Integrity is how somebody lives their life. We dictate how we run our own lives, and the way we run our lives defines us. Sailors and people have something that can never be taken from them, and that’s integrity. It is something that means a lot to some people and then nothing to others. The ones who value their integrity are the good people in this world, and the bad people are the ones who have none or don’t value it and can’t be trusted.
I think that integrity is a hard thing to maintain and to keep, due to it being so easy to compromise and lose completely. Rebuilding your integrity and trust from others is even harder than just keeping it. It’s worth working towards the goal of being trustworthy and having the community know you have integrity. It’s not supposed to be easy because lying is easy.
In the civilian world integrity is the bases of relationships, both personal and professional. A business is built on trust between individuals with their transactions and agreements. They are motivated by the drive of profit. To earn more and grow bigger. This is only possible when their integrity is impeccable and they are a trustworthy individual, for the most part. As we’ve seen and will always see when a company begins to lie or sell a product that isn’t what its marketed to be their hit with class action lawsuits, loss of profits, lobbying against their favor, the consumers boycotting their product and their brand. It destroys businesses. A perfect example of this would be the stock market penny stock pump and dump scam orchestrated by Stratton Oakmont under the supervision of Jordan Belfort from 1989 to 1999. They would sell the stock at a higher price than its true value, and they were able to do this because penny stocks didn’t get reported in economic stock news papers at the time so the investor had to trust the brokerage firm. As more people bought the penny stock the price would rise and the people who were manipulating this operation would sell their shares when the price hit a substantial price and the investors who had been jipped by Belfort would lose their investment and he’d make money off of it. The company would also try to maintain the price of stock by refusing to accept or process orders to sell the stock. From the company’s inception they were under constant scrutiny from investigative services who were building a case and gathering evidence against those in the firms leadership. It all started with a lie and it ended with Belfort and his associates being fined 110.4 million and spending 22 months in prison. He will never be able to enter that field again.
When we all went to bootcamp they pounded into our heads “Honor courage commitment” and they taught us all the importance of our integrity and how it was the sole reason why our navy is so strong and effective. It is a core navy value, to do what’s right, legally and morally. It is a quality you develop by adhering to moral principles and that it requires that you do and say nothing that deceives others. It is instilled in us everyday of our time in the military. We are sailors always, twenty-four hours a day seven days a week three hundred and sixty five days out of the year. At no time in our five year contract are we not sailors, even on leave we are held to the same standards as those left here to man the ship and dutys. We have seen recently and in the past the effects of lying and losing our integrity. Even here on this boat. Lying can get you kicked out of this service and result in a loss of all the benefits of being in the Navy. There is never and upside to lying. Not even if you can get away with it. Sooner or later the truth comes out, the leadership will find out and then your ass will be grass. Even worse than that people could be dead as a result of your lying. Logs, watches, and maintenance are all things that require integrity, they are directly related to the safety of everybody on our submarine.
“Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” A quote by Don Miguel Ruiz. Integrity is crucial in life. Especially in the military. There are so many examples of the truth being what sets people free. I have had to learn this the hard way. I lied and I compromised my integrity and the ability for my shipmates to trust me. For this I’m greatly sorry and ashamed. I have learned from my mistake and from looking at examples of others making the same mistake in different or the same manners. There is nothing to be gained, even when you get away with it. It affects how you think and go about doing your duties. It will make you think its okay to lie and cheat and do things the wrong way. It puts you and everyone around you in danger. It wasn’t and isn’t worth doing. Don’t do it.