When I think of the phrase “failure to be at an appointed place of duty,” the first thing that comes to my mind is being AWOL. AWOL is an abbreviation for the phrase absent without leave which is under the United States Army Article Eighty Six of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. This topic can be broken down into many smaller groups such as: discipline; military bearing; and common courtesy. Failure to be at your appointed place of duty can result in an Article 86.
A few things that fall under this article is any member of the armed forces who, without authority fails to go to his appointed place of duty at the time prescribed; goes from that place; or absents himself or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty at which he is required to be at the time prescribed; shall be punished as a court-martial may direct. There are many important reasons that a soldier needs to be at his assigned place of duty at the selected time. If a soldier does not show up to his place of duty on time it can affect the units’ organization, mission completion and can be dangerous.
Deployed or not being absent could worry people or put others in harms way. A unit generally shares a common goal and should be motivated to harmonize their efforts as a team to achieve that goal. If you have a soldier that does not show up to help complete that goal, that soldier has not only placed more work on his unit members, but has effectively let his unit down. This can cause a multitude of problems that may affect the overall completion of a mission, and the Army is all about putting the mission first. As a soldier, I am held accountable for my actions and any responsibilities that are given to me by my leaders.
Leaders are responsible for their soldiers actions which also means I, as a soldier must always report to my assigned locations at the specified times or make sure my chain of command is aware and approves my absence. Being AWOL is technically being absent for over twenty four hours. Even though I was only absent for half the day it was still something that is not ok to do and I should have had better communication with my sergeants about it. Absence of leave does not include the inability to return to your job due to sickness, lack of transportation facilities, or other disabilities.
None of these reasons applied to my situation so my punishment is very reasonable. Even though there was some miscommunication between myself and my chain of command, it was something that should have been prevented and will be prevented in the future. Next time I will need to make sure I have my sergeants full attention and make sure he understands how long I will be absent for. I could also inform more than one person in my chain of command just to make sure everyone is on the same page. Having schedules can be helpful as well as knowing about an absence a reasonable time in advance.