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Military Professionalism

Men who adopt the profession of arms

submit their own free will
to a law of perpetual constraints
of their own accord.

They resist their right

to live where they choose,
to say what they think,
to dress as they like.

It needs but an order

to settle them from their families
and dislocate their normal lives.

In the world of commands,

they must rise, march,
run, endure bad weather,
and go out without sleep or food,
be isolated in some distant post,
work until they drop.

They have ceased to become

masters of their own fate.

If they drop on their tracks,

their ashes shall be scattered
in the four winds,
that is all part and parcel of their job.

Don’t Quit
When things go wrong as they sometimes will
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile but you have to sigh
When the world is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must but don’t you quit

Life is queer with its twists and turns

As everyone of us sometimes learns
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out
Don’t give though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow

Often the goal is nearer than

It seems to a faint and faltering man
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup
And he learned too late when the night slipped down
How close he was to the golden crown

Success is failure turned inside out

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And can never tell how close you are
You maybe near when it seems too far
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things are worst that you mustn’t quit

Note: Don’t Quit is suited for what everyone seems to be

experiencing now. Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Retreat but don’t give up.
General Orders
A sentry obeys two sets of orders. Special orders
passed to the sentry with regard to his watch and
post that are given by the petty officer of the
watch or corporal of the guard. General orders
that never change and for which the sentry is
always responsible.

The eleven General Orders to be memorized by all

Army personnel.

1. To take charge of this post and all

government property in view.

2. To walk my post in a military manner,

keeping always on the alert, and observing
everything that takes place within sight or

3. To report all violations of orders I am

instructed to enforce.

4. To repeat all calls from the post more

distant from the guard house than my own.

5. To quit my post only when properly


6. To receive, obey, and pass on to the

sentry who relieves me all orders from the
commanding officer, field officer of the day,
officer of the day, and officers and petty
officers of the guard only.
7. To talk to no one except in the line of

8. To give the alarm in case of fire or


9. To call the corporal of the guard in any

case not covered by instructions.

10. To salute all officers, and all colors and

standards not cased.

11. To be especially watchful at night, and

during the time for challenging, to challenge
all persons on or near my post, and to allow
no one to pass without proper authority.

Source: The Bluejackets' Manual, Fifteenth Edition


Military Secrecy

"What you see...

What you hear...
What you feel...
When you leave.
Leave it here!"
Pledge of loyalty

If you work for a man,

in heaven’s name,
work for him,
speak well of him,
and stand by the institution
that he represents.
an ounce of loyalty
is worth a pound of cleverness.
If you must grawl,
condemn and eternally find fault,
why resign your position?
And when you are in the outside,
damn to your heart’s contents!
But as long as you are a part of the
do not condemn it.
For if you do,
the first high wind that comes along
will blow you away.
And probably,
you’ll never know why.
West Point's Cadet Honor Code reads simply that
"A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who
Cadets accused of violating the Honor Code face a
standardized investigative and hearing process (see
Investigative and Hearing System.). If they are found guilty by
a jury of their peers, they face severe consequences to include
expulsion from the Academy.

Definitions of the tenets of the Honor

LYING: Cadets violate the Honor Code by lying if they
deliberately deceive another by stating an untruth or by any
direct form of communication to include the telling of a partial
truth and the vague or ambiguous use of information or
language with the intent to deceive or mislead.
CHEATING: A violation of cheating would occur if a Cadet
fraudulently acted out of self-interest or assisted another to do
so with the intent to gain or to give an unfair advantage.
Cheating includes such acts as plagiarism (presenting someone
else's ideas, words, data, or work as one's own without
documentation), misrepresentation (failing to document the
assistance of another in the preparation, revision, or
proofreading of an assignment), and using unauthorized notes.
STEALING: The wrongful taking, obtaining, or withholding
by any means from the possession of the owner or any other
person any money, personal property, article, or service of
value of any kind, with intent to permanently deprive or
defraud another person of the use and benefit of the property,
or to appropriate it to either their own use or the use of any
person other than the owner.
TOLERATION: Cadets violate the Honor Code by tolerating if
they fail to report an unresolved incident with honor
implications to proper authority within a reasonable length of
time. "Proper authority " includes the Commandant, the
Assistant Commandant, the Director of Military Training, the
Athletic Director, a tactical officer, teacher or coach. A
"reasonable length of time" is the time it takes to confront the
Cadet candidate suspected of the honor violation and decide
whether the incident was a misunderstanding or a possible
violation of the Honor Code. A reasonable length of time is
usually considered not to exceed 24 hours.
To have violated the honor code, a Cadet must have lied,
cheated, stolen, or attempted to do so, or tolerated such action
on the part of another Cadet. The procedural element of the
Honor System examines the two elements that must be present
for a Cadet to have committed an honor violation: the act and
the intent to commit that act. The latter does not mean Intent to
violate the Honor Code, but rather the Intent to commit the act
Three rules of thumb
1. Does this action attempt to deceive anyone or allow anyone
to be deceived?
2. Does this action gain or allow gain of a privilege or
advantage to which I or someone else would not otherwise be
3. Would I be unsatisfied by the outcome if I were on the
receiving end of this action?

