Lack of Lower Enlisted Soldier Discipline in the Army

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Lack of Lower Enlisted Soldier Discipline in the Army

 

Over the years, discipline amongst lower enlisted soldiers has gradually grown to unprecedented levels with higher-ranking soldiers, citing lack of order, regulation, and personal restraint in their professional work and approach. The Army and military, in general, stands out as one of the most disciplined organizations globally. As a unit of combat and elite militia, the army prides itself on the highest level of personal restraint with strict codes of regulation and adherence to laid down rules. Lower ranking recruits entail the newly recruited personnel or reserves that are new to the army unit. Although the military or soldier affairs remain a secretly guarded affair, personal restraint and orderliness may often find its way into the public domain, thus calling upon the top brass management to uphold and help new recruits adhere to the strict rules and regulations outlined. However, this has never been the case as is attested in the report.

The army refers to a fighting force within the military that specifically fights on land. Although it may include other branches such as the air force and navy, the army typically involves the land-based soldiers or army reserves who train, work out, and exercise their military prowess on ground level. In the United States, the Army comprises of the largest branch of the army unit performing land-based combat and all operations at the ground level. It has its origin from the Continental Army formed way back in 1775. The Secretary of the Army, a civil servant who also doubles as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, heads it. In total, the US Army has approximately 990,000 army personnel, and its core mission is to combat and succeed in National wars by ensuring that they provide quick, sustained military activities that support combatantts commander-in-chief (Merrill 2002). Its principal mission as the country's designated army of the country includes support of national policies, maintenance of security and peace in defense of the country, Commonwealths, and all regions having citizens of the United States. Additionally, the Army has the responsibility of overcoming national objectives that may entail aggressive acts against the country that jeopardize security and peace in the country.

Recruitment into the Army

Recruitment into the US Army requires an individual who is at least 18 years of age or 17 years with parental consent to join the army. All persons who are fit, whether US citizens of aliens have equal opportunity to join the military and he or she should be between the age of 18 and 25. All potential candidates need be physically fit, recommendable weight, and should pass the standard physical testing before entry. All candidates with a General Education Development qualification are eligible to enlist with being in school considered an important concept of enlisting in the army. Additionally, all citizens and aliens with the "Green Card" are eligible to join the US military.

The first step in enlisting in the United States Army involves taking the armed services, and "vocational aptitude battery commonly referred to as ASVAB." It is a multiple exams that helps determine the career an individual is best suited for within the army (Gallaway 2012). The second step involves passing the physical examination test that entails weight and height measurements, vision and hearing tests, drug and alcohol. Additionally, the test includes blood and urine test, joint maneuvers, and specialized testing for women such as pregnancy, body fat, and medical history. The next is meeting up with a counselor to help determine a career and is often influenced by recruit preference, job availability, needs of the service, and ASVAB score. Careers fields may include combat operations, health care physicians, services and business administration, scientific research and engineering among others. Depending on one's preference and counselor's recommendation, one may choose and opt for any of the listed career fields (Fourcade 2009). The fourth step involves taking the oath of enlisting in which a recruit vows to defend and protect the United States Constitution in addition to obeying the military code of conduct also known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice. After the MEPS test, the recruit either opts for a direct ship that involves basic training. Alternatively, the recruit will enter delayed entry program in which he or she commits to basic training sometime later (Merrill 2002).

Military Discipline

The army stresses a lot of loyalty, ethical behavior, principles, and regulations above personal issues and interest. The DOD 5500, 7-R outlines the minimal standards of behavior expected of all soldiers within the US Army (Fourcade 2009). Once a person decides to join the military and serve the country in whichever capacity, discipline forms an important component of their life. In fact, the military men and women stand out as the most disciplined and adherents to law and regulations. Military discipline arises from many years of training and coaching designed in a way that ensures the individual complies with orders, regulations, and laid down rules. It is training that builds up self-control, efficiency, and a character that in the end implies subjection to control, according to the established chain of command (Smith & Malone, 2012). In effect, it entails a state of order that exists within an authority. Some aspects of discipline amongst the military personnel include; proper dressing, efficiency, descent salute, and correct action during an emergency case. Right discipline within the army calls for reasoned obedience that occurs without supervision or authority. The primary purpose of discipline within the military is to bring out the best amongst the men and women in uniform towards a common objective. The uniformity is designed to help individuals fit within the military in a way that conforms to the desired objectives of onets designation.

