The purpose of this essay is to inform the reader on what military and professional bearing is and its importance in the United States military.
Military bearing is the way you conduct yourself as a military professional. Military bearing is also how a service member carries himself or herself. The way you walk and talk greatly shows an individual’s bearing and pride. Command Sergeant Major Naamon Grimmett gives the best explanation of military bearing, he states, “military bearing is conducting oneself in a professional manner to bring credit upon oneself and the Army at all times. It is the ability to project a commanding presence and confidence, uphold standards, and doing the hard right over the easy wrong in both good and bad situations both on and off duty. Simply acting the way soldiers and leaders are expected to act, presenting a professional persona. Military bearing comes from pride in oneself, pride of being a soldier, a leader and in service to the nation. The way a leader carries them self with the knowledge and understanding that military bearing is continuous and that his or her actions and military bearing will lead to criticism, both positive and negative.
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“Let us analyze what Command Sergeant Major Grimmett said. Service members need to conduct themselves professionally, this is especially important in the presence of non-service members. Many civilians respect service members, but there are a lot that do not.
The ones that do not are the ones that have witnessed service members acting like fools or not upholding their military science professional bearing. Every service member is the face of his or her branch to the outside world. The public meticulously scrutinizes service members. One fight in a bar can discredit a military branch. The news will state a U.S. Soldier or U.
S. Marine committed this act. This can alter the public’s view on the professionalism of the armed forces. The media loves to warp the truth and place the blame of one bad service member on the organization as a whole. Service members project a commanding appearance when walking and interacting with other people. As an example, the Marine Corps teaches its recruits to carry oneself with pride; to walk with one’s head up and not presenting a timid appearance.
The Marine Corps engrains what the epitome of a Marine is into each of its service members. Marines speak from their diaphragm to project their voice; again, the Marine Corps hates timidity. The Army’s Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer states, “no one is more professional than I” which clearly states the Army’s view on how a noncommissioned officer act and carry himself or herself. Noncommissioned officers are not timid in any branch of the armed forces. The Army uses ADRP 6-22 to define leadership. Leadership is the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish the mission and improve the organization. Leadership and bearing go hand in hand. If a service member has poor bearing and professionalism, their subordinates will too.
Having a strong foundation in being a leader and having a conscious mind to act professional generally results in the creation of better future leaders. Anyone can have others follow them; a true leader creates future leaders. CSM Grimmett explains the connection between bearing and leadership.
He affirms this connection when he states, “soldiers will always choose a leader to follow and that leader will either be good or bad. A leader’s ability to maintain a strong sense of military bearing, though not always an easy task will have an immeasurable impact on soldiers. A strong military bearing in a leader will instill pride in soldiers. A strong military bearing among leaders will create a sense in the soldiers that their leader is technically and tactically proficient and a true professional leader, a leader whom they can trust, respect and place their confidence in, a leader who will take care of them. They will want to follow and be like that leader.” Noncommissioned Officers lead and are the best professional they can be at all times. They conduct themselves with tact and professionalism when speaking with superiors and subordinates. They do not move and shift around in a formation when called to attention; they hold their heads high and with pride.
They are responsible, and they demand the same from their subordinates. A leader’s responsibility is to educate their fellow soldiers. A noncommissioned officer who sees an issue and immediately knife hands and cusses the soldier out just lost his or her military bearing. They allowed that situation to affect them emotionally and rather than rationally think of a solution they resorted to yelling and profanity. This is not how the Army wants its leaders to act; the Army of today wants a noncommissioned officer who logically analyses and takes control of the situation, instead of acting on raw emotion.
Even marching displays bearing. Service members with bearing march looking proud and confident, while a service member who marches sloppily shows a lack of discipline. No one is born a leader just as no one is born with professionalism and bearing.
Practice professionalism and consciously apply it daily otherwise, poor habits and complacency drown out skill and the professional mindset. Every military member knows that complacency kills. The purpose of this essay was to inform the reader on what military and professional bearing is and its importance. Command Sergeant Major Grimmett and ADRP 6-22 help give examples on how to emulate good military bearing as leader. Command Sergeant Major Grimmett primarily uses the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer to prove his view point on his stance on military bearing and what professionalism means in the Army. Work hard on practicing military bearing and being professional. Strong military bearing ties together all of the Army’s values. Service members entering the civilian world can still benefit from engraining military bearing into their daily lives; employers love these traits in the civilian sector.
Always be that soldier to follow and remember, no one is more professional than I.