Copyright (c) 2012 Scott F Paradis
The United States Armed Services are the world's premiere fighting forces. The United States military is designed, built and employed to fight and win our nation's wars. The Services have accumulated an extraordinary legacy of mission success. They continue to accomplish remarkable feats of discipline and daring still today.
In assessing why, or how, the military is able to succeed where others fail, one may be inclined to point to overwhelming resources - the weapons, the remarkable technology and the awesome firepower the Services possess. But that determination would, in fact, be missing the fundamental element.
The truth is much simpler. The U.S. military succeeds because of its people - the values they adhere to, and the processes they employ. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines intend to win, plan to win, and fight to win. The military succeeds in achieving virtually impossible tasks, in dangerous, austere environments, because quality people do the necessary things to guarantee victory.
The Armed Forces of the United States are the only institutions in the land that must confront, address, and overcome the two most influential aspects of the human experience: power and fear. The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard are charged with managing power; they apply and manipulate power to achieve the national will. To carry out this charge under extreme duress, the military must, deliberately and directly, rise above fear.
To accomplish the most demanding tasks, to succeed in the most severe circumstances, and to triumph over the most threatening of all adversaries - fear - the United States military operates by three indispensible measures. The U.S. military is values based, mission focused and action oriented. The Armed Services rely on universal, immutable principles to achieve any task, and accomplish any mission.
The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines were each established to support and defend the constitution of the United States - a document itself intended to secure the ideals of liberty, justice, and equality. Every member of America's armed services swears an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. In addition, to function in extreme conditions and under extraordinary threats, the service cultures imbue standards of conduct and behavior amongst all members. These standards are enduring principles and values such as: courage, respect, loyalty, selfless service, integrity, honor, and duty. The men and women serving in uniform willingly risk their lives for one another and the nation because they believe in these values.
The Services are mission focused. For any undertaking, of virtually any scale, a military organization or unit conducts a deliberate decision making process. The key component, the essential product of the decision making process is a mission statement. The mission is a well-defined task and purpose - an objective to accomplish and a reason for accomplishing it. Every member of the unit understands the mission, both task and purpose, and focuses all his or her energy and effort planning for, preparing for, then executing to achieve the intended outcome.
Finally the military is action oriented. To manipulate power, to overcome an adversary, to influence a circumstance, requires the presence and action of men and women. War is an outdoor sport. Achieving a mission requires the calculated application of a variety of resources ranging from information, to personnel, to technology and weapons systems. Mission success demands action. The U.S. military succeeds by taking - vigorous, sometimes violent, but always spirited - action.
The United States' military is comprised of unique services sharing a common purpose - to protect America and, if necessary, fight and win our nation's wars. Though not perfect, the military has an unequaled record of achievement. The Services each offer a model for how to achieve success. Ordinary men and women accomplish extraordinary exploits due to their reliance on immutable principles. We can learn a lot from the military.
Scott F. Paradis, author of "Warriors Diplomats Heroes, Why America's Army Succeeds - Lessons for Business and Life", focuses on the fundamental principles of leadership and success, http://Success101Workshop.com
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