To bring out the best in a soldier, training and discipline are used that includes both regular trainings to unpleasant and the brutal training. The training often aims at instilling the best character trait in the army officer. New recruits undergo intensive training that can best be described as both unpleasant and brutal (Gilman et al, 2014). Discipline is considered a unifying factor within the military and forms an important component of molding a responsible and disciplined force. It helps hold the army together, with all its rigor and intensive training. It further helps them endure challenging conditions in addition to casualties. It forms a pivotal point in helping individuals comply with orders, regulations, and commands within the force amongst groups and individuals (Kessler et al., 2014).

Lower-Enlisted Solders

Lower enlisted or junior enlisted ranks/soldiers refer to privately enlist soldiers from private contracts who serve in the US army. After a period of six months, the servicemen are promoted to the rank of Private 2nd class. Often, they perform their duties as delegated to them by their supervisors within the mission list. Lower or junior enlisted soldiers form a vital component of the army unit as they play a major role in mundane tasks within the military, taking orders and directives from their supervisors. Just as the other ranks, junior enlisted soldiers have the responsibility to respect and obey the orders of their supervisors. The lower-enlisted soldiers perform mundane tasks such as cleaning, putting senior's personal items in order, carrying luggage and towing away junk scrap from a site in cleaning exercises (Haddock et al., 2009). The lower enlisted soldiers face many challenges in their day-to-day duties. Just known as "fly under the radar," junior soldiers have formulated ways of surviving the severe working conditions within the military. In many cases, the soldiers have to overlook the watchful eyes of the seniors, the strict commands, and curious about looking high-ranking officers (Kessler et al., 2014).

Losing grip of one civilian lifestyle to enlist as a lower ranking soldier comes with its price. Many a time, lower ranking soldering is taken through stressful situations just to remind them of their low ranking position within their respective units. While it may seem reasonable, many a time, lower enlisted soldiers endure difficulties that frustrate their military life to the point of desperation and frustration (Perry et al., 1991). It is, therefore, no doubt that indiscipline cases and instances are shared and prevalent in the lower enlisted soldiers. A common belief and thinking amongst lower enlisted soldiers is the notion that to earn a promotion, one has to put up with a lot of "crap" and "dirt" to rise in the military positions. Lower enlisted soldiers believe that accomplishing one mission is essential to overcoming any challenge one may face, before starting to worry about making life better while in the army (Smith & Malone, 2012).

Discipline amongst Junior Enlisted Soldiers

Over the years, discipline amongst lower enlisted soldiers has taken a negative downturn in cases of indiscipline identified and on the rise (Williams et al., 2002). High ranking army officers acknowledge that limited and professional training on professional values contributes to the rising cases of indiscipline amongst lower enlisted soldiers with the majority of the cases noted in and within both the newly recruited and the senior enlisted soldiers. With several calls by top seniors on the need to renew commitment to professional behavior, little has changed over the years on the same (Gilman et al.,. 2014). As a professional organization and a disciplined force, indiscipline cases left a dark mark on most units within the army. According to senior military personnel, lower enlisted soldiers lack professional training on ethical values, work ethics, and general discipline while carrying out their duties. On many occasions, lower enlisted soldiers fail to salute to passing seniors, dress inappropriately, and do not keep in touch with the changes in the military profession, in addition to the use of tobacco and other drugs (Kessler et al., 2014).

Lower enlisted soldiers have a lot in common with private citizens who lack the professional knowledge of the disciplined forces (Smith & Malone, 2012). Lack of commitment to professional service contributes immensely to the eroded discipline amongst junior enlisted soldiers. Most common forms of indiscipline amongst the lower enlisted soldiers include poor dressing and the following commands from senior soldiers. Although leadership failure has resulted into the menace, the entire military body has the mandate to ensure that all personnel adheres to the set rules and regulations. Without discipline, the army and the military, in general, have no moral authority to promote peace, ensure that there is order in their respective places of work.

The situation can be analyzed, through the personal technology within the rank and sheer stress while undertaking their duties in two scenarios. Within the military and more so the army, lower enlisted soldiers face the greatest challenge of making nasty duties such as scrubbing floors, cleaning dirty sections, and acting as hardy boys for the seniors (Gilman et al, 2014). To aggravate the situation further, seniors use the opportunity to harass, mistreat, and intimidate the lower enlisted soldiers due to their lowly rank within the army. With time, the lower enlisted soldiers gradually get frustrated and discourage with the normal duties they are made to undertake. Coupled with heavy duties, the junior enlisted soldiers go against the established rules and regulations to vent their frustrations against a system they feel is against their well-being in the army.