History and relevance

"Although West Point did not formalize the Honor Code and
system until the 1920s, the history of the honor code at the
Academy goes back to its inception in 1802. The Code of
Honor within the officer corps at the time was simply that an
officer's word was his bond. When Sylvanus Thayer was the
Superintendent in the 1820s, he focused on the principles of
good scholarship and expressly forbade cheating. West Point
treated allegations of stealing singularly under Army
regulations through the 1920s."
"The first major step toward formalizing the unwritten Honor
Code came in 1922 when the Superintendent, Brig. Gen.
Douglas MacArthur, formed the Cadet Honor Committee to
review all honor allegations.
In 1947, the Superintendent, Maj. Gen. Maxwell Taylor,
drafted the first official Honor Code publication marking the
beginning of the written “Cadet Honor Code.” However, the
Cadet Honor Code did not formally include a “tolerate those
who do” clause until 1970."[1]
"The Honor Code provides a minimum standard of ethical
behavior for cadets. This standard, as applied to fourth class
development, is easy to live by and provides the foundation for
further ethical development."

U.S. Air Force Academy

The Cadet Honor Code at the Air Force Academy, like that at
West Point, is the cornerstone of a cadet's professional training
and development — the minimum standard of ethical conduct
that cadets expect of themselves and their fellow cadets. Air
Force's honor code was developed and adopted by the Class of
1959, the first class to graduate from the Academy, and has
been handed down to every subsequent class.[2][3] The code
adopted was based largely on West Point's Honor Code, but
was modified slightly to its current wording:
We will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate among us
anyone who does.
In 1984, the Cadet Wing voted to add an "Honor Oath," which
was to be taken by all cadets. The oath is administered to
fourth class cadets (freshmen) when they are formally accepted
into the Wing at the conclusion of Basic Cadet Training.[3] The
oath remains unchanged since its adoption in 1984, and
consists of a statement of the code, followed by a resolution to
live honorably:
We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us
anyone who does.
Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live
honorably, so help me God.
Cadets are considered the "guardians and stewards" of the
Code. Cadet honor representatives throughout the Wing
oversee the honor system by conducting education classes and
investigating possible honor incidents. Cadets throughout the
Wing are expected to sit on Honor Boards as juries that
determine whether their fellow cadets violated the code. Cadets
also recommend sanctions for violations. Although the
presumed sanction for a violation is disenrollment, mitigating
factors may result in the violator being placed in a
probationary status for some period of time. This "honor
probation" is usually only reserved for cadets in their first two
years at the Academy.
There are many like it but this one is mine. My rifle is
my best friend. It is my life
. I must master it as I master my life.
My rifle, without me is useless. Without my rifle, I am
useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter
than any enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot
him before he shoots me. I will….
My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is
not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the
smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count.
We will hit…
My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus,
I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weakness, its
strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its
barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am
clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We
Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are
the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our
enemy. We are the saviors of my life.
So be it, until victory is America’s and there is no
enemy, but Peace……………………
Forward Observers in the US
Army/Marine Corps
Artillery (Forward) Observers carry the (MOS) designation
of 13 Foxtrot (13F) in the U.S. Army and 0861 in the U.S.
Marine Corps. This is considered a Combat Arms MOS,
and all enlisted personal schooled in this duty will carry
this designation. Officially, FOs are actually designated
“Fire Support Specialists” [2]. While they are commonly
referred to as Forward Observers or FO’s, FISTERS, or
members of a FIST (Fire Support Team), COLTs (Combat
Observation Lasing Team) this is more precisely the
designation of a Fire Support Specialist in a particular
position. The Company Fire Support Officer (or FSO) is
the leader of a Company Fire Support Team (FIST).
This oft-overlooked position is considered one of the most
dangerous and challenging positions on the battlefield for a
variety of reasons. FOs are highly skilled and usually
exceptionally intelligent. They are also able to work
silently for long periods of time, as some missions may
range from a few hours to several weeks, long. They can
operate with minimal support located both on or behind the
enemy lines.
Their skills in reconnaissance must be met with similarly
high intelligence and ability to think quickly in situations of
extreme stress. Their missions are always critical as mental
errors under stress can bring the massive firepower and
ordinance they control down on friendly forces as well as
enemy. FIST team members are especially self-reliant and
independent. Their mission requires quick thinking under
pressure, effectively integrating with many types of units
and command structures as well as the ability to operate
independently. At a tactical level the FO can serve in
mission planning, strategy, and advisory positions with his
command elements. Due to the substantial firepower they
control, their communications and reconnaissance abilities,
and their small numbers, artillery observers of any variety
are regarded as targets of very high importance to enemy
