Maintenance of discipline and standard while in the armed forces is a very important aspect. It greatly assists in ensuring that duties are carried out according to the orders prescribed in the army code of conduct. Maintenance of high standards while working for the armed forces is very important since army men have the ability to be on high alert while guarding secure locations and while out in the field during battle (Butts, 1998). Maintaining the required standards also contains the need of having a standard uniform i.e. this entails having the correct army clothing and all the equipment needed such as the Ballistic vest, the correct weapon which corresponds to the operation in progress it is also very important to ensure that one has other equipments such as gloves and eye equipment (Butts, 1998).
It is also good to ensure that the highest standards are maintained because when a unit is faced with many tasks to accomplish, such a unit may end up loosing focus due to the pressure they receive from either their superiors or home country to produce the required results, this has very adverse negative effects with regard to the way the soldiers respond to attack and other responsibilities that have been delegated to them (Fotion and Gerard, 1986). Maintaining the prescribed army standards assists in ensuring that the army officers stay focused and ready for whatever whenever they are on guard or the battle field (Butts, 1998). The issue of loosing focus due to too much pressure also makes it easy for the officers to forget the fundamental principles that the force is built on and the key foundations that makes a combat group a perfect guard and armed force. The most fatal thing to do while guarding a secure area as an army officer is to loose focus by divulging one's attention because of carrying other equipment to the field such as an iPod. Losing attention during a guard operation is very fatal since the enemy may strike without your attention, loosing your attention may also cause unauthorized persons to enter the secure location; once this happens the mission would have failed (Butts, 1998).
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The United States Army regulation 670-1 gives a standard prescription of how to wear the army uniform, the regulation also states that wearing of the uniform is a standard (Dillon, 1992). The regulation also goes down to explain the items which should be included in the uniform during various operations. The regulation also prescribes the various accessories that the officer should have during particular operations. In summary the above regulation (Army regulation 670-1 guides the army uniform while out in the field). Observing such a regulation is very important to the army officers since it ensures that one has all the equipment the needs for a given operation. The regulation also helps in ensuring that the officers are on high alert and they are totally focused on the mission at hand, this greatly facilitates the success of a particular mission (Dillon, 1992). An officer who follows such a regulation cannot easily fallout of the objectives of the mission. For example an officer who has been ordered to guard a secure location, when such a guard observes the set standard he won't be found with contraband items which are not permitted by the army code of conduct like listening to music while on guard. The regulations ensure that items which perpetrate such behavior are not carried out to the field such as iPods, mp3 players and other contraband items.
It is important for the superiors to ensure that all the officers understand the standards that have been put in place by the regulation. The superiors are also face with the responsibility of ensuring that there is someone who oversees the process of enforcing the standards contained in the regulation (Dillon, 1992). The superiors may choose to put one sergeant in charge of a group of soldiers; the sergeant will be faced with the responsibility of checking if the soldiers have worn their uniforms with regard to the set standards. The sergeant will have the responsibility of inspecting the soldier's uniforms on a daily basis and ensuring that the uniforms are worn as per the standards. Before going out on duty e.g. for a soldier assigned the duty of a guard, the sergeant will conduct a thorough check of the weapons in possession of the soldier (Dillon, 1992). The check involves inspecting the primary weapon and other equipments such as the ballistic vest, eye equipment and secondary weapons. Such checks are conducted before the soldiers move out to go on patrol and they are referred to as Pre-Conduct Checks. The sergeant in charge of the investigation process also supervises the PMCS of the HUMMV; this supervision takes place during the maintenance period.
