Why Is Accountability Important in the Military
By: Michael D. Fashion
Accountability is the act of taking responsibility for that which falls under your domain—in other words, it’s doing what you say you’re going to do. Accountability is the cornerstone of integrity, which is the result of consistent honesty and responsibility in your actions. In the military, it is absolutely imperative that you do what you say you’re going to do and that you agree to be held accountable for those orders that are directed specifically to you or those in your command. A breakdown in leadership and responsibility can be bad anywhere, but it has the potential to be downright catastrophic in the military.
Keeping the machine working
Militaries throughout history have never been made to work as a group of individuals. The brilliance and efficiency of a military is that it takes thousands of individuals and forms them into a machine. To call it a team would be to severely short-change what it is that the military achieves. Basic training in the United States, as well as other countries that use the same structure, are geared toward breaking through an individual’s sense of self and replacing it with a sense of being a part of a unit.
Ever since the days when the ancient Roman military devastated opponents with its awe-inspiring strategies and battle formations, militaries have been designed as a massive machine. This means that every single person within that machine absolutely must be accountable for his or her actions or the entire thing may break down. None of it would be possible without accountability.
Preserving the chain of command
There is a well-defined and rigid hierarchical structure within the military, which is often referred to as the chain of command. An easy way to picture the chain of command is to think about a ladder—you can only get up or down by going to the very next rung. Never jump the chain of command, except in extreme circumstances.
This chain of...