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  • Personal Courage

Face Fear, Danger, or Adversity (Physical or Moral)

What really causes leadership challenges is the situation; the environment that you have to fight in, and today our Soldiers are fighting in a much more different environment than they were in WWII, Korea, or Vietnam. I am not saying those environments weren't critical, stressful, and very, very dangerous, they were. But the environment is different today. Today they are your friends, tomorrow those friends are driving a car with a bomb in it and killing your Soldiers. That's a tough situation.SMA Julius W. GatesTell the absolute truth.SMA Robert E. HallYou must tell your commander the truth: the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good NCO who is listened to will always level with the commander, and then it is up to the commander to take heed or ignore it, remembering that he or she has to live with the outcome.There is a lot of material on what should be done regarding leadership, but it takes intestinal fortitude to do what is right. It takes guts for an NCO to use inherent authority and responsibility in training, maintaining, leading, and caring for soldiers. Young noncommissioned officers are the ones who call the shots; it is on their knowledge, initiative, and courage that our success in battle rests.SMA Glen E. MorrellProfessional courage is the steel fiber that makes an NCO unafraid and willing to tell it like it is. The concept of professional courage does not always mean being as tough as nails, either. It also suggests a willingness to listen to the soldiers’ problems, to go to bat for them in a tough situation and it means knowing just how far they can go. It also means being willing to tell the boss when he is wrong.SMA William A. ConnellyThe greatness of our Army has always been the ability of our soldiers who serve in the ranks to rise to the challenge against the odds, in the face of danger, and win.SMA Julius W. GatesThe good NCO has never been short in confidence, either to perform the mission or to inform the superior that he or she was interfering with traditional NCO business.SMA William G. BainbridgeMoral courage, to me, is much more demanding than physical courage.SMA Leon L. Van AutreveThe equipment and weaponry will continually change and improve, and the size of the military will expand as needed, decreasing during times of peace. But the unyielding will of the soldier and the dedication of professional military leaders will not change. Our soldiers can do a great deal more under pressure than people think. You’d have to see them perform in combat to believe it.SMA George W. DunawayHow can fear help you? Fear is not altogether undesirable. It is nature’s way of preparing your body for battle. As a consequence, the body automatically undergoes certain changes. You may temporarily lose a sense of fatigue, no matter how tired you are. Fear can stimulate your body, make you more alert, and prepare you for unusual physical effort.One of the easiest things to do is to talk to someone. Talk is a convenient way to relieve your tension- and it also helps the men you’re talking to. It’s a reminder that the rest of the team is with you. Your confidence goes up and your fear goes down when you think of the coming fight as a team job. You know the striking power of the team.Action or “doing something” will also help you overcome the initial paralyzing effect of fear in combat. This is especially true when you’re waiting for battle and the suspense is bothering you. Put your fear aside by doing something- even if you have to make work for yourself.No man ever adjusts himself perfectly to battle, regardless of how much combat he’s seen. Veteran soldiers also experience the reactions caused by fear. The difference is that veterans have learned to control their fears better than green troops. Learn to control fear and make it work for you. The man who controls his fear and goes about his business despite it is a courageous man. There’s no limit to what courage can accomplish on the battlefield.SMA William O. Wooldridge


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Leadership and leadership development.

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  • Reserve Components
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Personal Courage as an Army Value

Updated 18 October 2023

Subject Military

Downloads 38

Category Government

In the U.S. Army, every soldier learns to live by the seven-army values. These values are broken down into the acronym LDRSHIP. These values are Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. Loyalty represents the true faith and allegiance every soldier should have to the U.S. Constitution, Army, and fellow soldiers. Duty is the willingness to fulfill one’s obligations. Respect is the treatment of people the way they deserve. Selfless Service teaches us that we should put the welfare of the nation, army and fellow soldier way above our own. Honor states that every soldier should live to the values of the army. Integrity guides soldier on doing what is legally and morally right. Personal Courage says that every soldier should be ready to face fear, adversity, and danger both physically and morally. Despite having to abide by all the values, Personal Courage is my favorite value. In this essay, I present reasons why I choose Personal Courage as my ideal value in the army.