After the patrol the sergeant responsible for uniform inspection also ensures that all the soldiers have their equipment in order and the weapons have been cleared up to the standards set by the army regulations. It is at this point that the aspect of respect comes in, to ensure that all standards are maintained, the soldiers need to respect the sergeant conducting the inspections and other checks on the equipment carried by the soldiers. This will enable the sergeant to carry out his duties perfectly well knowing that he has the support of the subjects he is serving, this is very important since the sergeant will also be able to bring up to speed the other soldiers with regard to the standards that need to be observed by the soldiers with regard to their uniform and equipment that they should carry while out in the field discharging certain operations (Fotion, 1991). Respect is also a fundamental concept on which the army rules and regulations are based on, therefore having respect for one's superiors is one way of ensuring that there is uniformity in the armed forces not with regard to the uniform and other equipment but in relation to the rules set by the force (Fotion, 1991).
After delegating duties to sergeants who ensure that the other soldiers have complied with the set standards it is the responsibility of the superiors to ensure that the sergeants are held responsible for whatever issues that may arise with regard to the soldier's code of dressing (Fotion, 1991). It is at this point that the superiors conduct an inspection which is also referred to as a Precombat Inspection (PCI) which is mainly aimed at correcting any mistakes that may have taken place during the Pre Combat Check (PCC) (Fotion, 1991). Any mistake identified at this point is directed towards the sergeants since it shows that the sergeant did not conduct thorough inspection to establish any mistake by the soldiers with regard to the standards set by the army regulations (Dillon, 1992).
It is very apparent that everything happens with a reason so, there is a reason why each and every item of the soldier uniform is important and why the regulations make it mandatory for every soldier to dress according to the regulations. For example there are various items attached to the soldier on guard uniform that he must have at all times, they include the following items. The United States Army regulation 607-1 gives a decree that all officers should have the correct army uniform that marches the uniform prescribed by the law (Fotion, 1991). All officers at all times should have the standard clothing (uniform), this is accompanied by various technical reasons, being in a uniform makes it easy to be identified while on duty, i.e. it sets you apart from other soldiers who might be in the camp or in the event of an attack by enemies, the soldiers are able to identify each other and move fast with regard to formation (Fotion, 1991). The army uniform should be worn at all times while on duty and in order for the uniform to be complete it needs to be accompanied by the various standard equipment that make the 'uniform' complete some of the equipment include, the ballistic vest, eye equipment, the hand gloves and other standard equipment as prescribed below (Dillon, 1992).
While on guard duty it is very important to ensure that one upholds the MOLLE (Modular lightweight load bearing equipment) principle, this is the current standard with regard to the weight of the equipment the officer carries while out on duty (Fotion, 1991). This standard allows the soldier to modify whatever equipment he is carrying to fit his current need, therefore a guard on duty has the liberty to customize whatever equipment he has so that he does not get convenience with the heavy load. To facilitate this standard, the Department of Defense developed the MOLLE vest; this vest should be worn by the officers not only in the field but also during guard duty. However, the soldier will have the liberty to customize which equipment he will carry in his vest (Fotion, 1991).
The standard is very important since it ensures that the guards carry out their duties perfectly well by allowing them to choose the equipment that is necessary for their current task for example, if one is a rifleman; he will choose to have only slots on his vest carrying ammunition magazines (Fotion, 1991). Another example is the grenadiers will only choose to have pouches carrying grenades especially the 40mm one. The MOLLE vests are normally of the same color and make for a given unit; therefore it is important because it enable one to be identified as a member of the unit in the event that the security is breached. The MOLLE vest is important since it ensures that the guard is not inconvenienced by unwanted equipment during the guard duty (Fotion, 1991).
