? I know I would want my co-worker to have a plan just in case things don’t go as they should. For example if we were down range I would expect the people I go on a convoy with to know what to do if we were under attack.

Just like I’m sure they would want me to know as well so that we can all stay safe. Due to my recent troubles at work I have been counseled numerous times. This has given me a lot of time to reflect at the way I have really presented myself in the Army so far. I have not always been the best Soldier that I could have been. Thinking about this does bother me and I have been trying harder to get ahead and better myself as a Soldier and a person. Let’s say for example I have been late to work several times in the past several weeks including PT formation.

I am now doing what it takes to be the soldier I know I can be. I am doing that by not ensuring that I had met a lot of my needs to ensure that I would wake up in the morning. By doing this I will show my supervisor that I am responsible. By being late to formation I was showing my supervisor that I was irresponsible and could not take care of the normal things that are expected everyday of a PFC who’s been in for three years. Being at the right place in the proper uniform on time, should ensure I had covered all of my bases so that I would be on time to formation.

I am aware that if this behavior continues I will ruin my chances at promotion. Excuses won’t get me where I want to be, and to eliminate excuses I need to be better prepared and plan ahead. “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to be. “- Socrates. This quote I believe sums up what I should be striving for. For a good professional reputation, and to gain back the respect I deserve from my supervisors. I will regain this trust by doing what is asked of me and more. That means I need to keep my supervisor informed at all times.