The readiness of the United States Army is something that many American citizens are guilty of taking advantage of. For nearly two hundred and thirty-nine years the Army has been responsible for all land-based military operations concerning the United States of America and it's interests. Months and years of training go into readying every single soldier for that moment when he or she will be called upon. Now, imagine that readiness being compromised by poor leadership or the poor development of future Army leaders. With the ever changing landscape of how the world fights it's wars, coupled with the probable possibility of downsizing in the US military, existing and new leaders must be sharp and honorable (Tan, 2011). They must be intellectually capable to overcome and adapt to any situation to keep the soldiers safe and effective.
Sergeant (Sgt) Jones was an incredibly successful non-commissioned officer (NCO) in the Army. Projecting through the ranks quickly, Sgt Jones appeared to have everything it took to have a highly decorated career doing what appeared to be his calling. And although he was highly sought after by higher ranking NCO's and officers, he was often hated and bad-mouthed by those under his command. Now, one might think – “well it's the military, of course you dislike your superior”, but in the confines of the Army this is almost never true. Good leaders, particularly those at the Sgt level, are regularly loved and admired for the care, compassion and ultimate leadership that they show their soldiers.
In Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Sgt Jones and his team were conducting a training exercise under the sweltering July sun of 1997. As part of the training exercise, Jones' team was to execute the setup of their work station, yet remain compliant with the appropriate water break schedule that had been put in place by the commanding officer (CO). Knowing that this was a timed event and that his team was competing against other teams within the company, Jones wanted to ensure that his team marked the best time. This obviously would reflect well upon himself when being considered for promotion. Unfortunately, a member of Sgt Jones' team had an accident and suffered a near fatal heat exhaustion episode. Luckily, that soldier recovered, but shortly thereafter left the US Army with a medical discharge separation.
Upon further investigation, it was discovered that Sgt Jones had accused the victim of being “soft” if he were to take the scheduled water break ordered by the CO. Not wanting to disappoint Sgt Jones, the young soldier continued working and ultimately suffered the incident. Sgt Jones was found guilty of conduct unbecoming of an Army NCO and was dishonorably discharged from the Army. An apparent lack of concern for the well-being of...