The ballistic vest is very important part of the army uniform; this is because it provides the soldier protection with regard to bullets. The ballistic vest is a very vital part of the soldier's uniform. This is because one does not know when an enemy's bullet will strike so protection purposes it is very important since t helps in reducing the impact caused by the bullet when one is hit. The ballistic vest is also a part of the standard uniform as prescribed by the regulation governing the standard uniform of a soldier. A soldier in guard should always have his ballistic vest for protection purposes (Fotion, 1991). For e security guard a ballistic vet is very important since one does not know the nest enemy move, the vest is also very important since it gives the soldiers fighting courage keeping in mind they have protective mechanism. With regard to ballistic vests the United States army has developed the interceptor armor, this is amore effective bullet protective gear. The interceptor armor is now the form of armor prescribed by the standards set with regard to protective gear. The new form of armor offers maximum protection, the interceptor armor is also resistant to 9mm rounds and it has a perfect standard configuration. While on guard duty, it is important for one to ensure that he has his interceptor body armor since it gives maximum protection in the event that one is hit by a 9mm rounds. Upgraded interceptor Kevlar body armor can resist a hit from 7.62mm ammunition. The upgrade is done by inserting Small Arms Protection Inserts.
It is very important for an army officer on guard duty to ensure that he has the Personal Armor System Ground Troop (PASGT) helmet. This is standard helmet considered by the prevailing army regulations. The standard helmet is very important since it protects the guard from injuries which may occur as a result of items falling down in the course of a confrontation. The helmet can also provide protection to the guard from gunfire. Some of the PASGT helmets are multipurpose since they provide slot where the guard can insert a goggle that will aid his vision during the night (night vision goggles). Speaking of night vision goggles, it is very vital that an officer on guard duty at night has his Night Vision Goggles (NVG) on. The goggles enhances the guards vision at night hence enabling him to see elements in the dark more clearly, the standard prescribed night vision goggle is the AN/PVS-7 this is because it is accompanied with an infrared equipment which enables it to work even in conditions where the light level is zero, the goggle improves the vision by increasing the intensity of the current light level hence enabling the guard to detect any movement even at low light levels.
From the above we are able to see the importance of wearing a ballistic vest while on guard duty since it greatly assists in reducing the impact velocity caused by a bullet once one in hit. Anther important part of the army uniform is the eye equipment. During guard duty, it is important to ensure that one wears eye glasses which do not contravene the set standards, the eyeglasses worn by the soldier should be conservative otherwise an other type of eyewear apart from one used for protective purposes are not allowed. The guard is also supposed to put on protective eye equipment to assist in enhancing vision in extreme circumstances such as during , snow ,at night or while in a mission which is in a desert. It is important for a guard on duty to ensure that he wears the correct eye gear as prescribed by the regulations governing the particular mission. The eye gear will spare the soldier any liability that may occur in the event of an attack with regard to his sight. Some eye gears are also very important since they enhance vision at night and during adverse weather conditions hence easy detection and neutralization of the enemy. The eye wear prescribed by the regulations especially 670-1 are very important because they are all prescribed to enhance safety of the troops and their alertness while on guard duty.
When a guard is charged with the responsibility of guarding a secure location where hostiles are expected, It is very important to ensure that he has the correct primary weapon and the secure location is expected to have a lethal attack, it is important for the officer on guard to ensure he has a weapon which will enable him react whenever an attack occurs, the weapon should be a standard one. It is important to carry a special Operations Modification package which allows the officer to change the riffle to any mode.
While on guard duty in order to comply with the set standard it is important to ensure that a member of the force maintains proper personal hygiene. This hygiene is mainly focused on fingernails, face hair, hair color and the hair style. To ensure uniformity and hygiene throughout the units, the army regulations set out that the fingernails of a given soldier should not exceed a quarter an inch. The fingernails must be very clean and well maintained. The facial hair should also be very clean and nicely trimmed. The other form of the uniform part that the army officer should ensure that he has always while on duty is his badge and ID. The officer should alwys have his ID hanging around his neck while on the field this includes while on guard duty. The main reason for ensuring this is to enable effective identification. The identification will also enable the guard on duty to identify other persons who are not members of the unit hence take the correct responsive measures.
It believed that from the 1973 the ballistic vest is believed to have saved 250 lives of people who would have been alternatively dead. There is a federal law providing that all federal security officers and soldiers' ballistic vests during operation (Dillon, 1992).There are many forms of ballistic vests but a choice won't make a difference since they at all provide security to the person. However it is goo d to decide which type protection one is seeking but for a combat group it is important to ensure that the ballistic vest worn by each army officer is the same with the others, in order to foster uniformity, the ballistic vest should have enough space to put other form of equipment such as grenades and bullet clips. The other equipment that the officer on guard needs to have while out in duty includes gloves for proper weapon handling, eye equipment which greatly helps in one's vision while in extraordinary places such as deserts or snow. The eye equipment also includes a night vision aid which greatly assists the guard on duty when it comes to viewing substances at night (Fotion, 1991).
While on guard duty, the guard is supposed to ensure that he has the prescribed communication equipment, this will go to a great extent in ensuring that the guard team communicate effectively, the communication equipment is always part of the guard uniform as per the standard procedure. Miscommunication during such an operation can be caused by the lack of the correct communication tools and mainly the soldier on guard may have lost the required attention hence not getting what other soldiers are communicating to him. To ensure that communication is at peek between the soldiers and no information is lost, it is good to ensure that the soldiers have carried their correct communication equipment, it is also important to ensure that the soldiers do not carry any equipment to the field that would otherwise interfere with the main objective of the mission or will make the soldier losses concentration during the guard operation, the soldier might have carried equipment such as an iPod hence tempting him to listen t music while on duty which is very wrong according to the orders given to a soldier who is on guard duty (Fotion and Gerard, 1986).
When a guard is assigned a position to guard e given secure location, he has orders to protect the location and its boundaries perfectly , the soldier is not allowed to leave his position unless he is relieved of duty and in the event that an extraordinary event takes place the soldier needs to notify the sergeant of the guard such extra ordinary circumstances during a guard operation include, the guard may fall sick during the mission or the releasing party may be late therefore the main orders to that the guard has is and I quote "I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved." This means that the guard needs to be on high alert to avoid any breach of the secure area, the guard does this by ensuring he does not carry unwanted 'stuff' to the field that would otherwise make him loose concentration with regard to the mission at hand (Fotion, 1991).
While on guard the soldier has the responsibility to ensure that all responsibilities delegated to him are performed exemplarily and in accordance with the military code of conduct. In order to carry out his duties well the soldier will have to understand his instructions therefore the sergeant of guard will be faced with the responsibility of ensuring that all the soldiers on guard are given the information and orders with regard to the duties they have to perform during the guard operation. In the event that special orders are given concerning a particular operation the sergeant of the guard need to ensure that all details are clarified about the special orders and the mission. The soldier at this point needs to understand his instructions and act only according to the prescriptions of the code of conduct and other orders specified by the sergeant of the guard with regard to the given operation. The guards on duty need also to communicate effectively between themselves so that whenever an issue arises during the guard process they are able to address the issue immediately. In order for communication to be effective during the guard all the guards need to be on high alert so as to get any information coming from the sergeant of the guard or any other member of the guard team on duty (Fotion and Gerard, 1986)..
A responsible soldier needs to report whatever missteps that took place while he is on duty such missteps includes breach of the orders given to him by the sergeant of the guard and any emergencies that may occur while on duty, one can only ensure this through effective communication to the person commanding the team that is responsible to relieve him (Fotion and Gerard, 1986).
According to Fotion and Gerard (1986), there are many security issues surrounding troops when they are out in the field. Therefore the leaders of the battalion need to pay extra ordinary attention to the security of the battalion. The security issues need to be addressed early before the troops leave for their mission. They need to answer several questions with regard to the security of the troops and other equipment while out in the field. The main question that the leaders ask themselves is with regard to the uniform that the officers will be having on. The question revolves around the weapons that the soldiers on guard will e using. In accordance with the set standards to regulate the uniform and equipment that a soldier needs to have, the troop leaders should ask themselves if the soldiers are familiar and qualified to use a particular weapon, it is at this point that the leaders bring to the awareness of the soldiers the various safety issues with regard to all the weapons that they would b allocated while out in the field, the leaders also need to ensure that the guards understand the functions of all the weapons that they are assigned with.
