Disciplinary Paper: Reflection on Integrity and Respect

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Displaying the proper ethical values within the military is one that should be constantly upheld in every situation. As an upcoming leader, core ethical values that should always be maintained within this denomination is integrity and respect. By understanding what integrity and respect are, it can allow any leader to be seen positively in the eyes of everyone around them. However, there has been a low level of embracing these ethical values as it pertains to the military. Many leaders or upcoming leaders have shown poor levels of integrity and respect and thought that they could just escape the consequences that will be faced later. Whether it be in a civilian organization or military organization, no one wants to have someone work for them that they can’t trust or someone who shows no value or respect in the organization they are in. Showing respect to others and having great integrity should be the steppingstones for any successful leader in the military field.

Integrity and Respect


As we know, integrity and respect are the most important traits in the military. There are a lot of people within the military who will always be over you during the time you serve. Many of these people have worked very hard for the position they are in, so you should always show them the respect that they deserve. After understanding the army values, integrity and respect should be second nature. According to Study.com, it defines integrity as a person’s level of honesty, moral commitments and willingness to do what is right. For example, if we go to the doctor with a severe medical issue, we expect the doctor knows what he or she is doing when they diagnose and prescribe us with the correct medications. Anything that slightly goes wrong is and can be detrimental to our health. It is the same with the military, we must uphold that same military standard because one mess up can get someone killed or injured because of your careless thinking and lack of integrity (Study.com, 2020).

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According to Forbes.com, they mention something that stood out to me and I quote, ‘Success will come and go, but integrity is forever’. To me, that means a lot and it means to me that in life you can do anything to gain the successes of life. You can go through every path there is to gain the success you want, however, if you lie about the route you took to get there that’s when your successes will fail you. Integrity takes us a long way in case we don’t understand that, especially if you lack it in the presence of your boss or military superiors.

Being an army soldier should be a role that should be done with honor and pride. You have not only your superiors, but an entire nation relying on you to protect them, once that desire to be honest or honorable is lost, you also are looked down on and your professionalism is demoted in rank and the way you are seen as a leader. Based on the current events that are occurring in the Army ROTC program right now, we can see that integrity goes beyond just telling the truth, but we can see how it also affects our battle buddies. Surprisingly, there are a lot of people within the military who are habitual liars. Many people in the military have gotten into positions because of their lies and it compromises their integrity daily. Sometimes we call it ‘beating the system’, but no, you are lying (Gerras & Wong, 2020, p. 1).

A great example of integrity is that of the 1982 murders. It occurred in Chicago where 7 people died after being poison. The individuals purchased extra strength Tylenol which was contaminated with cyanide which was then returned to the shelves of various supermarkets. The criminal demanded $1 million stating that they will stop the murder. Then, Johnson and Johnson were the manufacturers of Tylenol and had to recall approximately 31 million bottles from stores nationwide. They also decided to offer all their customers free replacements after the recall. I know that many people were very upset with what was going on, but the chairman of Johnson and Johnson did an amazing job with the people all over the media. For his integrity, he was greatly rewarded because the company was able to pay off all the dividends that they had for almost 39 years.

The deaths of these individuals occurred almost 30 years ago, but because Johnson and Johnson were able to take full initiative for their products being infused with poison, they are now the most trust brand today and in the world. Therefore, being honest and taking responsibility for your actions and mistakes can be short-lived but lying and not taking any responsibility can only destroy your integrity (Tylenol made a hero of Johnson & Johnson: The recall that started them all, 2020).

We are preparing to be leaders in a much more complex world. There are times when we will be in the field. After such a situation, it will be hard for me to trust certain individuals in the field, especially if my life depends on it. This program is to train us to become officers and leaders, so it is a great requirement for us to ensure that integrity is a core value in our everyday living as future army officers. For those who do not plan to maintain in the military, the workplace also upholds their standards of maintaining integrity. As we continue to move up the ladder of success, all employees should maintain integrity. Having integrity helps to maintain a positive work environment so that no one has any distrust in each other, and it is easy to approach others, respect and trust your manager and co-workers (What is integrity in the workplace? | Michael Page, 2020).

