When we think of Army training we usually think of physical activity, push-ups, sit-ups and lots of running. The underlying and most important driving force behind the United States Army are the seven Army Core Values. The Army Values are loyalty, duty, respect, selfless-service, honor, integrity and personal courage. Although I am retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, I still carry the Army Values wallet sized card with me. All seven values are transferable to civilian life and make us better people. Here is a good translation of the Army core values for civilians. Spend a few minutes every day assessing your behavior and interaction with others. Let us look at the Army core values. Whether it is at your place of work or at home, you will discover the importance of these basic values that are not only timeless but also essential.
The Army core values are timeless and universal values that have their civilian application. This is how I interpret these values for civilians.
1. Loyalty - Be there for your friends, family, employer, government or other organization. Be the one whom others can depend upon. I am sure you’ve heard the phrase, “I’ve got your back.” It is a great feeling when we know we have the loyal support of others. You are to be that same loyal support for others to rely on.
2. Duty - The same definition as used for soldiers applies to civilians as well. Accept responsibility and fulfill your obligations. Work on constantly improving yourself, especially your character.
3. Golden Rule - Practice and live by the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This, of course, requires you to be kind to yourself as well. Test your application of the Golden Rule every single day and learn from your mistakes so that you can improve and get better. So how do you get better at it? The best time to practice the Golden Rule is when you would like to respond in a less-than¬golden manner. Whether it is driving in traffic, grocery shopping, or speaking with a family member, friend, or foe, always practice the Golden Rule.
4. Selfless Service - Focus on serving others in every situation, whether pleasant or unpleasant, and you will gain the most out of life. You will have better relationships, make better business decisions, and see that service to others is an essential key to strengthening your character. Another great benefit is that you will attract more people who will help and support you in your worthy endeavors.
5. Honor - Live up to all the values. If you are wrong, say so. It is honorable. If you may be wrong, say so. It is honorable. If someone makes a mistake and has behaved towards you in a less than honorable manner, be honorable. Treat that person graciously. Make sure your mind, tongue, body language and attitude all express what is honorable. Fulfilling all these values is the honorable thing to do even as it relates to your health, fitness, how you eat and how you live.
6. Integrity - When standing at the crossroads of doing what is right or what is comfortable, do what is right. You cannot imagine how integrity – or the lack thereof – will affect your physical and mental performance. Doing the right thing is a huge energy booster and will actually help strengthen your immune system. Do that daily inventory on your level of honesty and take corrective action where you notice that you have fallen short. The right attitude will always lead to honest behavior. What is right is written on our hearts so always ask yourself what is the right thing to say or do when faced with a situation or decision.
7. Personal Courage - It takes courage to do the right thing when others may just take the low road -- or, better said, the comfortable road -- while sacrificing the right thing. That is moral courage. I would say moral courage is what is needed to carry out the values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor and integrity. Without courage, many of these values will fall through the cracks. Moreover, if they do, just get right back up again and say to yourself, “I’ll do it better next time.” And keep working it like a muscle. Character values, like muscles, need to be worked on a regular basis to get and stay strong. “Use it or lose it” applies to character values as well muscles. Seek out books that are about strengthening character. Seek out people who are on the same journey.
Quotes to Live By: Take back control of your goals, health, fitness, finances, relationships and spiritual life
Your Action Plan:
Pick one of the seven values of loyalty, duty, golden rule, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity or personal courage. Spend an entire week consciously practicing that value as you interact with other. Make a list of things you can do better or new things you can do to make that value a part of your life that you share with others.
The author is Lt. Col. Bob Weinstein, USAR-Ret, also known as the Health Colonel. BEACHBOOTCAMP.NET