Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Only in the Army?

Is it only in the army?…..I cannot believe that the so called “leadership” can talk to their subordinates while using profanity. Does that actually happen in the civilian word? Would someone be fired if when talking to their subordinates used profanity? I would like to think so. In my opinion, I consider a “boss” who uses such language to be ignorant. My children are taught to not use harsh language with each other or anyone else. Words such as: hate, retarded, dumb, shut up, idiot, stupid, are not allowed to be uttered at my home. Since the rule was established, I have not heard my children speak those words. I really don’t know if they say it behind my back, but if so it will come out soon or later. My oldest, I have been told, called someone a “Mitch” (not the actual bad word) once. He was disciplined for that, after a long talk. He didn’t think it was fair to be punished for saying that because, he explained, “it is not a bad word.” I knew what he meant and that was enough to get him in trouble. Children have a very creative way of coming up with alternatives to breaking the rules. For example, the kids started to say loath instead of hate just to express their feelings because hate was not allowed. I was quite pleased with that. See, we have other ways of expressing our feeling while expanding our vocabulary.
After being in the army for almost 21 years and dealing with profanity at work, my husband have never uttered “certain” bad words either- not at home or at work. Because of this, it is disappointing to me to hear of other doing it specially towards him. I feel deeply hurt by it not only because leadership is to set the example, but because after doing so those leaders claim to be doing the work of God.
Does the Golden Rule apply even in the military? Of course it does! We are not immune to becoming upset. A well educated person would have better choice of words. When you are a leader your job is to serve those bellow you while satisfying those above you. Is the ability to guide, direct, or influence people more achievable by using profanity? Inspiration comes from those who use self-discipline, calculated actions, self-control, integrity, and honesty- just to name a few.
Now, if we are going to use God as a guide on how we should act (or use his words when we speak) we should consider Jesus Christ as a leader. I wonder what kind of profanity He used when He found out that Peter had denied him not once, but 3 times or when Barabbas was freed in his instead. No profanity was needed. Jesus continued his ministry without the need to use hurtful words that degrades not other but oneself.
My dear husband keeps reminding me that the army has 7 values which are loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. If many of the leadership lived by these values, the way they treated other would be greatly improved.
Ok, now that I have unloaded my “anger” towards some of the leaders of the most regarded military in the word I shall rest my case. If you have an opinion please don’t hesitate to share. I promise that I will not utter any profanity at you or even think of it! (no sarcasm here!)
But before you go away:

Source Unknown
What are the actions and attributes of a leader?
What is it that makes him different from others?
1. A leader is always full of praise.
2. A leader learns to use the phrases "thank you" and "please" on his way to the top.
3. A leader is always growing.
4. A leader is possessed with his dreams.
5. A leader launches forth before success is certain.
6. A leader is not afraid of confrontation.
7. A leader talks about his own mistakes before talking about someone else's.
8. A leader is a person of honesty and integrity.
9. A leader has a good name.
10. A leader makes others better.
11. A leader is quick to praise and encourage the smallest amount of improvement.
12. A leader is genuinely interested in others.
13. A leader looks for opportunities to find someone doing something right.
14. A leader takes others up with him.
15. A leader responds to his own failures and acknowledges them before others have to discover and reveal them.
16. A leader never allows murmuring—from himself or others.
17. A leader is specific in what he expects.
18. A leader holds accountable those who work with him.
19. A leader does what is right rather than what is popular.
20. A leader is a servant.


Hilary said...

Amen! My husband has had his fair share of leadership cuss him out. And the reason for it was because they didn't like the way one of his soldiers did something or how they said something. Once he was cussed out because of me having a high risk pregnancy, which resulted in higher ups excusing him from the field in case I should be admitted to the hospital (my oldest was not even 2 yet). And after each time he would come home and ask me if he was this horrible man these leadership made him out to be.

Now for the other side, and I am going to praise my husband here. I have talked to some of his guys at work while at Fort Hood. The troop we were in was very small and this was the troop he went to war with. It was a very tight group. One E4 came to me one day and told me that Paul was the best platoon sergeant he's ever had. I told him he was just saying that since I was his wife. He told me it was true. He said that Paul never degraded him when he messed up (this was a kid who messed up and Paul got cussed out over it). He said he knew what Paul went through with this particular COL (now Gen) and when it was Paul's turn to correct this soldier he showed him respect. He didn't yell at him and say, "LOOK WHAT YOU DID! I HAVE A LETTER OF REPRIMAND BECAUSE OF YOU!" Which was true. He sat this kid down and talked with him. Never cussed at him. Never yelled at him. Never blamed this kid for the punishment Paul received because of this kid's actions. Was it fair Paul got punished? No. Some of the leadership wanted Paul to give this kid an Article 15 to which Paul said no. This kid didn't deserve an Article 15 because in my opinion he had done nothing wrong. But to the COL he did and he blamed Paul for it for his stupid reasons to this day still doesn't make sense to me.

Anyway as I was talking to this kid other lower enlisted guys came over and proceeded to tell me how they were lucky to have Paul as their leader. These kids would have done anything for Paul including dying for him, if they had to, in war. Why? Because he showed them all respect. He never degraded them or cussed at them or made them feel bad about themselves. They said when they screwed up they were afraid to face him because he would have disappointment in his eyes and he would tell them he was disappointed but then would actually council them on the situation with respect. One kid said that it was scarier than if he had been yelled at. They didn't like to disappoint him and his soldiers often thought about consequences before doing something because Paul taught them to do so.

While in Iraq his guys would sometimes complain that Paul would never do something the easy way. Paul would often say that the easy way would get them killed bit the correct way would get them home. He lost ZERO guys in Iraq with minimal injuries. Some of the other platoons did the easy way a lot of the times, which fatalities occurred and lots of injuries. After they came home another kid told me that Paul always told them to choose the hard right over the easy wrong (something we tell our own children over and over). He said it was when they got home he realized because Paul lived choosing the right is what got them home. This same kid went back to Iraq a year or two later with a different unit and was seriously hurt. He called Paul afterwards and mentioned to him how his command wanted the easy way. When he objected to it, they said he would follow their orders. The result was this kid almost losing his life. He thanked Paul for his example and said he never forgot the things Paul taught him.

I am not saying my husband is the best man in the Army, but I can tell you that he treats his soldiers with the respect he would like to receive himself. I think if all leadership did that, how much greater would this Army be? I saw how great one platoon was because of their leader showing love and respect and in turn the men showed love and respect to each other.

Thank you for your post. I know this is long and I apologize.

The Reay Family said...

Hilary, thank you for sharing your experience with me in my blog. I am many times touched by the people who comes to me to tell me the same thing about my husband. Everybody in the army is a leader and sometimes it just takes one like your husband to make a difference. Once again thank you and please thank your husband for me for serving other with honor and respect.

jen91 said...

Love this, I am so happy to havefoud your blog.

jen91 said...

There is a person at my office who swears constantly... it is really hard on the nerves and on my sanity... I have asked her not to as it offends me, she has only increased the frequency of how often she will drop the "F" bomb just for a reaction. It is just so crude and low class; it really shows your breading/education or lack thereof. The problem with the profanity is the when you hear it constantly, it will creep in to you language if you are not careful and you can find yourself slipping and using the words that you find so offensive.

The Reay Family said...

I am with you Jen! I believe that we become part of our environment. If we live around people who have bad habbits it can creep into our lives too and become part of ours. Stay strong. I cannot believe that your place of work would not talk to this person to drop the "f" word somewhere else! How unprofessional!