If you are to look at integrity from a military perspective, it has various moral principles that we must stick to. A person who has no integrity cannot be trusted by anyone. With the previous event of cheating on the test shows that individuals have no conference in themselves to get certain tasks done. So, they seek another avenue of getting the test done, rather than doing the test and taking a low grade and just getting the desired grade. After doing so, you can see the professor later to talk about ways to increase the grade or having a chance of taking the test over. This would give the individuals a chance to understand the work some more and understand the various concepts. As we can see, if one person cannot be trusted, the core values of the entire team are diminished, and it takes away and breaks all the values that the team worked so hard to build. When situations like that occur, there is no way the team can accomplish any of the goals that they are tasked to do.

Integrity helps build healthy relationships within the army. In any situation, integrity builds trust and trust is a core value in any relationship. Once someone in that relationship loses trust in their partner or peer, you end up having a poor relationship. To develop good relationships there must always be a trust (How Important Is Integrity in Relationships | Marriage.com, 2020). In the army, once you lost trust in a cadet, it will be difficult to work with that person in the future. Right now, it is hard for anyone to trust us just because no one accepted their wrong during a simple situation like this.

As writing this paper, a great example of integrity that came to mind was the story of the boy who cried wolf. The story is about a young boy who got bored watching sheep. So, he thought it would be such a great idea to run into the village calling wolf. Over time the people had enough of the games and began ignoring him. When the wolf came, no one believed him because he lied so many times that at this point it was useless. Lies do build up. The more lies you tell, the more you must think of another lie to back up the one you just told. Over time people will stop having trust in you and when you are telling the truth for once and expect them to believe you, they will not (Story Arts | Aesop’s ABC | The Boy Who Cried Wolf, 2020).

When put in a position where your integrity is questioned, you should sit and reflex on your beliefs and what values you uphold. as humans, we always sense when we are right and wrong. If our behaviors go against what we value, we may experience guilt or be uneasy for a long period of time. The person that we have lied to, it will be uncomfortable for us to make any contact with them. Many times, we look for ways to justify our wrongdoings rather than just being honest or coming clean about the issue. Once you start feeling uncomfortable, you know you have just messed with your ethical code in a bad way (What Is Integrity and Why Is It Important in your Professional Life? | Euspert, 2020).


With integrity comes respect. Respect is basically what holds relationships together. It is the way you treat and think about others or something. We have always heard the saying, “respect goes both ways”. This means that of the person who is in leadership doesn’t respect you, it will be hard for you to respect them (Alejandra, 2020). It is only so much of disrespect you can take from a person. Trying to build some type of respect for them and they don’t respect you at all. Overall, everyone deserves respect, because with respect comes trust. To trust that whatever you assign workers to do that they will fulfill their task whether it is in or out of your presence.

Respect plays a big role in everything we do. Whether we go to school or our local store, respect is evident. Sometimes we do not notice it but the little thing you do is a form of respect. People in the military are always expected to be treated with respect and they are expected to treat others with that same level of respect. With respect comes self-respect. You cannot respect others if you do not have any respect at all for yourself. Once someone respects his or herself, this allows them to put forth their best effort in upholding all military values because they understand that the army is all about maintaining team cohesiveness and every member contributes to the consequences that we can later face because of disrespect.

In the army, it is all about teamwork. Everyone in the team must contribute to the overall respect of the team. One day at PT, one of the cadets went about calling the captain “sir”. Being that she is female, saying such a thing is very disrespectful to her and it is even more disrespectful because the cadet did it in front of others. Along with all of that, other cadets proceeded to laugh considering the matter. To me, if someone doesn’t respect themselves, they cannot have any respect for others and it shows, in a talk, in thought, and action. Therefore, you don’t only show respect for yours but also to others.

