The Importance of Punctuality This paper with discuss the importance of doing the right thing, being in the right place, and most importantly, being there at the right time. Punctuality is one of the many ways to show professionalism. My goals in the army are high and in today’s army you have to be perceived as a high speed soldier in order to survive. Gone are the days of getting by with the bare minimum between deployments and field exercises. The past years of keeping branch numbers higher due to increased troop rotations are dwindling and the focus is on quality, not quantity.
Perception is the key to success, and now that I have missed formation 2 times in as many months, I know that my reputation, especially among the Non-Commissioned Officers, has suffered. Punctuality is a necessary habit in all public affairs of a civilized society. Without it, nothing could ever be brought to a conclusion; everything would be in a state of chaos. Only in a sparsely populated rural community could it ever be possible to disregard it and even in ordinary living, there might even be some tolerance in the act of arriving a small bit late, but not in the military.
The fundamentals of a prescribed time of arrival, and in some cases departure, breaks down to the fact that it is a lawful military order, not a simple request or wish. It is essential to the maintenance of proper military discipline and order to make sure that every order, no matter how futile and insignificant it may seem at the time, is followed through with, and executed with the utmost attention to detail and without hesitation. When this act is repeated day in and day out it builds the most important strength of any team…trust.
When you can trust that everyone is going to be where they were told to be and when they were told to be there and doing what they were told to be doing then minimal supervision will be needed and that time can be used to do something much more important. Trust is essential in any military unit. A leader needs to be able to know that when they tell a soldier to move here, or do this, or watch that, they need to know that it will be done and there can be no doubt in that leaders mind that it will be done properly. This action goes far beyond the simple act of following orders, it saves lives.
And not only your life, but the lives of those around you. Aside from trust any good military unit needs a high level of esprit de corps. A true desire to be there and to perform not only for yourself, but for your fellow soldiers as well. When a unit has a soldier that does not appear to want to be there, it can severally affect its morale and overall performance. Not to mention the time that is lost in training and dealing with the concerns and needs of other soldiers when a leader has to take the time out of their day in order to deal with the problems of just one.
It is unfair to all others involved when these circumstances arise and vital time is taken from those who are doing the right thing. Seeing one soldier being treated differently, weather this treatment be positive or negative, sets this soldier apart from the rest. This difference in treatment further undermines that unit’s esprit de corps and cohesion. And if this happens that unit’s loyalty can begin to be tested not only amongst them, but can also undermine that unit’s leader who has to spend so much of his and her time dealing with that unit’s only trouble spot.
Every soldier has a responsibility to be there for everything that his or her unit goes through, no matter what. When the day starts, restarts after lunch, or whatever the day may call for. It is the duty of everyone involved to do his or her duty and be there from start to finish. There is no excuse for anyone to receive preferential treatment for any reason whatsoever. When you join the military you are making a commitment to something bigger than yourself, something greater and better.
Everything that this entity needs comes before your needs and your job to sacrifice of yourself in order to meet these needs. Everything that is great, everything that is worth doing, requires sacrifice of your time, energy and devotion and you must be prepared to provide this upon entry into such an organization. Meeting set times is the make or break point in any military operation. At all times you are going to be required to be at some designated position at a designated time in order for the mission to go to plan.
If your unit doesn’t cross its phase line in time, then all other units following you will be held up. If your unit doesn’t arrive at its designated location in order to provide security for the following unit’s movement then they cannot move up or they will be moving without having proper security for their movement. Either scenario is completely un-acceptable in the military whether you mission is raiding an enemy compound or moving vehicles around the motor pool. The basis of everything that the Army holds dear and bases its culture and existence on, can be raced back to and founded on a strong foundation of being in the right place at the right time. Punctuality is engrained in everything that we do as a military force and permeates everything that we do day in and day out no matter the operation or task for the day. Without a strong commitment to it everything that we have worked so hard for as an Army would literally begin to fall apart. No one in this organization can make their own schedule or feel that they are above the time commitments of the other soldiers in their unit.