There exist 2 main duties associated with Forward
Observer Teams according to general military doctrine and
the FIST field manual 6-30, now known as FM 3-09.30.
Primary duty consists of bringing to arms all indirect fire
assets (artillery, mortars, naval gunfire and close air support
[CAS]). Secondary duties consist of communicating
battlefield intelligence such as enemy locations, strength,
and activities to the command echelon.
Soldiers in this MOS must meet a number of requirements
not demanded of many other military careers. The artillery
observer must be acutely aware of the position and
movements of their own troops as well as those of the
opposing forces. Because of the strategic importance of this
information, U.S. Army FOs must qualify for security
clearance, the level depending on their specific position.
They must be able to work independently for long periods
of time, as some missions can last for days or even weeks,
and because of the clandestine nature of their work and
their frequent placement on or behind enemy lines, the
ability to operate with minimal support is of great
Their physical demands are extremely high as the FO's
must survive and fight alongside paratroopers, airmobile
infantry, light infantry, mechanized infantry, United States
Marines and even United States Army Rangers while
typically carrying a much greater equipment load (radios,
secure communication equipment, laser target designators,
etc.) than the maneuver element they are attached to. FM
22-100 lists the common combat loads for many of the
MOS's in the US Army. FIST is noted as the second
highest combat load. They must also survive in an armored
and cavalry environment. Because of this, their infantry
fighting skills must be on par with their fellow soldiers in
the maneuver element. FOs are often required to train with
the maneuver element they are assigned to.
Most and eventually all US Army armored and infantry
battalions have converted to the Modular Force
organization. Forward observers are members of the Fire
Support Platoon of each heavy, light or Stryker battalion
rather than being members of an artillery battery that
supports that battalion.
Infantry training provides the individual soldier with a
direct action skill level that provides them with an optimal
survival rate. The Forward Observer is qualified to attend
many military schools because of their Combat Arms
designation such as, Airborne, Air Assault, Ranger, and
Special Forces training. They also qualify for the Army's
Combat Action Badge. Forward Observers are also given
difficult cardiovascular, strength, infantry and self defense
United States Army Combatives/United States Marine
Corps MCMAP training in addition to their FO training. As
the FO is attached to direct action units, this training is
meant to ensure they have the capability to perform their
more cerebral duties, while under the same stress the
infantry unit is exposed to.
Fire Support Specialists may be attached to the mechanized
infantry or an armored division. When mechanized infantry
or armored, fire support teams consist of a driver, a
commander, a Fire Support Non-Commissioned Officer,
and a Fire Support Specialist of rank of E4 Specialist). This
team works within an M7 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, called
a B-FIST or Bradley FIST, which is designed for the task
of Coordinating indirect fire. FO teams are often attached
to Mechanized infantry dismounted teams. In this scenario
they break off with small infantry teams and travel on foot
akin to light infantry and search for the enemy. They can
also break off in two man FO teams and establish an
observation post.
Due to personnel shortages more and more Forward
Observers are finding themselves tasked with the duties of
the Fire Support Officer and/or Fire Support Non-
Commissioned Officer, while simultaneously expected to
perform the duties and responsibilities required of them at
the platoon level if a qualified Radio Telephone Operator
(RTO) is not available to step up to fill in the FO position.
Many RTOs are not available for an FO to use, the FO is
then expected to perform as an FO while also carrying,
operating, and maintaining his radio equipment. If the
Forward Observer is tasked elsewhere up the chain of
command, an RTO is then expected to perform the duties
of an FO without an RTO. This lack of available bodies
combined with the high deployment rate is the cause for a
mass exodus out of the military by Forward Observers.
[citation needed]
As a direct result, unqualified RTOs are being
promoted to NCOs and E-5s are finding them selves
promoted to E-7s within 2–3 years, despite never having
put together a proper promotion packet.[citation needed] Many in
the field believe the lack of experience and rapid promotion
rate is going to create unforeseen problems in the future.
[citation needed]
Basic concept of how the FO calls in and adjusts Artillery
fire on a target
The COLT Team is a high-technology, deeply inserted,
observer/reconnaissance team often called on to maximize
the use of GPS guided munitions like the EXCALIBUR
series weaponry/155mm paladin howitzers. The standard
COLT team consists of a driver/Grenadier(PFC/E-3), a
gunner/RTO/Observer(Specialist/E-4) and a TC(CPL-
SGT), the vehicle commander who oversees the operation
on the OP, and approves fire missions. COLTs are now
equipped with the FS3 (Fire support sensor system) which
has consolidated all of the target acquisition equipment
which was previousley on the KNIGHT series HMMWVs.
These teams typically work closely with attack aircraft to
guide air-delivered laser-guided munitions, while still
providing ground support for maneuver battalions and
acting as a reactive strike force supporting special
operations units.
Fire Support Specialists are also vital for their skill in
enemy vehicle recognition. Because of this, along with the
need for coordinated indirect fire support control at higher
levels, Fire Support Specialists are also assigned to
augment “Fire Support Elements” that travel with
headquarters from Brigade level to Corps.