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Respect in the Marine Corps Essay

Respect is something that everyone in life wants to receive from everybody that they deal with on a day to day basis. From my first hand experience I can tell u that respect is one thing that has to be earned. A lot of people think that people should give them respect just because they are alive well sorry to say it does not work that way , if it worked that easy then respect would mean nothing to anybody. I personally give respect until someone gives me a reason to not respect them. In my personal life experiences I have had a lot of problems not showing respect to my superiors or to my elders who I feel that disrespect me, respecting somebody can be as simple as saying good morning maam or good morning sir. If you show people respect then nine times out of ten that person who you showed respect to not even knowing them will give you the same amount of courtesy and respect that you showed them.

Respect in today’s armed forces is a very important thing because if you do not show respect in the military then you wont show respect to any civilian that you run across or anybody in the world respect in today’s armed services is something that is supposed to be forced into your every thought when you go through MCT or basic combat training but with the wars seeming to progress and not show any sign of stopping then today’s military and the military 2 years ago has such a huge difference in the respect issue that you can probably tell who was part of the old military and who is a part of the new military by just asking the Marine how there day has been going. I define respect as the ability to recognize and regard a person’s boundaries, limits, and autonomy in both their personal and professional spheres of life. Respect is also the care and understanding of one human being for another. Without respect we would not follow laws, and we would not have a civilized society where people are allowed “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Appropriate interactions are based on this definition of respect All the codes and standards and regulations in the world cannot change the fact that Marines, as human beings, face the choice every day to react with respect in any given situation; and as human beings, they do not always live up to one another’s expectations. It is the recognition of each person’s autonomy that allows both leadership and peers to take into consideration the individual’s boundaries and limitations, and to offer them the respect they are due, which more often than not then paves the way to respectful reciprocation. We are not born knowing what respect is. It is the responsibility of our families and our schools to teach us what respect is. As children we are taught to respect our parents, teachers, elders, school rules, traffic laws, family, and cultural traditions, other people’s feelings and rights, our country’s flag and leaders, the truth and people’s differing opinions.

It is during the formative years of our youth that we form these important opinions about respect and understanding, empathy and sympathy. It is from our schools and families that we learn these important concepts and ultimately, we learn to respect by being respected. The darkest times in our country’s history can be traced to a lack of respect. When laws are ignored there can be no civility. The laws in our society are based on respect, both for ourselves and those around us. The very document that freed us from the tyranny of past Kings lays out the framework of respect that formed our union. We have “certain unalienable rights, those of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Without respect, we would not be able to pursue our joys and interests without interfering in another’s life. Those who feel respect and give respect to others most often inspire it from others for themselves. Respect can be summed up as the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Discipline is the glue that holds a combat team together. Without it there is no unit cohesion, no espirit de corps, no coordination. However, discipline is a complex product of training, leadership, and respect.

It is respect which creates devotion to the team, and the important part is that that respect flows both up and down the chain of command. A leader respects the skills, strengths, and sacrifices of the people who work for him, and by giving that respect, in time and with effort, his troops come to respect him as well. That respect grows into devotion: the devotion of the leader to his troops, to do his best to see them through tough times and bring them home to their families, and the devotion of the troops to accomplishing the tasks of their unit under the vision of their leadership.

Disrespect, however, has exactly the opposite effect. If a leader disrespects his troops, he fails to earn their respect and therefore fails to create devotion to the team. His attitude will be noticed and will become detrimental to morale, which in turn will hurt the combat effectiveness of each troop as well as the whole. Because he cannot respect his troops, he will also fail to recognize their true strengths and employ his forces to the best of their respective abilities.

If, on the other hand, a troop fails to form respect for ANY leader, no matter how good that leader is at their job, then that troop forms a sort of uprising point… a point of discontention that saps unit cohesion and draws any other malcontents to it. Such behavior undermines the authority of the leader as well as the spirit of the unit which allows troops to go into combat together. As such, a person with such an attitude should be quickly silenced by his NCOs, SNCOs, and peers, who should quickly recognize the adverse effects his actions may have on the unit.

Finally, there is another type of respect that is important to a combat unit: respect for the enemy. Only by recognizing where your opponent bases their combat effective manuevers and realizing the ways in which they shape their movement to maximize their strengths can one truly know their enemy… and by knowing his enemy, a military leader is able to employ tactics which avoid areas where the enemy is strong and instead strikes at the enemy’s weakness.

By failing to respect his enemies (on some level at least), a leader fails to recognize the value of the enemy’s tactics and therefore knows nothing about the enemy’s strengths. Without that knowledge, he can’t know anything real about the probable disposition of enemy troops, their movements in the field, and the points where it would be unwise to assault them. Every action, then, requires more effort and more sacrifice from his own side and plays into the well manuevered plans of the enemy. Such a situation can be overcome, but only at the cost of more resources than would otherwise be needed.

Respect is a word that has a lot of depth to it no matter what way you use it. The word by definition is kind of hard to pin down concretely because it is so subjective and it can be used in many different ways with many different meanings based on the usage. It is a word that everybody wants a piece of no matter how big or small the piece they get is. All definitions aside, the respect that most people want is the respect that is earned by the showing of honorable actions or personality characteristics. Be it dedication and sacrifices for ones job or ones moral and ethical views and principles. These are examples of some traits a person can earn respect from normally. I say “Normally” because in all facets of life respect is almost always something to be earned and given on a personal level. My personal view is that showing respect is more a statement about us than those to whom we show it. Others may or may not merit our respect, but giving others their dignity protects our integrity and honor.

Today I learned a lesson in what I already know and should never have to be reminded about. Respect. Respect can be in various forms. It can be knowledge, self awareness, trust, character, honesty, understanding, and a positive attitude. But respect also has to be earned. If you cant respect yourself then you wont be able to respect others. To gain respect you have to treat others the way you would want to be treated. Without respect you can’t have team work and care for other peoples well being. To be respected as a leader you also have to respect your followers. You also have to motivate and encourage them. Show them that as a leader that you care for them as a person. Everyone shows respect in different ways. In the military respect is a major part of our everyday lives. It is one of the Marine Corps Values.

It is important to maintain Military bearing on and off duty in order to create a sense of respect among civilians and fellow Marines about the military in general. Any disrespect I may show towards my leaders, from my team leader all the way up to the President of the United States, can have a negative effect on the Morale and Welfare of those around me, whether junior or senior. If I am not conducting myself properly and a Marine who is junior to me sees my behavior, he or she may believe that I am right because I outrank them. Then this Marine may continue this behavior thinking it is correct. Now because this behavior has been passed on, the leaders will have a harder time dealing with their Marines. That kind of chaos in the military can ultimately lead to death.


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