The leaders may have carried out all the procedures necessary to ensure the safety of the troops while out in the field but the fact still remains that, it is very difficult to predict all the scenarios expected while out in the field with regard to security issues (Fotion and Gerard, 1986). Therefore at this point the units rely on the decision of their guard team; the units believe the security team will make sound decisions with regard to guarding of secure locations and the general safety of the whole unit. How can the unit depend on a security guard to make a sound judgment with regards to security issues while listening to music? It is therefore important to ensure that the unit on guard is on high alert and they are observing all the regulations set so as to avoid such things which may impact on the judgment of the security guard (Fotion and Gerard, 1986). This is because, the judgment expected to be made by the guard on duty should be based on creative thinking which greatly entails the use of common sense, the knowledge acquired from his training which includes the code of conduct that gives regulations with regard to proper uniform and equipment that should be carried out to the field and last but not least the guard needs to take the initiative to put a certain decision in motion if he sees that the decision is good for the security of the unit after analyzing the prevailing circumstances (Fotion and Gerard, 1986).
The importance of having uniform standards for the army cannot be under emphasized. From the above we have seen the Importance of the various components which an officer on guard duty should have so as to ensure maximum protection. We have seen that it is important for a guard on duty to have the relevant equipment at all times so as to be able to address any form of security breach that may occur. For example, at night, it is important for the officer on guard to have a night vision goggle and a spotlight so as to ensure that his vision is not impaired in any particular way. The officer should also have a weapon ready for battle whenever he is guarding a secure location with the possibility of an attack (Fotion and Gerard, 1986). The other form of equipment that the officer on guard duty should have is body armor; the importance of a body armor is to ensure that the guard is protected from the impact of a bullet. The officer is also required to have a vest which will assist him in the carrying of his equipment to avoid inconveniences caused by lack of a good carrying mechanism
The explanations given in the above paragraphs with respect to a guard officer in duty greatly outlines the importance of a guard team (Fotion and Gerard, 1986). This is because it is not at all times that a unit will be awake because for effective service discharge they need to rest, this emphasizes the importance of having a good and dedicated guard team who are ready to discharge their duties when necessary (Fotion and Gerard, 1986). The success of the unit greatly depends on the guard team on duty since they are responsible for their safety and in the even that an ambush occurs or a surprise attack. The, the unit will have a force ready to respond to such an attack (Fotion and Gerard, 1986). For the guard team to be effective, the team needs to be on high alert at all times by maintaining continuous communication between themselves to ensure each and every member of the team is on the same page.
It is a duty of each member of the guard team to ensure that he is n high alert and ready for anything. The alert level within the guard team needs to be directly proportional to the threat level so as to be ready for any form of attack regardless of the magnitude. From the above we are able to notice that, the security of the unit does not completely depends on the security team but also the leaders of the unit need to ensure that the correct measures are taken to ensure that the security level in the camp is high. However, no matter how hard the leaders of the unit strive to ensure the protection of the unit, the responsibility still lies in the arms of the guard soldiers, they need to exercise respect and follow orders from the superiors whenever they are given, they also need to understand their duties and any special orders given to them by the sergeant of the guard (Fotion and Gerard, 1986).
The leaders might have discharged their mandate but the fault will always lay with the guards for example, a guard listening to an iPod while on guard duty means sacrificing the rest of the troops and cannot be condoned, this is mainly because it violates the rules and standard procedures that need to be observed by the soldier on guard. This also means that one would have breached the army regulation 607-1 which prescribes the things that an army officer should include in his uniform while on duty, having such a thing while on duty mans improper communication between him and the rest the guards on guard duty. This kind of protocol breached is very serious since it means that the guard does not understand the importance of having a guard team to secure a location (Fotion and Gerard, 1986).