Timeliness is important in all aspects of life. In the army they say “10 minutes prior is on time, and being on time is late”, that is the standard set forth and expected to be accomplished by the armed forces. By oversleeping I not only failed to meet the standard, I also failed my squad and my platoon because they did not have accountability of everyone, another main standard of the army. I also took the time of my team leader, who had to sit and wait for me while everyone else did PT. Missing movement not only cost me more time in the end, it cost the whole rest of the unit in one way or another. Timeliness is also the first step in a soldiers’ task to keep accountability at all times. Accountability is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as being required to explain actions or decisions to someone. Another definition is being required to be responsible for something. As soldiers, we are always expected to be able to explain our actions to our chain of command, and to take responsibility for them.
Inability to do so can lead to loss of time and resources, adverse action, UCMJ action, or even separation from the armed forces. In a strategic environment, timeliness is important in everything we do. Everyday soldiers in the unit work in fast-paced intelligence environments and being even a few minutes late in a mission situation could cost valuable intelligence or even lives. Even routine reports must be sent out on a strict timeframe, and failure to meet that standard could cause it to lose value, or cause a setback in a mission elsewhere. Being military intelligence soldiers, we are also required to attend training; whether it be language, technical, or unit trainings. Failing to report to classes on time could not only cause a soldier to miss important coursework, but could potentially result in the soldier getting dropped from the class. This not only hurts the soldiers’ advancement as an intelligence professional, it causes degradation of the mission.
Not having all the required training to accomplish the mission causes everyone around the soldier to pick up the slack. By not being able to do something as simple as 10 minutes prior, the soldier can potentially affect the work of an entire office full of people. Most important information pertaining to the unit is put out at morning formations, STTs, and Commanders’ Calls. Being late to any of these events can not only bring adverse action against a soldier for that event, it could also cause the soldier to miss pertinent information about upcoming events; potentially causing more corrective training or even UCMJ action. Article 87 of the Code of Military Justice “Missing Movement” states “any member of the armed forces who neglect or design to miss the movement of a ship, aircraft, or unit with which they are required in the course of duty to move can be punished as a court martial may direct”. Untimliness is not only a detriment to the strategic environment; it can be life altering in the tactical environment.
Failure to maintain proper timelines and accountability of soldiers and equipment during field exercises can result in accidents and loss of government property. The army has another saying “train how you fight”, meaning to treat every exercise just as if it were a real-life combat situation so that a soldier would know exactly what they needed to do if that situation actually came to be. Inability to be on time for training events hit times, etc; shows that a soldier could potentially not be reliable in a more serious situation. This causes breakdown of unit cohesiveness and esprit de’ corps. In a theater of war, failure to meet a deadline or miss movement can lead to the capture of strategic assets or intelligence, giving the enemy an advantage. It could also potentially lead to injuries, fatalities, or even the capture of United States or ally service members.
When a service member is deployed to a combat zone, being late could not only cause the failure of the mission, it could potentially be the difference between life and death. A soldier’s untimeliness may not only result in their death, but could cost the lives of others. For example, if a soldier assigned to a route clearance platoon is late for movement and causes their convoy to waste time looking for them instead of making their route before the movement of another unit, it could cost the lives of many others without them realizing. Timeliness is also important in the civilian world. In order to consistently hold down a job in the civilian sector, a person must make sure that they are on time for work or they could potentially lose their job.
Being late to an interview is practically a guarantee that a person would not be hired for employment with a company, even though that person may have the skills and qualifications necessary for the position. Arriving late to medical appointments can potentially result in your appointment being canceled, causing degradation to ones’ health and missing out on treatment that could prevent something more serious in the long run. Timeliness shows discipline, and without discipline the armed forces would not be able to accomplish the mission. Without discipline, the entire command structure would degrade and the enemy would be given a huge advantage, causing loss of life, equipment, or strategic advantage.