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Posted on Mar 22, 2010 at 04:34 PM

Integrity means to confidently hold to a code of moral and ethical principles. Every Soldier must have high personal moral standards and be honest in word and action. Living and speaking with integrity is very hard. You must live by your word for everything. Having integrity and being honest in everything you say and do builds trust. What is now may not always be. No matter where we are in life, things could get better or worse. The present experiences highs and lows, but the future is in your own hands. Change is the only thing that is permanent. You can't change everything, so deal with it accordingly and responsibly in order to better the situation. Always be true to yourself and never compromise your character or your integrity to go along with the group for your integrity is the basis for trust and confidence that must exist among members of the Army. It is the source for great personal strength and is the foundation for organizational success as well as sound character. As leaders, all Soldiers are watching and looking to see that you are honest and live by your word. If you make a mistake, you should openly acknowledge it, learn from it and move forward. People of integrity consistently act according to principles, not just what might work at the moment. Leaders of integrity make their principles known and consistently act in accordance with them. America's Army requires leaders to be and act responsibly. Being honest means being truthful and upright all the time, despite pressures to do otherwise. As an Army leader, you're honest to yourself by committing to and time after time living the Army values; you are honest to others by not presenting yourself or your actions as anything other than what they are. Army leaders say what they mean and do what they say. If you can't finish a task, inform your chain of command. If you unintentionally pass on bad information, correct it as soon as you find out it's wrong. People of integrity do the right thing not because it's handy or because they have no choice. They choose the right thing because their character accepts no less. Leaders can't hide what they do. That's why we must cautiously decide how we act. As an Army leader, you're always on display. If you want to instill Army values in others, you must internalize and demonstrate them yourself. Your personal values may and probably extend beyond the Army values, to include such things as political, cultural, or religious beliefs. However, if you're to be an Army leader and a person of integrity, these values must support the Army values, not challenge them. Integrity is one of the most important and oft-cited of high value terms. The United States Army wants well trained including morally sound Soldiers. It is the responsibility of all leaders to promote and assist those who lack good judgment in order for the Army to maintain a high level of integrity itself. All should be taken into consideration before a judgment of character is placed upon an individual. If, as a leader, I am not able to take these considerations into account and assist my subordinate to become morally efficient, I am letting down my subordinate due to my lack of assistance when I am well aware there might be a problem. At this point I would have to question my own integrity for the unwillingness to help or assist a fellow comrade. It is my sole responsibility to mentor and encourage morally sound decision making on my subordinates behalf. A person of integrity is one whose private person matches or exceeds his public person. Most humans know how easy it is for them to walk past that trash on the floor, to pocket that quarter they find in the coin return, to fudge on their taxes, to drive by that stranded motorist, to postdate a check by a day, to park in that handicapped zone, "just for a second though", to evade and cut corners and white-lie and get out of and procrastinate and do all those things that come so easy for every human being because of human nature. So before I cast judgment on another individual's character and integrity, I will always remember that we are all humans and respectfully we all lack in the area of integrity because of who we are. This, of course, should not be an acceptable reason to behave in such a manner that misconduct is presented as "normal" because the "normal" human being wants to please those they look up to and respect or want to be looked up to by their subordinates and typically would do whatever it takes to achieve those standards including but not limited to their daily lives. According to Webster's Dictionary, integrity means a code of expected moral, the quality or state of being complete or undivided, honest, sound, incorruptible, or an unimpaired condition. Again, respectfully, it sounds to me that the one who holds all these values one hundred percent throughout a lifetime, is the perfect person. I acknowledge here before my superiors and subordinate in the Army that I am far from perfect and far from corruptible but do my best to uphold the laws and regulations, as well as the highest standards of integrity, set before me in the United States Army and in my personal life as well. I understand being dishonest and not upholding my responsibilities as a Noncommissioned Officer of the United States Army can damage the team unity. The intentional lack of integrity of one person can be a thorn in the side of the entire group. The lack of integrity can make superiors possibly question the character of an individual as well as the subordinates. The first obligation I have as a leader is to accomplish assigned missions. In doing this I must be proficient in both individual and shared tasks. I must ensure all soldiers are well trained, informed, and capable of accomplishing the assigned mission. I must create a disciplined environment where soldiers and I can learn and grow both personally and professionally. I must hold my soldiers and myself to the highest of standards, training them to do their jobs effectively in peace and when in war. I must take care of my soldiers by being fair, refusing to cut corners, sharing my hardships, and setting the example. In the United States Army, as a leader, honesty and integrity are required to the best of one's ability in order to run a more perfect unit. When I lack in motivation and dedication to the team and cut corners or do not report misconduct, I am, in fact, encouraging subordinates to act in the same manner. I am not challenging them or myself, with this kind of behavior, to the highest of individual potential. Being responsible, having courage, compassion, being loyal, honest, persistent, and self-disciplined to the best of each individuals ability are what every Soldier should recognize as being essential requirements of portraying good character. For any one man to possess or exemplify all these traits of moral perfection would be as likely as the sun setting in the east. But every person capable of understanding morality should strive to build character based on these virtues and values. Possibly only one person in recent history has achieved the highest of moral standards, and has been a shining example of virtue and integrity. This man had his many accomplishments in the fields of science, education, publishing, philosophy, politics, and statesmanship that are noteworthy, but all of his achievements were undoubtedly a result of his exce

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