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The purpose of this essay is to further my knowledge of the Army NCO support channel, chain of command and why we, as soldiers, use them. I will also be explaining the importance of obeying a lawful order from a first sergeant and performing that order in a timely manner. First I am going to talk about The Army NCO support Channel. The NCO support channel is designed to be subordinate to and supportive of the chain of command. The NCO support channel is not an independent channel.It is mandatory of the users of this channel to ensure that the chain of command is kept informed of actions implemented through the NCO support channel and to eliminate the possibility of the NCO support channel operating outside of command policy. The NCO support channel is used for executing the commander’s orders and getting routine, but important, jobs done. It is used however most often to effect policies and procedures and to enforce standards of performance, training, appearance and conduct.Although the first sergeant is not part of the formal chain of command, leaders should consult them on individual soldier matters. There are many areas in which the NCO Support Channel assists the chain of command. The NCO support channel ensures junior enlisted maintain a professional appearance. They plan and conduct day to day operations, train soldiers in there respective MOS and help them build a better knowledge of soldiering. An order is a tasking given to a soldier of something that needs to be done in a timely and efficient manner.The three main reasons why it is important for a soldier to follow the orders they are given is to be combat effective, disciplined, and to just be a well rounded soldier. When a soldier doesn’t follow the orders they are given in not only hurts them, but it hurts the team and the goals of the mission. When the mission objectives are hurt by not following orders this weakens everything that is necessary to win the war. If a soldier doesn’t follow orders while in a combat zone this makes them combat ineffective and when a single soldier in a unit is combat ineffective his slows down the progress of the mission by making the leaders deal with a soldier who can’t help with the workload of the unit. For example if a first sergeant tells a soldier to prepare a vehicle before they roll out for mission the first sergeant is telling the soldier to get the vehicle ready so they can be fully mission capable even if the soldier doesn’t know why they are being told what they must do. The soldier needs to execute the order without question.When a soldier executes an order quickly and to standard they increase the combat effectiveness of the unit even if they don’t know it because every soldier is vital to winning the war. A soldier that is unable to follow orders, execute them effectively and do all of this to standard, fails to strengthen the unit and increase the moral of the unit by empowering its leadership. These actions can relieve tensions from leaders and other soldiers in the unit due to the evenly spread out duties and tasks given to them.Each member of the US military took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Each also took a pledge to follow the legal orders of the Commander in Chief. Imagine being in an authoritative position in a war. Now imagine if your subordinates didn’t follow the orders you put out to them. You would have complete and utter chaos. In my opinion there have only been a hand full of incidents where I rightfully disobeyed an order passed down to me by my senior leadership.It doesn’t matter what the rank of the soldier is. Following orders in the Army is imperative especially in a time of war. Obedience is what enables the military to operate in an organized and effective manner which is clearly important during challenging situations. While an individual can question the notion of obedience in daily life, this luxury is not available in the military where the goals and objectives of the mission often require smooth internal functioning and coordination.Indeed, many of the standards that would be frowned upon outside the military are essential to the work’s success within. For example, punishment is not deemed to be a positive occurrence in an average person’s life, whereas the Army doctrine maintains that “punishment strengthens determination and discipline and enables a person to learn and fully take the importance of following orders upon them selves”. The act of disobedience is considered to be an infraction and the soldier who placed himself in such a situation can find himself facing Article 15 charges.Thus, respect and obedience are of the utmost significance in the military as it helps maintain the internal stability and enables the military therefore to carry out its operations in confidence. Soldiers who fail to obey the lawful orders of their superiors risk serious consequences. Article 90 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice makes it a crime for a soldier to WILLFULLY disobey a superior commissioned officer. Article 91 makes it a crime to WILLFULLY disobey a superior Non commissioned or Warrant Officer.Article 92 makes it a crime to disobey any lawful order (the disobedience does not have to be “willful” under this article). In fact, under Article 90, during times of war, a soldier who willfully disobeys a superior commissioned officer can be sentenced to death. In Conclusion, the efforts put forth by soldiers to complete the orders and tasks given to them by respective first sergeants from the chain of command through the efforts of the NCO support chain create the balance and efficiency that the United States Army is known for around the world. SPC Smith, John, M. Bravo Company

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