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Military customs on the whole refer to the accepted traditions that form part of the military practice, rules and standards of operation. Customs in the military branches stipulate how the military personnel are supposed to conduct themselves in different situation (Department of the Army, 2007). These established traditions have been proven as appropriate and point out correct courses of actions to all serving within the armed forces; including the army, navy and the air-force. Military customs have been defined as acts involving courtesy and discipline when dealing with other people, including the army personnel and civilians. These customs developed over many years, dating far back to instances in ancient ages involving military actions between tribal groups, ethnic communities, states and nations (Roecker, 2010). They have gone to play an essential role of generating morale, discipline, teamwork and in creased effectiveness of army mission. This wider perspective goes further than the basic perception of the outcomes associated with military courtesy and discipline; that of building up politeness and respect among the army personnel (Department of the Army, 2007). Customs in the army, like all military divisions point to the accepted traditions that have been practiced over time, ensuring there is correct respect for the established chains of command as well as building foundations for personal self discipline among the soldiers and between themselves.
Military discipline involves the training the gradually develop attributes of efficiency in the recruits as well as the seasoned army men and women. It refers to the training, teaching, physical and mental exercise that foster development of self control, personal character, effectiveness and other values appropriate within the army. Through these training programs, the soldiers are guided to follow orders from their superior and obey the instituted chains of command (Roecker, 2010). Discipline is taught to ensure the soldiers grow and mature as they get exposed to required skills and knowledge demanded by the nature of their positions and responsibilities. Just as personal discipline is viewed as an essential feature for success in life, military discipline is indispensable within the army (Department of the Army, 2007). It further more denotes the state of order and organization that pervades the army. One always assured of discipline in it various aspects including time keeping and planning when it come to engaging with an army personnel; whether a close relative, friend or business associate.
Discipline is a valuable virtue within the army as it is the normal civilian society outside the scope of the military organizations. It is neither exclusive to the military (in spite of the military’s much emphasis on this virtue), nor strange to the civilian society. in fact, business organization have stressed discipline in the conduct of their employees and staff as imperative to meeting their financial goals and objectives, and a sure virtue that would ensure improving employee performance. It however begins at a personal level. Military discipline in essence ascertains the soldiers gain a proper concept and view of discipline through training programs based on military customs and traditions (Rush, 2006). On the same level, military discipline however, outlines the regulations involved in army practice. These army regulations, rules and general principles guarantee obedience of the army soldiers to their seniors’ orders and rules of the army. In cases of disobedience, one faces the possibility of penalties when orders are not clearly followed as commanded or out rightly disobeyed.
How to achieve great discipline?
True discipline in the army men is achieved after rigorous training and various forms of exercises. It is manifested in the mature and reasoned obedience to army commands at all times, even in the absence of supervision. Proper military discipline ensures the soldiers obey and preserve their allegiance to their army, beginning with their groups and units; increasing effectiveness when performing specific orders or duties as well as tackling emergency situations. Signs of military discipline are displayed in a number of ways. One can evidently see the smart and elegant nature of army salutes together with the proper wearing of uniform and other apparels worn by the army. This is a particular quality especially featured in army movies. Prompt response in cases of emergency and carrying out of specific actions in orderly manner is another manifestation of real military discipline (Rush, 2006).
Principles of military discipline dictate that army officers should set examples worthy of emulation by other people, within and outside the army. They point out the fact that any disciplined army soldier would gain respect and recognition by the way they carry out their assigned duties and themselves (Roecker, 2010). Effective military discipline also outlines efficient modus operandi in commanding of subordinates by their seniors. For example, an officer of a unit is supposed to issue commands in public, while all forms of reprimands are to be carried out in private. Furthermore, military discipline denotes that all officers should be loyal to their men, taking genuine interest in their welfare and making certain that their rights and privileges are granted as they should (Department of the Army, 2007).
All military customs have their purpose, which they serve to the benefit of the whole army and their personnel, ensuring they succeed. Military discipline generates uniformity and cooperation towards attaining common goals set by the army, as various individuals gradually understand how they fit into the military organization. It also enables army personnel to understand each other’s role and responsibility in the whole scheme of things, further ensuring effectiveness of the group in facing their duties. A vital aspect of military discipline is response to emergency situations, where it fosters automatic responses and chains of actions without any form of anxiety and panic during dire situations of emergency.
Military courtesy: definition
Military courtesy simply refer to the display of good manners and appropriate behavior defined with politeness when dealing with other people, fellow soldiers and superiors. It is essentially a part of military discipline. Mutual respect is conveyed among army soldiers of the same rank, in the same unit, subordinates as well as other superior officers by virtue of courtesy. Furthermore, it is the expression and manifestation of consideration extended towards other soldiers. This can be in any environment and situation (Roecker, 2010).
Courtesy is displayed at all times and should basically ensure that the relationship or conduct of the involved soldiers fosters good relationship amongst them. Moreover, it ensures all member of given army units grow together as a team with feelings of loyalty tying each member to the unit, its leaders and subordinates. One important aspect of army operations that guarantee greater chances of success in missions and covert operations is the extent to which team bonding has taken place within it units. On the whole, efficiency and effectiveness are achieved through loyalty which in essence is attained through military courtesy.
Military courtesy is displayed through a variety of ways. This involves greetings and references among different army officers and their salutations, as well as the public recognition of their exemplary performance in their duties (Department of the Army, 2007). The military salute is perhaps the most recognizable of courtesy in the army. It is a courteous recognition and acknowledgment of other members of the armed forces, especially to entitled army officers. It is also part of military customs to salute other foreign military parties. A half hearted or careless salute is generally regarded as a discourteous. Military courtesy also outlines forms of salutations among comrades of the same rank and between subordinates and their superiors (Rush, 2006). It also denotes reverence for authority which essentially comes from discipline. For example, army soldiers are supposed to remove their headdress when summoned to the offices of their superiors. In a similar way to all military customs, courtesy generally guarantees smooth operations within the army resulting from strengthened relationships among the army personnel.