False Reports: Why Integrity Matters So Much in the Military (and Beyond)

Integrity has many definitions and meanings. Within the military, it is often simplified to ‘doing what’s right, regardless of who is around.’ This includes one demonstrating a proper use of morals, principles, and remaining honest to oneself as well as the institution.

Consider the situation where soldiers are pulling security and each has a sector of fire. The defense works, because each individual knows the person to their left and right are securing their individual sectors. Leaders move around the perimeter, ensuring security is maintained and providing guidance.

IntegritySo what happens when the soldier who is supposed to be pulling security decides to crawl into a sleeping bag instead? The entire unit is at risk. What about the guard in the tower that does not use their night vision and fails to notice the IED placed on the road just outside the patrol base? Or the platoon leader who does not take the time to get an accurate count of their soldiers and leaves one behind?

All of these examples are of integrity violations which can have severe and adverse effects on the morale and discipline of the unit. In the military, one’s word holds a significant amount of weight. When an event occurs, the sworn statements of service members are often referenced for court proceedings and non-judicial punishments. Service members speak on behalf of each other and speak to the events that occurred during the situation.

For the transitioning service member, integrity is a facet of the military which business leaders and hiring managers greatly appreciate. Service members are not beyond reproach, but are held to a very high standard. The military creates a system wherein members constantly provide reports to their leaders both noncommissioned and officers alike. Leaders utilize these opportunities to demonstrate the importance of giving accurate and timely reports. By ensuring that the information is not exaggerated or incorrect, junior service members learn something which they can carry with them throughout their entire life.

[quote_left]”Both in and out of uniform, when people look at service members they expect them to be honorable, tell the truth, and always do the right thing.”[/quote_left]Both in and out of uniform, when people look at service members they expect them to be honorable, tell the truth, and always do the right thing. They have a moral obligation to speak up if they see something wrong or illegal, and to always protect their fellow service and community members. It is this sense of integrity and their esprit de corps that empowers the military to support and defend this great country.

Leaders within the military and business worlds expect to get honest answers from their subordinates. No one is interested in just having a “yes” employee. Getting real feedback allows organizations to address real problems, and helps to prevent time and resources from being wasted on unnecessary issues. Remember that the things you say have meaning, and the manner in which you say them have can produce results or have consequences. So always provide the honest and accurate feedback to ensure the greatest level of organizational success.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Kyle Soler

Kyle Soler is an active duty Infantry Officer serving in the US Army. He has served in the military for more than 10 years, working his way from an Infantry Squad Leader to a Company Commander with multiple combat deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan in between. Kyle earned his bachelor’s degree in History from Willamette University, and three Master degrees from Jones International University in Information Security Management, Health Care Management, and International Business. He also holds certifications in Six Sigma Lean and Six Sigma Lean Black Belt. His primary focus is realigning organizational priorities to get the most out of the time available in terms of training and development. Prior to entering military service, he worked as a fire fighter and an EMT. His areas of knowledge include military, training, leadership, disaster and continuity planning.
Kyle Soler

Latest posts by Kyle Soler (see all)


1 thought on “False Reports: Why Integrity Matters So Much in the Military (and Beyond)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *