Integrity Essay

1038 words - 5 pages

Integrity is an idea that has been discussed by individuals with a verbal acuity far beyond anything I could ever hope for. With that in mind, I will not delve deeply or poetically into what integrity is or should mean. However, I will simplify the meaning of integrity; at the core, integrity boils down to doing what is right even if nobody is watching. See a piece of trash on the ground and nobody is around...pick it up. Driving down the road with no cops in the speed limit. Arrive at a tollbooth and no attendant is working…pay the toll. An applicant is not readily available to sign a form for enlistment…track them down and ensure they sign it. I could write examples until infinity becomes paltry in comparison, yet I am sure I have made my point clearly; the greater good must be upheld regardless of who is there to ensure it is happening. It seems obvious that integrity should be a trait every individual is hardwired with from birth. However, integrity is a thankless trait; nobody is around after all. An individual cannot expect someone to clap, to smile, to thank them, to do anything actually. By definition, integrity should be something that is followed through with simply because an individual wishes to do what is correct, not because they expect accolades of any sort.
In an Army unit, where every individual must be willing to trust someone next to them, even with their life, the ability to do what is right at all times is a necessity. Without integrity, an Army unit will cease to function in a cohesive manner. How can any soldier be willing to look at a fellow soldier and trust they will help them in a time of need if the simple task of doing what is right is left out? At the same time, what is right? Can an ambiguous definition be given to decide what should or should not be done in any situation? I think not! Driving down route Tampa and a child jumps in the route with an AK47, is it right to shoot at a kid? Providing humanitarian relief in Haiti and an unruly crowd begins to overwhelm a food point, is it right to shoot at starving people? When a medical student asks is it proper to remove a hand after it has been crushed from a falling building…is it right for an 88M to answer? Ethical dilemmas will present themselves regularly in the Army; it is part of our job. How can I uphold right and wrong, yet be expected to eliminate an enemy in the same breath? The duality of our profession is almost a mockery of the values I uphold on a daily basis. I will do what is right. Even. When. Not. A. Single. Person. Is. Around. I laugh at the cruel fate I have chosen; yet I regularly relish in the ability I have to change lives around me. What is right; a fleeting idea of what should be done in a situation based on a societal viewpoint? Is...

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