The Importance of Accountability and Continuity
“I am a soldier first but an Intelligence Professional second to none.” As a soldier, I am held to a higher standard compared to a civilian. We are trained and developed to follow the profession of arms. As a soldier, you are expected to live, speak and act in the professional army manner to adhere to army traditions, fulfilling our roles to resist the enemy at all times. You are responsible for not only bettering yourself but to help better your team as a whole. In the United States Army, once you fail any task, you are corrected for your actions and held accountable for your mistakes. Leaders decide the best punishment or corrective action to take to ensure the soldier doesn’t make the same mistake. Leaders are expected to lead by example so what you do and how you portray yourself, note that you have soldiers beneath you that look up to you to see what it takes to be successful and a good leader. In the community I serve in, maintaining my job as an intelligence analyst, I am not only held to a higher standard to have accountability and continuity responsibilities as a soldier but I also am expected to have them as an analyst in order to complete our assigned tasks to support the continuation of the ACE’s mission. We all need to be the leader we want our soldiers to be.
Continuity: ”The unbroken and consistent existence or operation of something over a period of time.” Continuity is used in all aspects of the military, whether it be under the military professionalism, operations, tactics, logistics, administration, strategy, military leadership, as well as military theory and doctrine. Continuity is provided by leaders in order to ensure the mission runs smoothly and all tasks are completed, steering away from the possibility of any major setbacks that may occur. Leaders were created and appointed their role to be able to take charge and provide logistical guidance on how a mission should be handled and completed. Continuity is a constant effort put for by not only the leader but by the entire team. Continuity allows for increased productivity and smoother operations. If a leader fails at their duties to ensure operations are followed through in a planned layout, this could significantly hinder the mission. So not only did that person fail as a leader, but they failed themselves. Lacking in the realization that continuity is important to the Army’s mission, will only make the force weaker. Continuity helps us develop plans to avoid disruption of operations.
Accountable: “(noun) Being responsible or liable for someone or something at the state of event and or situation.” Many ask why accountability is so important, especially in the realms of the Army’s statute. The United States Army appreciates soldiers that are accountable for their actions and values their continuous efforts to ensure they pay attention to detail, especially when it comes to completing the mission. What does it mean to be accountable? It means being dependable. With that, you are expected to arrive to work on time, meet deadlines, be in the right place at the right time, and always do the right thing. In accordance with the Army, the first formation of the day is the most important because it allows leaders to get accountability for everyone, provide vital information and address any issues that may come up. Without accountability, there is nowhere to know where soldiers are or to have an idea of what’s going on and/or what needs to be done. Without accountability, management would fail in the army. Accountability is enforced in the United States Army for a variety of reasons; safety, inventories, procedures, and just keeping track of personnel at all times. Accountability is what holds the army together, serving as a backbone by holding everything together to avoid chaos or commotion. It does not look good on a soldier if they cannot complete their assigned task. This shows that the soldier cannot be depended on, especially when they are needed. This doesn’t only hinder the team as a whole but as the soldier individually. This may hurt the soldier when they are trying to be looked at for furthering their career through promotions or being rewarded with favorable actions. Soldiers should want to always make a great impression on their leaders, so failing your tasks as a soldier will not be acceptable. Everything would run a lot smoother if everyone was held responsible for their actions and do as told. Not doing as told also creates a negative impact on your leadership. Being dependable is not only useful as a soldier and an intelligence analyst, but it’s also a useful trait to have as a civilian. Being late is not only unacceptable in the army, but it’s unacceptable wherever you may go. Being on time and doing what you were told is the easiest task for a soldier.
The army has several ways to correct issues involving accountability and continuity if it is a continuous problem. A soldier may receive a negative counseling statement, an Article-15, or based on the severity of the problem, even a Court Martial, which could all lead to the possibility of becoming discharged from the United States Army. Consequences establish discipline. Discipline is vital because it supports the orders to do a task efficiently. Without discipline, soldiers won’t react fast enough when told to complete a task.
Being professional also means looking professional, which in the end, a good professional soldier will have a lasting impression on their peers and superiors. Not only must we look good as soldiers, but specifically representing our MOS, being a professional will get noticed because if you are efficient in your job, your higher-ups won’t doubt you and your abilities to lead soldiers to get the mission done.
Maintaining a positive, professional relationship between soldiers and their superiors will help ensure a healthy and positive work environment. Clear and constant communication will help deter away from any misunderstandings and setbacks of the mission.