Life is full of choices, what an individual is doing or where they are going is as a result of a choice that was made directly or induced indirectly. In career, there are paths a person might choose to pursue depending on their passion and career objective. Some have chosen to be lawyers, doctors, and some choose to be a farmer. In my case, I chose to be a soldier in the United States Army. I have served as an enlisted soldier and have career aspirations of becoming a commissioned officer. It is the passion to serve America that inspired me to take this decision. So many opportunities existed to serve the country at different capacity, but becoming a soldier in the US Army was the optimal opportunity that gives me the utility. Being enlisted before becoming an officer has significantly motivated me to continue with my ambitions to serve. This has allowed me to accumulate the necessary experience and skills, which I believe they are indispensable for the commissioned officer.
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Being an enlisted officer before being a commissioned officer has taught me many things that I can pass on to other soldiers. With the skills and experience, I will be able to mentor other soldiers who might be developing cold feet on their career path as soldiers. Serving as soldier calls for self sacrifice and most of the enlisted personnel lack a clear picture of what lies ahead of their career path. It is this information gap that I feel the skill I have accumulated during my tenure as an enlisted officer will be necessary to inspire enlisted personnel. People are more likely to relate with someone who is teaching from practical experience rather than someone who is just teaching from a theoretical point of view.
By being enlisted, I have gained new foundational respect for the roles played by a commissioned officer in the US Army. I have learnt that commissioned officers are not just people who are in charge, but they are in charge because they have responsibility as commanding officers as well as mentoring junior soldiers. One of the greatest difficulties an officer will face is earning the respect of his subordinates. This enables him to relate with juniors in a cordial way.
In addition to the experience I have had as an enlisted soldier, I was also an Army dependent. My father served in the Army most of my life and he is still active in his service. Being a family member of a soldier has also given me valuable experience that will benefit me as a leader. I know what it means for soldiers to be away from their relatives and friends and how the family members feel, as well. Soldiers not only need guidance, but also need true leaders who are able to offer them support so that they will be successful both at workplace and in the home. My experience as a dependent will help me better supports the soldiers under my care.
Another thing that will benefit me as a Commissioned officer in the United States Army is my belief in the core Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. These traits make the United States Army the best Army in the world. My personal belief and willingness to adhere to these values will help me to becoming a formidable officer. Not only do I know and understand them in the context of my military experience, but I believe in them with all of my heart and I live by them in my personal life. Therefore, I will be an outstanding role model for the soldiers under my jurisdiction. I will set the expectation as well as the example of what it means to be an outstanding soldier.
One of these beliefs that are extremely beneficial to me is selfless service. A leader must first be a devoted follower. An effective leader should be leading by example and exercising the code of conduct. That requires one to be able to deliver even in difficult times. Serving my country and my soldiers will often be inconvenient relative to my personal life. Service calls for personal sacrifice, and is at those times I can go beyond my feelings and even my job description to serve the US Army and serve my soldiers.
Ultimately, I am prepared to move to the next level in my career objective. I have skills, knowledge, and experience that make me a principled leader. My focus is to continue to learn and develop both as a soldier and at a personal level.