By Steve Standifird
Public Affairs Office
I joined the Army team as a civilian a little more than five years ago after spending 10 years as a U.S. Marine.
The differences are the topics of friendly banter between the services. But the similarities are what made the transition easier. Those similarities included having a defined set of organizational values that contribute to forming the culture of the team.
Learning the words that make up the Army Values was easy given the opportunity I have to interact with drill sergeants and Soldiers-in-training.
I have observed Soldiers in the earliest stages of the Forge project the Army Values loudly with the conviction and confidence of a stage actor delivering a line so all can hear. The values have become a repeated line Soldiers learn to recite over and over as part of the requirements to graduate Basic Combat Training.
Saying the words and understanding the meaning, though, are very different aspects of living the Army Values.
The Marine Corps does the exact same thing in boot camp. We recite our Corps Values and leadership traits as a sequence of words with the same vigorous repetition until we have them memorized.
Any Marine currently in the Marine detachment here could recite both with relative ease from memory.
But do the words hold value within each of the service members asked to recite them?
As a member of the Army team, and a leader in the very sense that the Army defines the term, these values have become a part of who I am as an Army civilian.
I rely on them as a supervisor and try to set an example every day of how I’m living the values to everyone around me.
I demonstrate respect as I build and maintain trust, a sense of duty as I am always willing to do my part as a member of our team, and integrity as I am honest with my words in public and private.
I have seen the negative effects of Soldiers and leaders not incorporating the values into who they are and what they represent. I have watched as leaders left their Soldiers out to dry after failing them.
I have heard leaders accept all the praise on behalf of the team and point fingers at subordinates to deflect all the blame. Their examples often generate the most comments on the many military-themed social media pages I follow.
I challenge each and every Soldier and Army civilian to take the time to conduct a personal assessment and determine what the Army Values truly mean to them.
Determine how to live these values and what example teammates will see.