Soldiers, DA civilians in Europe personalize Army Values

Nov. 1, 2011

Sgt. Michael Reinsch, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

U.S. Army Europe

U.S. Army Europe photo by Sgt. Michael Reinsch.

HEIDELBERG, Germany -- “A man does what he must - in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures - and that is the basis of all human morality,” Winston Churchill.

Throughout the history of the United States Army, soldiers and Department of the Army civilians have been tested by events on their abilities to be part of an organization that is based on morality. There are many words that can encompass what the Army’s soldiers and civilians have to be, but none sum it up better than the Army Values.

The U.S. Army in Europe is no different than anywhere else in the Army in its dedication to morality. The Army Values stand as a basis for every person working for the Army and provide a guideline for those people and their family members to make decisions on events that might require guidance.

“We [service members] are pretty much the ambassadors of the United States, we have to represent some type of common sense and some type of courtesy to our host nation,” said Cpl. Cristina Trudeau-Hargett, a human resources specialist for 2nd Calvary Regiment, Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, Vilseck, Germany.

Whenever a soldier or DA civilian has to ask himself whether or not he should commit to an action or cause, the acronym LDRSHIP is always there to point the way. LDRSHIP is Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage; and each value means something different to each soldier and civilian.

“If you work with a civilian or a soldier who possesses integrity I think all the other values fall into place,” said Kenny Hughes, director of emergency services for US Army Garrison Benelux, Belgium. “If you’re loyal to the U.S. Army and if you do the right thing, integrity, you’re going to be great soldier or civilian.”

Although the acronym has not always been a part of the Army tradition it can always be linked to events from the past; such as Cpl. Alvin C. York, 82nd Division, who fearlessly charged against out-numbering enemies at Chatel-Chehery, France Oct. 8, 1918 and was awarded the Medal of Honor.

From major events to the day-to-day, people have stepped up to the challenges in life and became leaders due to their moral capacity, and their ability to instill those values in those they lead.

“The Army has always been a values-based organization, backed with the seven core values,” said Sgt. 1st Class Devin B. Orr, S3 operations training noncommissioned officer in charge Army Field Support Battalion-Italy in Vicenza. “The Army Values, as a whole, are part of building the foundation of leadership.”

When the Army Values are displayed openly it shows the people of our host nations that we are professionals on and off duty. We are guests in our host nations’ borders and these Army Values assist us in keeping good relations with them, said Trudeau-Hargett.

“I work with soldiers daily who actually live those values and display them, and that’s what makes my job so enjoyable,” said Hughes. “They [people of the host nation] understand what the U.S. military does and what the U.S. Army does as a whole and they are very supportive of those values both at the work place and in personal settings.”

Sometimes the Army Values can stand as starting point for family members of people who work for the Army. Some soldiers, like Trudeau-Hargett, see the values as a structure she wants for her family.

“The Army Values are definitely the structure I want my family to live by.” said Trudeau-Hargett. “They are, pretty much, the basic steps to live a good life and be right to people.”

The Army will always be an organization that lives by morality and guided to do what it can to provide professional detail to every mission, on and off the battle field. The Army Values require discipline that is part and partial to the care and service provided to our home borders and to that of our host nations, said Hughes.

“The Army lives behind discipline, whether it’s peace time or time of war, without discipline you’re just not going to function,” said Hughes.