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AMERICA'S ARMY - OUR PROFESSION
War·ri·or n. - One who is engaged aggressively or energetically in an activity, cause, or conflict.
E·thos n. - The distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature or guiding beliefs of a person or institution.
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WARRIOR ETHOS refers to the professional attitudes and beliefs that characterize the American soldier. At its core, the warrior ethos grounds itself on the refusal to accept failure. The Army has forged the warrior ethos on training grounds from Valley Forge to the Combined Training Centers and honed it in battle from Bunker Hill to San Juan Hill, from the Meuse-Argonne to Omaha Beach, from Pork Chop Hill to the Ia Drang Valley, from Salinas Airfield to the Battle of 73 Easting. It derives from the unique realities of battle. It echoes through the precepts in the Code of Conduct. Developed through discipline, commitment to Army values, and knowledge of the Army’s proud heritage, the warrior ethos makes clear that military service is much more than just another job: the purpose of winning the nation’s wars calls for total commitment.
America has a proud tradition of winning. The ability to forge victory out of the chaos of battle includes overcoming fear, hunger, deprivation, and fatigue. The Army wins because it fights hard; it fights hard because it trains hard; and it trains hard because that’s the way to win. Thus, the warrior ethos is about more than persevering under the worst of conditions; it fuels the fire to fight through those conditions to victory no matter how long it takes, no matter how much effort is required. It’s one thing to make a snap decision to risk your life for a brief period of time. It’s quite another to sustain the will to win when the situation looks hopeless and doesn’t show any indications of getting better, when being away from home and family is a profound hardship. The soldier who jumps on a grenade to save his comrades is courageous, without question. That action requires great physical courage, but pursuing victory over time also requires a deep moral courage that concentrates on the mission.
The warrior ethos concerns character, shaping who you are and what you do. In that sense, it’s clearly linked to Army values such as personal courage, loyalty to comrades, and dedication to duty. Both loyalty and duty involve putting your life on the line, even when there’s little chance of survival, for the good of a cause larger than yourself. That’s the clearest example of selfless service. American soldiers never give up on their fellow soldiers, and they never compromise on doing their duty. Integrity underlies the character of the Army as well. The warrior ethos requires unrelenting and consistent determination to do what is right and to do it with pride, both in war and military operations other than war. Understanding what is right requires respect for both your comrades and other people involved in such complex arenas as peace operations and nation assistance. In such ambiguous situations, decisions to use lethal or nonlethal force severely test judgment and discipline. In whatever conditions Army leaders find themselves, they turn the personal warrior ethos into a collective commitment to win with honor.
The warrior ethos is crucial—and perishable—so the Army must continually affirm, develop, and sustain it. Its martial ethic connects American warriors today with those whose sacrifices have allowed our very existence. The Army’s continuing drive to be the best, to triumph over all adversity, and to remain focused on mission accomplishment does more than preserve the Army’s institutional culture; it sustains the nation.
Actions that safeguard the nation occur everywhere you find soldiers. The warrior ethos spurs the lead tank driver across a line of departure into uncertainty. It drives the bone-tired medic continually to put others first. It pushes the sweat-soaked gunner near muscle failure to keep up the fire. It drives the heavily loaded infantry soldier into an icy wind, steadily uphill to the objective. It presses the signaler through fatigue to provide communications. And the warrior ethos urges the truck driver across frozen roads bounded by minefields because fellow soldiers at an isolated outpost need supplies. Such tireless motivation comes in part from the comradeship that springs from the warrior ethos. Soldiers fight for each other; they would rather die than let their buddies down. That loyalty runs front to rear as well as left to right: mutual support marks Army culture regardless of who you are, where you are, or what you are doing.
That tight fabric of loyalty to one another and to collective victory reflects perhaps the noblest aspect of our American warrior ethos: the military’s subordinate relationship to civilian authority. That subordination began in 1775, was reconfirmed at Newburgh, New York, in 1782, and continues to this day. It’s established in the Constitution and makes possible the freedom all Americans enjoy. The Army sets out to achieve national objectives, not its own, for selfless service is an institutional as well as an individual value. And in the end, the Army returns its people back to the nation. America’s sons and daughters return with their experience as part of a winning team and share that spirit as citizens. The traditions and values of the service derive from a commitment to excellent performance and operational success. They also point to the Army’s unwavering commitment to the society we serve. Those characteristics serve America and its citizens—both in and out of uniform—well.
** - The above text is taken from FM 22-100, ARMY LEADERSHIP, Chapter 2 "Character and the Warrior Ethos"
ARMY VALUES: OUR CORE MEMO
Since September 11, 2001, the world has seen the very best of our Soldiers and Army Civilians, witnessing their dedication to duty, professionalism, and compassion as they embody the Army Values. Over one thousand Soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives honorably for a noble cause. Others have helped those in danger or trouble from natural disasters and emergencies, both at home and abroad. These honorable deeds have earned the respect of millions around the world.
Our Soldiers and Army Civilians are the best in the world, but to sustain that hard- earned reputation, we must continue to adhere to these Army Values. We depend on every Soldier and Army Civilian to base their actions and decisions upon the Army Values. We know and trust that each member of our great force will not let the Army or the Nation down.
View more information on each of the Army Values
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