Importance of Punctuality in the Military
“The habit of being prompt once formed extends to everything – meeting friends, paying debts, going to church, reaching and leaving place of business, keeping promises, retiring at night and rising in the morning, going to the lecture and town-meeting, and, indeed, to every relation and act, however trivial it may seem to observers.” William Makepeace Thayer, Tact and Grit, 1882.
The words of Thayer should be deeply ingrained to any person who wishes to join the military. Punctuality is something which is considered sacred in the military. Everyone is expected to be at their post before the stipulated and to have everything they need while there. Books have been written and stories have been told of the punctuality of George Washington. The man’s regard for punctuality was unmatched and the military borrowed his strictness of time. The importance of punctuality cannot be emphasized enough and this article will provide details on the same.
First of all, punctuality shows how serious a person is taking their job. In the military, everyone is expected to act motivated and to approach their job seriously. The military is tasked with protecting the sovereignty of a state and such a job calls for an extreme level of commitment. Before being drafted to the military, one must first of all come to terms with the grave nature of the job. Protecting a country is something that carries a burden that requires everyone to do their part. The military is considered a unit and each aspect of it is expected to offer its maximum effort.
Secondly, being late to your post can lead to dire consequences to you and your battalion members. The work of protecting a country is often marred with a lot of dangers which are never predictable. If, for example, one is expected to relieve their colleague who was on watch but fails to do so on time, he might endanger the whole camp. The colleague on duty might fall asleep as he waits to be relieved and the enemies may take advantage of the situation and attack. In the military, keeping time can be the only thing that separates one from the dead. Small mistakes such as failing to keep time can indeed cost a country a lot and hence the emphasis of keeping time.
Keeping time is also an expression of one’s discipline levels. Discipline in the military is just as sacred as keeping time. The military personnel are expected to always respect and follow the command of their generals and platoon leaders. Reports of indiscipline can lead to one getting suspended or even expelled from the military. Orders are expected to be followed without question and this means that if a person is asked to be available at ten o’clock, then they should avail themselves minutes before ten. Unpunctuality also sends a message to the commanders and leaders ahead of you. For example, one’s lateness can imply that they are not ready for a certain position or that cannot be trusted with an important task which is time bound. It is, therefore, essential that all military members be punctual.
In conclusion, George Washington’s awareness of time was indeed incredible considering the time he lived. The military is also just as strict with time as he was and when tasked with the duty of protecting a country, it is only fitting that they should be.