Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Discipline and Uniformity

Greetings. I hope that all is going well with every member of our organization. I would like to discuss with all of you the basics of our organization-Discipline and Army Standards.

Every single one of us is responsible for our military bearing and appearance. We have all been trained on the basic responsibilities of being a soldier. Sometimes in our hectic lives, we are tempted to let some of these basics slip, or we forget the lessons we were taught by our leaders and instructors. Other times, we may not know the standard. In that case we must ask our leaders, or research what the regulations say.

There is no second chance to make a first impression. What makes this organization great is the professionalism that we have as individuals and organizations. We belong to Uniformed Services which require us to wear those uniforms according to a standard.

The dictionary at my desk defines uniform as: adj. 1. a. Always the same; unvarying. b. without fluctuation or variation; 2. Being the same as another or others; identical. 3. Consistent in appearance; having an unvaried texture, color, or design. Noun. 1. distinctive outfit intended to identify those who wear it as members of specific group.

We must all adhere to the standards and make sure that we are in compliance with Army Regulation 670-1 at all times. Our NCOs, officers, and governor expect us to show the greatest military bearing at all times. We deal with our subordinates, leaders, and the public at various times when we are in uniform. There is nothing that can discredit our organization as quickly as a sloppily or improperly worn uniform.

Leaders, it is my expectation that you enforce all standards at all times. Our regulations are not open for interpretation. Contrary to popular belief, the command sergeant major and first sergeant do not set the uniform, the commander has that duty.

Good commanders will seek their senior NCOs input before making a decision, but they have the right to set it depending on location, duties, and conditions. We as NCOs enforce the uniform decisions of our commanders.

When I visit a unit, one of the first things I notice is uniformity and military bearing. It is hard to overcome a bad first impression. It is an indicator of unit pride and discipline. When you walk past a uniform deficiency, you have just authorized a new standard within your unit. That is unacceptable, because there should only be one standard in this organization, from Ontario to Coos Bay, from Warrenton to Klamath Falls.

Lastly, tomorrow, April 1, The Adjutant General has published a policy that makes the headgear switch back to the beret. Make sure the word gets out to all personnel. First sergeants and command sergeant majors; make sure you get a copy of that policy and enforce it.

Column by Command Sergeant Major Brunk Conley,
State Command Sergeant Major, Oregon National Guard

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