Junior enlisted soldiers

The availability of internet-enabled gadgets is a profound contributor to junior enlisted soldiers with the side effects, including unethical conduct such as taking self-photos in unrocommended locations, spending too much time on the internet and social media, paying little attention to the day-to-day activities (Kessler et al., 2014). The emerging technologies coupled with the young ages of the junior enlisted soldiers contribute to the unprecedented immoral conducts and behaviors much of which can be avoided when discipline is reinforced from the top-ranking personnel to the lowest enlisted soldiers. Although the top-level seniors need to take responsibility for the unbecoming behavior of the junior enlisted soldiers, much blame and contribution are from the middle-level older persons who have direct contact with the soldiers and play mute in the gradually unbecoming conduct (Hillman 2009).

Considered future military leaders in one way or another, junior enlisted soldiers often standing out as the incoming future leaders within the military and other sectors of the army and civilian life. However, with the high trend of indiscipline reported, chances of lower enlisted soldiers rising in their specific ranks are slim and remote. It is no doubt that the majority of leaders within the military continues to remain elderly persons above the age of 50 because the strict discipline required in the army is no match for the lower enlisted soldiers. The repellent behaviors of lower enlisted soldiers leave little for admiration for the young boys and girls in uniform with many doubts on their ability to command a respectable following in any capacity both in the military and civilian life.

The best solution and remedy for the unbecoming conduct could well lie in stronger legislation and enforcement of currently existing laws on behavior. Additionally, new legislations would form a good platform to introduce new legislation that would best address new upcoming trends of indiscipline amongst the junior enlisted soldiers. Due to the sensitive position, they hold and serve within the military, overlooking the current trend would and may set a poor direction for future generations and soldiers thus compromising the integrity and respect of the well-protected profession. It would help salvage the deteriorating situation before it becomes a catastrophe and damage the reputation of the armed forces amongst the citizens and demean the commander in chief.

Discipline within the military forms a paramount component of a soldier's life. The need to have a disciplined force arises from the fact that, soldiers have the sensitive mandate of keeping order, peace, and harmony within and outside the borders of the United States. An undisciplined soldier may pose the greatest challenge to the dissemination of professional duties within the precepts of military duty. Lower enlisted soldier's forms the core component of the Army with specific duties that aim at doing professional work within the military career and nation bound. However, their role and responsibilities within the army are gradually turning to a structural collapse in discipline and unethical conduct. The horrific stories and account going on within the military unit of the behavior of lower enlisted soldiers leave a lot to be done with calls on a total overhaul of the leadership structure and restructuring of the management. However, bureaucratic procedures may put such an initiative in jeopardy and may call for new legislations and command structures to be set up. However, for the sake of the well-being of the lower enlisted soldiers, it may just be worth the struggle, to reform and instill good mannerism into the young soldier's professional lives.

References

Fourcade, M. (2009).T Economists and societies: Discipline and profession in the United States, Britain, and France, 1890s to 1990s. Princeton University Press.

Gallaway, M. S., Fink, D. S., Millikan, A. M., & Bell, M. R. (2012). Factors associated with physical aggression among US Army soldiers.T Aggressive behavior,T 38(5), 357-367.

Gilman, S. E., Bromet, E. J., Cox, K. L., Colpe, L. J., Fullerton, C. S., Gruber, M. J., ... & Nock, M. K. (2014). Sociodemographic and career history predictors of suicide mortality in the United States Army 2004t2009.T Psychological Medicine,T 44(12), 2579-2592.

Haddock, C. K., Taylor, J. E., Hoffman, K. M., Poston, W. S., Peterson, A., Lando, H. A., & Shelton, S. (2009). Factors which influence tobacco use among junior enlisted personnel in the United States Army and Air Force: a formative research study.T American Journal of Health Promotion,T 23(4), 241-246.

Hillman, E. L. (2009). Front and center: Sexual violence in US military law.T Politics & Society,T 37(1), 101-129.

Kessler, R. C., Heeringa, S. G., Stein, M. B., Colpe, L. J., Fullerton, C. S., Hwang, I., ... & Schoenbaum, M. (2014). Thirty-day prevalence of DSM-IV mental disorders among nondeployed soldiers in the US Army: results from the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS).T JAMA psychiatry,T 71(5), 504-513.

Merrill, J. C. (2012). 2003-2009 marital functioning trends among US enlisted soldiers following combat deployments.T Military medicine,T 177(10), 1169.

Perry, S., Griffith, J., & White, T. (1991). Retention of junior enlisted soldiers in the all-volunteer army reserve.T Armed Forces & Society,T 18(1), 111-133.

Smith, E. A., & Malone, R. E. (2012). Why strong tobacco control measures tcanttt be implemented in the US military: a qualitative analysis.T Military medicine,T 177(10), 1202.

Williams, J. O., Bell, N. S., & Amoroso, P. J. (2002). Drinking and other risk taking behaviors of enlisted male soldiers in the US Army.T Work,T 18(2), 141-150.

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