Jonathan - Danville, California
Entered on March 31, 2008

I am an American Soldier. I am a warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the ARMY values. I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade. I am discipline, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior task’s and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself. I am an expert, and I am a professional. I stand ready to deploy, engage and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat. I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life. I am an American Soldier.

From the day I’ve signed the contract to eight years of my life joining the United States ARMY to this day, I found myself to obey and live by the Soldiers Creed. The Soldiers creed consists of Seven ARMY values. Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. Take the first letter from each word and put it together to form another word which spells LDRSHIP. Sounds familiar? It looks like the word Leadership.

Leadership, defined from dictionary.com says “an act or instance of leading; guidance, direction.” Leadership definition in the ARMY is defined by seven words. But how are leaders selected? How are leaders appointed? How do we earn that leadership position? Leadership is earned over respect. I strongly believe that in order to be leader in the military, at school, at work or even with the community, a person must earn respect from their comrades.

I believe that respect should be always given amongst each other equally. From my experience, I remember my First Sergeant stating this in his welcome speech for us recruits to start basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He states “To earn respect, it must be given. To all you dick weeds who volunteered to join at a time of war, I thank you for your support. But as of today, you must earn right to be called an American soldier.” During those nine weeks, respect was tested every day in any way possible. An example of showing respect is to salute the flag at 0530 a.m. in the morning. Also, saluting an officer or going to the position of “at ease” when a higher ranking is approaching is another way of showing respect. Showing lack of respect can lead to punishment. Respect is given one hundred percent at all times. Earning that title from my First Sergeant to be called an American Soldier explained to us that we were finally given respect. As what my First Sergeant Hilderbrand said, in order to receive it, you must give it.

Respect plays a major role in the leadership position, especially in the seven ARMY values. Respect is how we consider others reflect upon each of us, both personally and as a professional organization. I live by the seven ARMY values and enforce it not only in the military, but to the public and life. I am one of the millions that served this great nation. I am a guardian of freedom, and live the American way of life. I believe that amongst all of us, there is a soldier in every person.