I am writing this essay on the importance of following order because I recently disobeyed a few General orders. Our commanders put out orders and make them very clear to us for multiple reasons. One of the main reasons is that these orders are there to protect us as Soldiers and not only our images but the images of our fellow Soldiers and the Army itself. The Army and our commanding officers have our best interests at hand and they put in place the orders they do for that particular reason. As junior enlisted Soldiers we follow orders on a daily basis from our NCO’s in command of us so in this sense following orders is a part of our daily lives and jobs. We are reminded every day of our unit standard operating procedures, lawful orders, and standards. They are posted in our troop AO for all of us to clearly see and in our Mortar Section, we have a policy book containing every order as well. Not only do we have them there, but at the end of every work week our Squadron Commander gives us a safety brief. In every brief he gives, he clearly states all of the orders that we are to follow. The commander gives us this brief every week to make sure that we all clearly understand and acknowledge that we do understand.
These orders are nothing new to any of us and we are all well aware of them, but due to the effects of alcohol and a few bad decisions, I broke some of these lawful orders. One of the General Orders I broke was to not fraternize or socialize with NCO’s. It is important not to do this because it has many negative effects. We should not be socializing with our non-commissioned officers because it could cause trouble in the work place. For instance befriending an NCO could cause favoritism in the platoon and therefor a soldier would not pull his weight to say in the platoon during a work day. It also presents a bad image upon all parties involved. Most NCO’s are significantly older than the junior enlisted soldiers and we should all stay within our age groups and the Soldiers of close to equivalent our rank. Last and most important whatever the reasoning behind this order, it is an order and we as Soldiers have to follow all orders we are given. Another order that I disobeyed was the USFK curfew time of being back on post by 0100.
This is one of the most important orders we are given as Soldiers in the Republic of Korea. It was General Thurman, the USFK Commander, who put this law into effect. He did this so that Soldiers would not get into trouble and to protect all of us. We are in a foreign country and we are not all familiar with the areas around us or even fully understanding of their culture. It could be dangerous and we could be put in harm’s way if out to late as US Soldiers in this foreign country. The Curfew Law is also here because a lot of Soldiers like to relax after work and have a few drinks and go out with some friends. We have the curfew in place so that soldiers do not stay out all hours of the night getting belligerently drunk. It alsp helps us not to be out so late and highly intoxicated so that we don’t know what we’re doing or even spending all of our money. Being out late could also prevent us from functioning at one hundred percent the next day if it is a work day. The curfew protects us from spending all night out consuming alcohol and showing up the next day at work still intoxicated.
This not only harms us but the Soldiers we work with, but our entire unit. We are one team and only as strong as our weakest link. On the night of 21 August 2012, I was our weakest link. I went out with some members of my platoon and those of us that were of the legal drinking age had some drinks together. This was wrong in the sense that in doing this I broke more than one General Order. I was out with two non-commissioned officers from my platoon and when we started drinking that is when our platoon outing turned to fraternization between junior enlisted Soldiers and NCO’s. In the safety brief previously mentioned, our Commander tells us that it is wrong for us to do this, and we all know that it is. Disobeying my General Orders has not only affected me, but everyone around me. Because of the actions I took and the decisions I have made, my whole platoon, troop, and my unit is all suffering. I would like to sincerely apologize for everyone affected by my decisions and bad choices. Not only are my fellow Soldiers suffering, but also my family.
This has upset my wife and my family, and brought them to disappointment with me. The actions I have taken have not only brought morale embarrassment to me, but it is also going to affect me financially and hurt my career. I am now facing the possibility of UCMJ action and I could also be relieved and discharged from the army. I will lose money, rank and pay grade, and if I were to get discharged with a General Discharge, or OTH (Other Than Honorable), it would affect me negatively for the rest of my life. I would never be able to obtain a good, well-paying job to support me and my family, and it would follow me around forever. From all of these mistakes I’ve made, I’m going to use this as a learning experience and hope the Soldiers around me do the same and do not follow in my footsteps. I have learned from this and given the chance I will better myself from it and never make this or any major mistake again. If I had the opportunity to do it all over again, I would take the correct action and avoid all mistakes. Unfortunately I do not have the option so now I must suffer the consequences.