Personal Courage goes beyond facing fears and adversities, as a soldier I have to pick myself up once I fail and showing boldness in overcoming the voice of doubt. I am entitled to risk my safety for the wellbeing of my comrades. Confidence is a key factor that will aid me to respond to adversity. Personal Courage assumes two different forms, physical and moral (Rush, 2006). Physical courage represents overcoming fear and risking bodily harm to perform your duty. A soldier in combat risks her life to achieve a specific objective. Additionally, a soldier is not afraid of being injured or death since they have kept fear aside and opted to do what is necessary. Moral courage is the willingness to stay firm on the army values, principles and convictions despite any threat. Moral courage enables leaders and their subordinates to stand for what is right despite the consequences. Soldiers taking responsibility for their actions display moral courage even when things are going astray. In addition, leaders willing to consider new ideas and initiate changes that will benefit in achieving a common goal, portray moral courage (Thomas, Dickson " Bliese, 2001). I chose Personal Courage as my favorite value since it acts as a pillar on which all the other values are built. As a soldier, I have to portray moral courage by standing firm to exercise all the principles and convictions learned.

Currently, the U.S. soldiers are fighting in varied environments compared to those who fought in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam missions. Well, all these environments were and are critical, dangerous and stressful. In this era, people are changing on a daily basis. Today they are your friends, but tomorrow you find them bombing you soldiers and initiating war. These are harsh conditions demanding personal courage. As a soldier, I am entitled to accept such adversities and confine to the army’s principles. Personal Courage grows as a soldier progresses. It begins as physical courage where a soldier overcomes fears of bodily harm. As a soldier progresses, the physical courage improves to become moral courage. Here moral courage reveals itself as candor. A soldier becomes frank, honest and sincere with others by keeping their words free from bias, prejudice, and malice (D’Alessandro, 2014). Moral courage helps soldiers on a joint mission since they eye on their strategy to achieve a common objective. Personal Courage requires us to step outside our comfort zones and let go of fears that limit us from doing essential things in our mission. This favorite value aid soldiers perform new functions that they have been fearful or never felt comfortable doing. A soldier who lacks Personal Courage will never realize their full potential (Thomas, Dickson " Bliese, 2001). Therefore, Personal Courage is the essential factor that determines a soldier’s performance since fear block them from learning new things, expanding their horizons and exploring possibilities.

Personal Courage is a value that demands personal sacrifice. As a soldier, I will exemplify the real meaning of Personal Courage when I defend my country and shield my comrades from danger. It takes Personal Courage to continue undauntedly and perform with the least resources available.  During Basic Combat Training (BCT), soldiers learn these army values, and they live them every day. In conclusion, all the seven Army Values should be reflected by a soldier’s actions and decisions.

D’Alessandro, R. J. (2014). Army Officer's Guide. Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books.

Rush, R. S. (2006). Enlisted Soldier’s Guide (seventh edition). Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books.

Thomas, J. L., Dickson, M. W., " Bliese, P. D. (2001). Values predicting leader performance in the US Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Assessment Center: Evidence for a personality-mediated model. The Leadership Quarterly, 12(2), 181-196.

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Home — Essay Samples — Government & Politics — Army — Military Values Learned in the Army


Military Values Learned in The Army

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Words: 833 |

Published: Sep 1, 2020

Words: 833 | Pages: 2 | 5 min read

Works Cited:

  • Goleman, D. (2013). Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence. HarperCollins.
  • Kabat-Zinn, J. (2005). Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness. Hyperion.
  • Kornfield, J. (2008). The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology. Bantam.
  • Neff, K. D. (2011). Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind. HarperCollins.
  • Pipher, M. (2002). Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls. Random House.
  • Riso, D. R., & Hudson, R. (2000). The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types. Bantam.
  • Seligman, M. E. (2011). Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being. Free Press.
  • Siegel, D. J. (2012). The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are. Guilford Press.
  • Siegel, D. J. (2014). Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain. Penguin.
  • Tolle, E. (1999). The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. New World Library.

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