Marine Corps Integrity Essay

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After doing something bad as a kid, my dad would always ask me where are your morals, son. I would never know what to tell him. Maybe because I didn't quite understand what he was asking me. As I grew older and joined the Marine Corps I started to understand his question. The Marine Corps had a strict set of values. Honor, Courage, and Commitment. We live by them. Understanding the Marine Corps's values, I started to create my values. First, I had to understand morals. What I believed to be right from wrong. Morals lead to ethics. A system of beliefs that support my moral views. With morals and ethics, I was able to create my values. As I moved up the ranks in the military, my values were being tested. I was becoming a leader. I had to create my leadership values and decide if they were ethically correct. These are the challenges everyday leaders face. They must decide what leadership values are important to them and whether are they ethically and morally correct. Integrity and conceptual skills are two values leaders should strive to achieve.

Integrity is a vital part of leadership values. without integrity, leaders will quickly lose the trust of their followers. Leaders must be able to take responsibility for their decisions and actions. Too many times leaders will fail to make due on their promises or say one thing and do another. Leaders with integrity inspire confidence in others because they can be trusted to do what they say they are going to do (Northouse, 2016). In the movie Crash, a lot of the characters were lacking integrity. An issue would be presented to them and they would disregard it. They were not trustworthy individuals. Their ethics were questionable. A lack of integrity can quickly bring an organization down.

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An ethical challenge I faced in the Marine Corps was integrity. I found that some of the leaders I worked with lacked integrity. They would say one thing and do another. As a junior Marine, I was in charge of logging and auditing flight hours for all the pilots in my unit. My leader at the time thought it was a great idea to fake the flight hour report. I advised him that this was not the right thing to do and that we would eventually get caught. I brought it to the attention of his leaders and I was ignored. I quickly learned that my leaders were not loyal or dependable. They lacked the integrity to do the right thing. A year later the unit is conducting its annual inspection. It was brought to the commander's attention that the unit's flight hours were not correct and were being manipulated. It is against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Law to manipulate flight hours and is punishable by jail time. I spent the next 2 months correcting over a year’s work of reports.

Another Value leaders should demonstrate is how to make a difference. Leaders should always strive to make a difference in an organization. Leaders must be able to think and create ideas to help followers or overcome adaptive challenges. Conceptual skills can help leaders do just that. Northhouse stated, “A leader with conceptual skills is comfortable talking about the ideas that shape an organization and the intricacies involved (Northhouse, 2016). When facing adaptive challenges an organization needs a strategic leader. “Conceptual skills are central to creating a vision and strategic plan for an organization” (Northhouse, 2016).

An adaptive challenge can be very difficult for leaders within an organization. Leaders must learn to overcome these challenges. 'New environments and new dreams demand new strategies and abilities, as well as the leadership to mobilize them' (Heifetz, 2009). Organizations that face an adaptive challenge on a daily require a Strategic leader. A strategic leader should be able to analyze the problem and facilitate an environment where employees can work as a team to create a solution. The military faces many Adaptive challenges. As a leader, I must be prepared for those challenges. I must ensure that my Soldiers are always ready for change. Recently, My Soldiers and I were out on a truck convoy. We had a truck go down in the middle of a training area. Our knowledge goes as far as basic troubleshooting and general maintenance. The truck had a clogged fuel line. There was no fuel getting to the engine. We were delivering rations to troops deep in the training area. I decided to ask my Soldiers their thoughts and how we could fix this. I ensured that I listened to all of their ideas. I asked them questions to help them create a more successful idea. According to Heifetz, “Adaptive challenges generate a loss. Learning is often painful. One person’s innovation can cause another person to feel incompetent, betrayed, or irrelevant” (Heifetz, 2009). Leaders must ensure that each member of the group works as a team. No one's ideas are unheard even if it’s a small contribution. It took my team about 3 hours of trading ideas and different methods, but as a team, we figured out how to get fuel to the engine. We were late on the drop-off but as a leader, I was able to motivate, challenge their ability, create ideas, and create a stable working environment to accomplish that challenge.

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Marine Corps Integrity Essay. (2024, January 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
“Marine Corps Integrity Essay.” Edubirdie, 18 Jan. 2024,
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