I wanted to touch on one of the Army Values that I always felt was the most important and the one that was central to all of the values, Integrity.
To me, integrity is all you have in this world, and once you don’t have it anymore, it’s gone. It is the backbone of honesty, honor, respect, and trust. If your followers know you will do what is right, all the time, even when you’re alone, they will trust in you, respect you, and most importantly, emulate you. You want your subordinates to emulate you and do what’s right all the time, right? I know I do. To make this happen though, you need to set the example and Be the example!
I truly feel that integrity is my most important value to have and one cannot have the other Army values without having integrity. Here is what Webster’s has to say:
Definition of integrity
2: an unimpaired condition :soundness
3: the quality or state of being complete or undivided :completeness
Think about the first one for a second. Incorruptibility. You can be loyal to something immoral, respect someone or a cause that’s immoral, have personal courage to stand up for an immoral cause, etc. but you cannot have integrity when it comes to something immoral. If you think you can, you would be wrong because you wouldn’t have true integrity. An obvious example of this would be the Nazis. The ones with true integrity, like Oskar Shindler, stood up against what they knew was wrong and did what was right.
A true leader knows what is right and does what is right regardless of who is watching, if at all.