I believe that respect has become a big social conflict. Today we a lack of respect within the generation of individuals and youth today. We see that young people have become much more careless about the things they say and do around anyone. They curse in public places, they harm and steal from others who have worked so hard for the things that they own, and they also disrespect their peers through killing and fighting and in the process, they harm others. Here in ROTC, the program is trying to change that ongoing pattern that the generation of today is starting to develop. the program is there to embed in us the values necessary to go about our everyday lives as we venture out into this cruel world. A world that lacks morals and values day by day and we see it.

The attitudes that someone displays all come from home. Children of today lack respect for their parents within their own homes, so who are they to respect someone in authority especially a military captain. Many of these children who have a lack of respect from home are the ones who end up in jail or problems with the law. It takes nothing from you to just show everyone around you the respect they deserve. Just like integrity, respect takes you a long way. In school, amongst your peers, in your home, and at the job. Disrespect breaks the relationship that one has tried so hard to build over time. People feel good when they are respected which makes it so much easier to trust you.

As we look at the situation that occurred overall in the Rotc program this semester, we can see why customs and courtesies were so important and how much of a big role it plays in military discipline. When we look at the definition courtesy, it states that courtesy is polite behavior in we generate a polite gesture. Therefore, the military comes about as we become courteous towards ranks above us as well as our battle buddies and other subordinates. Customs and courtesies are not only used in the military but also in civilian life. Courtesy is always basically extending the deserved respect out tour seniors (Unl.edu, 2020). Maintaining a level of respect is something we do in the military, not because we have too but because we are taught, and we are disciplined. We must always represent what the military always teaches.

If we understand what discipline all is about, we can see that if we value discipline it can protect us from harm and danger. So far, I have come to realize that every cadet is evaluated based on discipline as we go through the long hours of PT and how we behave when we are out in the community or during school hours. We came into this world with a mind to think for ourselves and make to certain decisions it takes discipline. Being able to make a taught discussion during a tough time shows maturity. For example, telling the truth can be very hard especially if you know about the consequences that follow. But at the end of the day, we should use our sound judgment (Santiago, 2020).

When you show respect toward your other cadets and even to the captain, it makes it easier for them to protect you in any situation by helping you to cover your back when fulfilling a mission. If you cannot respect the person, what makes you think that they can trust you? Such can’t happen. Lack of respect can cause a dent in the development of an effective leader. Respect is an essential part of earning a successful career. When you are respectful people tend to find you much more reliable. If you are respectful to people and yourself, everything will come to you easily. Respect is all around. We should respect our elders and friends. Respecting your friends means not making fun of them but helping them out when they need your help. Respecting your property says a lot about the person you are. In Japanese culture, they teach you how to respect your environment. They believe that the earth is holy and everything around you from the grass and animals should always be respected. Respecting property means that you don’t destroy or vandalize anything that does not belong to you. You rather take care of it and if you know to yourself you cannot be trusted with anything you say so.

As I grew up, I have lived on the saying ‘ do unto others as you like them to do unto you’, it means that whatever you do not what someone to do to you, you do not do it to them. You want to be respected; you respect others. Showing people that genuine respect that they deserve is an attitude you should always uphold. People should not respect others because they have too but because they love that person. Respect can be easily taken away. True respect is selfless because when you respect someone you are giving a part of yourself and this is the kind of respect we want to show to others. Personally, I will never feel right with myself if I cannot respect the people around me because I know that I deserve the same respect that I show myself every day. I will pass on the respect to everyone who shows me that same energy and the same comes with integrity. I hate liars, and for someone to lie straight to my face is something that I can never forget. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt and it hurts to know that someone can watch you and lie straight to your face. To conclude, I challenge all my cadets to live a life filled with respect and integrity as they go throughout their daily lives.


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