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Individual responsibility

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Websters dictionary describes accountability as “the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable” and the DOD describes it as “The obligation imposed by law or lawful order or regulation on an officer or other person for keeping accurate record of property, documents, or funds. The person having this obligation may or may not have actual possession of the property, documents, or funds. Accountability is concerned primarily with records, while responsibility is concerned primarily with custody, care, and safekeeping” and responsibility as “the state or fact of being responsible” respectability. While some actions may be responsible, you are always held accountable for the outcome of such. Accountability can also be described as being dependable.

By being dependable, soldiers arrive to work and appointments on time, meet deadlines, arrive at the right place at the right time, and always do the right thing at the right time. Morning formation is the most important formation of the day. It is vital to maintain accountability of everyone and to put out any pertinent information that is necessary to soldiers. Without accountability formation, it would be difficult for the command to fully brief soldiers about the days activities or important information.

Accountability refers to the obligation of an individual to report formally to his superior for the proper discharge of his responsibility. The person who accepts responsibility is accountable for the performance of the assigned duties. To be accountable is to be answerable for one’s conduct in respect Responsibility is the obligation to perform assigned tasks, accountability is the reporting of performance. Accountability in the workplace is defined as doing the right thing consistently, day in and day out, in tasks, relationship interactions to fulfill or further the mission of the organization. Accountability also ties closely to the 7 Army Values, most notably Duty. Duty is defined as fulfilling your obligations. It is quite difficult if not impossible to “fulfill your obligations” if you cannot keep accountability. And accountability and the army values do not just affect one soldier, but the platoon or company as a whole.

Accountability makes responsibility meaningful and completes the process of delegation. Responsibility is stated in terms of work to be done, while accountability is stated in terms of performance. Authority is delegated, responsibility is assumed and accountability is imposed. Authority flows downward while accountability for performance flows upward. Authority means some autonomy while accountability is meant to regulate autonomy. Which means that as long as soldiers take account of themselves, autonomy is preserved through sheer force of nature. Responsibility arises from authority while accountability is derived from responsibility. Responsibility is increased when soldiers have a single, clear set of rules that apply to a specific event and when the guidelines are unclear, or when more than one set of rules seems to apply to an event, responsibility is decreased.

Responsibility is a huge factor when or if you are deployed to either Iraq, Afghanistan, or wherever the Army sends you. Accountability is more than just knowing your soldiers in formation. Accountability is knowing that your soldiers physical, mental, and spiritual needs are accounted for and taken into consideration; so they can be more functional as a unit, team, and be mission ready as the legs of the military; as the NCO’s being the backbone. Soldiers must be and act responsibly in every situation they may find themselves in, whether it’s in or out of uniform.

There are many good examples of responsibility in the everyday workplace. Do I take my books home to study or do I leave them in the class so I can get in and out the gate easier? (easy answer: Use your ACU pockets to take home your notes from the day). Do I correct an IET soldier about the wear of his uniform or let his battle buddies figure it out for him? (Correct them all using simple words and slow speech). Do I eat at the DFAC where my stomach won’t get much bigger, or should I go eat at Hardee’s and feel my arteries harden? (COMPROMISE: Subway). Those are just a few examples where people can be responsible. Responsibility and accountability are two of the main factors in being a successful soldier in today’s Army.

For example, lets say that a young private in the Army, who currently is deployed in a combat zone, were to drive a vehicle, or any other motorized piece of machinery to the fuel point without his weapon, it would be a great risk. When he returned, his weapon could not be there. t could have been stolen. Or if he were to be attacked while driving he would not be able to return fire and defend himself. Either way, whatever the situation it could result in any number of consequences, usually and most definitely negative. If he would have had ‘Proper’ accountability, he would have had his weapon on his person inside that vehicle/equipment. And if anything were to happen he would be prepared.

On the battle field accountability is a key factor in survival, and victory. To be able to keep track of specific items, weapons, and personnel. Always knowing the status of all assets you control plays a big part in mission preparation and mission success. Any mistake taken in accountability could cost you and the Army time and ,you especially, money.Accountability is very important in the Army. Accountability is taking responsibility for your actions and your items. By meaning what you say, saying what you mean, and doing what you say, when you say you will do it. By keeping track of all my items and equipment I can always be ready for anything that is needed of me by my country, my superiors, or other servicemen. Being accountable means being dependable.

Where my country, my superiors and fellow servicemen can count on me in any situation. To know I will be there to do what is necessary. Taking responsibility for your own actions and equipment is what keeps things running smoothly. And keeps things from turning into utter chaos. Being in formation on time everyday is an prime example of accountability. Formation is where the Army takes accountability of everyone and to get important information out that needs to be dealt with. Without accountability there is no knowing of where everyone is or whats going on. Knowing where your equipment and personal effects are at all times is very important also.

Lets say I leave my room and forget to lock my door. By not locking my door, I was not talking responsibility for my own items, and not doing what I was told to do by my superiors. I was not being responsible. Keeping my items locked and secured is very important now and in the future. As with keeping all sensitive items secured and accounted for later on. Keeping my room locked, keeps accountability of all my items and teaches me to always maintain my equipment, my arms, and myself. Many things could have happened by me failing to adhere to my responsibilities. My room could have been vandalized, or items of mine could have been stolen. And if it was sensitive information that was seen or taken, I could have jeopardized people lives or the outcome of our country.

A lot of people ask me, “But Sergeant Major Keene. WHat if i’m not in the army, does accountability still matter?” And I always reply, “Yes, in fact it does adopted son David.” Because accountability isn’t just now where things or keeping things safe, bits also being responsible. Personal accountability is ver important in Army life, swell as civilian life. Anybody can be successful, but personal responsibility will increase the odds of achieving success by eliminating distractions and creating a good balance between home, school, and a career. Accountability and personal responsibility are like a shield that will protect an individual throughout life by eliminating irrelevant distractions. Success is driven by taking upon one’s self the accountability for time management and maintenance of priorities.

Personal responsibility will increase the odds of being successful in all aspects of life above and beyond that of just soldiers. By holding oneself personally responsible, more time is found to do enjoyable hobbies and pastimes while completing the tasks of work, school, and family. Time management is the key component of being personally responsible.

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