Soldiers are supposed to be disciplined people. This discipline comes from the uniform they wear, the food they eat, the exercises they do and is further reinforced in their need to obey orders. An undisciplined soldier can harm both himself and his fellow soldiers. Unfortunately, this very discipline is missing among soldiers at the Joint Base Balad, Iraq. The soldiers at the base are extremely careless about their uniforms and do not follow the uniform policy AR 670-1. They do not tuck in their T-shirts, wear the patrol cap incorrectly and walk around with their hands in their pocket. Similarly, most soldiers are careless about their exercise routine, especially those on the overweight program. While some soldiers have genuine medical conditions that prevent them from pushing the extra mile and hence find it difficult to lose weight, there are others, who do not have any problems, and they do not even try to lose weight. This is especially disheartening because all the soldiers are held to the same standards, irrespective if their medical conditions. This lack of discipline is further compounded by the tendency of many soldiers to disobey lawful orders. Soldiers who do not follow the above mentioned policies should be ordered to correct themselves. Unfortunately, disciplining these soldiers becomes difficult because they question authority and disobey legitimate orders. I believe that one of the reasons that soldiers disobey orders and question authority is because they do not seem to get due recognition for their efforts. Military awards should be given to soldiers who really deserve them. Unfortunately, in practice this does not happen. Soldiers who go outside the wire and put their lives on line go unrecognized while others who are just doing their jobs get awarded for just doing their jobs. Such favoritism is demoralizing and many soldiers no longer feel motivated enough to put any effort. Another reason for this indiscipline could be horrible quality of the food being served to the soldiers while on deployment. The quality of the food is so bad that many soldiers eat it only so that they can sustain themselves. And this bad quality is not limited to a particular dining facility but rather every dining facility on the base serves very low quality food. Soldiers cannot be expected to give their heart and soul to their job if they are not even properly fed. These soldiers are putting their lives on line so that people back home can sleep in peace. The least that can be done for them is that they get good food and their valor is given proper recognition.
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