The military has been an existential part of my life, shaping me into the person I am today. From childhood to adulthood, I was always around military personnel. They guided me and directed me down the right path, teaching me right from wrong and instilling important Army Values into my very being. One of the most important traits, in my opinion, that I learned from my mentors was military and professional bearing. This trait can be defined as, “posture, gestures, and behaviors that are consistent with standards expected of U.S Army soldiers” (Grimmet, 2019).
Military and professional bearing decides whether someone is just another citizen on the block or if they are an Army Soldier. Not only that, but it will also increase leadership skills, improve morale, and enhance resiliency, giving soldiers confidence and allowing them to go above and beyond to be the best that they can be.
As a soldier progresses through their army career, they learn how to become a leader. To become a good leader, first one must follow. A soldier’s leader teaches them how to act professionally by, first, showing their subordinate how they conduct themselves on a regular basis. As stated on Uakron.edu, “How leaders carry themselves when displaying military courtesy and appearance sends a clear signal: I am proud of my uniform, my unit, and my country” (Uakron.edu, 2019).
A developing soldier, seeing their leadership proud and ready for any mission, quickly catches on to this behavior, want to replicate it, and, as a result, they learn how to act professionally on a regular basis. As they continue to follow in this example, they will become more confident in who they are, and begin to carry themselves with a professional appearance both on and off-duty.
Growing and learning from their lessons will continually boost their leadership skills in conjunction with their confidence in themselves as leaders. And when personnel present themselves as headstrong, confident, collected, and professional leaders, both the military and the civilian sector will take them more seriously and want to follow them.
Military and professional bearing improves leadership skills, creating confident and competent leaders. When a soldier has good leadership, it leads to having improved morale. Field Manual 22-100 states, “High morale comes from good leadership, shared hardship, and mutual respect” (Armyheritage.org, 2019). When leadership demonstrates high morale while keeping their military bearing in-tact, subordinates will almost always tend to follow suit. “Embrace the suck” is a widely known term throughout the military world, and for good reason, as hardships are a regular occurrence in the military profession.
Hardships shared by teams bring everyone within the team together because they face their challenges side by side. While maintaining discipline during tough times, personnel will more readily adapt and overcome, boosting morale, respect, and setting in stone a soldier’s confidence in their leaders. Mutual respect between leaders and subordinates makes completing jobs less complicated, allowing for more time for camaraderie and team building. When leaders within units help soldiers build morale, they will become more productive and willing to participate, no matter how simple or complex the task may be.
Once both leadership skills and morale have been boosted, the resiliency of a soldier will naturally follow suit. “Skillful use of professional bearing- fitness, courtesy, and proper military appearance- can also aid in overcoming difficult situations” (Uakron.edu, 2019). Resiliency is always something the Army teaches its organization. To be a confident Soldier in the Army you must maintain your physical standards, show customs and courtesy, and maintain proper appearance in accordance with Army Regulation 670-1 (Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia). Providing constant guidance and instruction on the proper use of military and professional bearing can help a soldier make it through the toughest of times, which every person at some point in their lives is bound to face. If a soldier is well versed in how to be resilient and is both confident with themselves and with their leadership, they will be able to recover from hardships more quickly and healthily.
Bearing is a skill Soldiers continuously develop for their entire lives. Military and professional bearing boosts confidence, ultimately transforming them into a top-notch leader soldiers follow, trust, and depend upon. Leadership plays a huge role in how a Soldier conducts their career, therefore maintaining proper bearing is extremely paramount to their success. Soldiers will continuously work on their confidence by implementing the military and professional bearing they learned and using it throughout the rest of their lives.