Page 86 - Jackson Journal
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                     In this article, I will be recounting a recent experience of bad decision making and not holding up the standards within the Profession
of Arms. I will go through the events that led up to my decision, the aftermath, and possible outcomes that could have happened. This decision is not one I am proud of, and I will not justify it with excuses or blame. We all make multiple decisions, be it big or small, every day. Each of these decisions will have varying degrees of reward and cost.
What are the immediate and consequential costs of an Army Leader making a poor decision? First, we need to look at the framework of what it means to be an Army Professional and leader. An Army Professional has three roles to perform: an honorable servant to the Nation, an Army expert, and stewards of the Army Profession. Each of these roles can be broken down into different individual pieces that better define their purpose.
Honorable servants will serve honorably and demonstrate character in all aspects of their lives. They will recognize the intrinsic dignity and worth of all people. They do what is right and express professional judgment. Army experts accomplish the mission as a team, courageously risk their lives, and advance the profession by continual learning. The Army Professional stewards the profession by being accountable for decisions and actions. They wisely use resources entrusted to them, reinforce the bond of trust with each other and the American people.
These critical roles help guide the Army professional and leader to the best possible outcome within their decision-making process. Once leaders start to drift away from these roles
as professionals, we see the degradation in our profession’s foundation, and bad decisions begin to happen. Any team leader, platoon, or organization is susceptible to developing inadequate plans or falling into the trap of complacency. No one is protected from this fact, even myself.
This cycle was not like the previous 10 cycles as
a Drill Sergeant. My car broke down in the middle of the cycle and was unrepairable. At that time, I could not afford to replace the vehicle immediately. My company leadership and peers offered to help me by transporting me to and from work. I was extremely grateful to have such a robust support system in the company. I also was very embarrassed to be in the position that I needed help. No member of the company ever said that it was a problem to help me. It was my pride and ego that makes me feel like a burden to my leadership and teammates. That feeling started to affect my decision making as the cycle continued.
I was scheduled to work the day shift during the Forge FTX. My shift started at 0500 on Tuesday morning after the 10-mile foot march. As I looked at the schedule, I noticed that everyone I was working with lived far away from me. I did not want to ask anyone to go out of their way to pick me up. My wife was in town on Monday, so I had her drop me off at the company before she left town. I would not be a burden for anyone in the company, and I could be there for my Tuesday early morning shift. I talked to the company leadership and rationalized my decision. I would not drive any vehicles during my shift to prevent possible issues. The drivers for the vehicles were already tasked, so there were not be any problems.
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