Honor the flag Print E-mail
Thursday, 15 August 2013
By Command Sgt. Maj. Terrence Murphy
Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood

As we go from day to day and live our lives, we must remember the price paid for the freedoms we so richly enjoy. These freedoms were forged by the men and women who serve the armed forces. The flag that flies over this base is a representation of the United States of America. Old Glory demands the respect and due diligence of all whom live, work and visit Fort Leonard Wood and to act accordingly when reveille, retreat, taps and the national anthem is played.

Military members have a requirement to act according to their service regulation for these events; civilians and visitors are asked to pay the proper respect and stop your vehicle at 6:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., when the flag is raised and lowered. This is simply paying respect to the flag of the United States of America — a flag for which many have died in battle. Traffic guards are placed in numerous locations to stop traffic so please act accordingly.

When “Taps” plays at a military funeral, wreath-laying, symbolic end of the day, or memorial ceremony, personnel in military uniforms are to salute at the first note and hold the salute until the song ends. Civilians and military not in uniform should remove any headgear and hold their right hands over their hearts, with headgear at the left shoulder. This same action should take place at 9 p.m. when “Taps” is played on post. There should not have to be road guards placed to stop traffic. This should be symbolic in your heart and we should be disciplined to act.

We are at a time in our military where we are reinvigorating the professional Soldier, Marine, Sailor, Airman and Coast Guardsman. We focus on standards and discipline, military customs, courtesies and traditions. We talk a lot about military expertise, with emphasis on the basic fundamentals of our profession and military job specialty.  

Over the past 12 years, many non-standard operations have occurred while deployed for a lot of military specialties, but we cannot escape the reality of the individual job specialty. We must regain the proficiencies and core competencies our job specialty demands, as well as basic Soldiering techniques at home station.

In this unique time of fiscal constraints, adaptive and innovative methods in our training techniques must focus on the basics of our jobs and military discipline. The profession of arms is what makes us who we are and we must be proficient at our Military Occupational Specialty, while maintaining the flexibility to adapt.

We also talk a lot about trust. We must earn and maintain the trust of our subordinates, peers, leaders and Families of those who serve.

There are many great civilians and contractors who serve right beside us, and we must strive to be good teammates. What we do as a service member is not about us, but about the team, the unit and the military service.

I employ you all to continue to do your best and strive to make your unit, this installation, and the local community the best it can be. When you put your heart in this great community, it will give back tenfold.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 August 2013 )