The Army Values are put here as guidelines for Soldiers to live by. They are a tool used to further enforce your core human morals. All seven values are important to keep close to your heart; however the one that sticks out to me the most is Selfless Service. Field Manual 7-22.7 defines selfless service as; “Putting the welfare of the Nation, the Army and your soldiers before your own”. In my opinion there are three main focal points in living up to the Army Value of selfless service. The first is devoting your efforts toward the needs of the country. Second is always putting your Soldiers needs above your own, and third is fulfilling your duty without wanting something in return. In order to fully devote all of your efforts to country first, you must have a certain love for the country in which you have sworn to protect. The United States of America is the best country in the world. It is that way because of Soldiers who have laid down their lives to protect and defend it’s freedoms.
Soldiers who believe in the Constitution and follow the orders set forth by the Commander in Chief, our President, without question or doubt. Prior to joining the Army, I realized that my generation wasn’t being represented in issues of conflict. I would watch the news reports and see old men from the Vietnam era speaking about our countries current foreign conflicts. The war in Iraq or Afghanistan was not being supported by anyone in my neighborhood. I would see soldiers ship off to war and never to return. I saw mothers have to bury their sons, and fathers cry because their daughters won’t return home. I would look at this and wonder is it all for nothing or are our generation’s conflicts not properly being represented. I decided to join the U.S Army and prove that patriotism still exist in America. I wanted to completely give myself to the will of the country and fight to keep its freedoms. My high school football coach once told me that a real American has the knowledge to do what’s right and the courage to follow those appointed above them.
By raising your right hand and swearing “to protect the Constitution of the United States against all enemies both foreign and domestic”, you have made the first step in living the Army Value of selfless service. You continue to live up to that value by following the orders of those appointed above you without question or doubt. As a Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) you are charged with the duty of having subordinates, in which you must drive their training. As a NCO you must put the needs of your soldiers before your own. Selfless Service is about giving back, if a Soldier has personal issues that effects his ability to complete the mission, it is the duty of the NCO to assist that Soldier in taking care of those issues. By living the Army Value selfless service, you don’t hesitate to lend a helping hand. Serving selflessly means that the Soldiers issues now become yours. By doing everything within the limits of your power, without compromising your integrity, to assist the Soldier with their issues you are living the value.
Soldiers’ issues come in several different forms; financial, emotional, spiritual, physical etc… Whatever the issue is, you put aside whatever you might have going on, in order to help see the problem through. Giving your time and efforts is all that it takes to make a difference in a Soldiers life. The term community service is closely associated with the Army Value selfless service. The betterment of the community around you is a personal responsibility of any Soldier. The United States is often referred to as the world’s freedom fighters. If a situation arises, where we as a nation must interfere, it becomes our duty to ensure the safety and well being of the people who reside in that country. Marine Sgt. William Stacey, a casualty of the war in Afghanistan, said in a letter he sent home a few days before his death; “Perhaps there is still injustice in the world.
But there will be a child who will live because men left the security they enjoyed in their home country to come to his.” Sgt Stacey is a true example of Selfless Service. He laid down his life to protect the people of a country that was not his home. His testament shows us that Soldiers who believe in this Army Value don’t do the job because of a paycheck or benefits, but because of a call to arms in order to protect those who are weak and cannot protect themselves.
Soldiers that believe in serving selflessly come to the aid of those in need without a want or need of reward or reprisal. With every step I take in this world, I take with me the Army Values. Every value is important in its own right; however selfless service is the one value that I hold true to my heart. I believe that this value we live by is what separates our Armed Forces from others. By serving your country and believing in these values you aren’t just saying that you will die for the man to the left and right, but also for the innocent people of the world in which we a sworn to protect. With every Soldier believing in the principals of selfless service we really are “Army Strong”. God Bless America!