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Respect in the Army: Values and Standards


Effective communication is essential in every sphere of human performance and every kind of activity, including the most trivial and routine one. However, its significance is particularly pronounced in the army where mutual understanding can define the outcome of a military mission. It can be argued that respect towards others is a pivotal element of excellent communication. It allows building productive professional relationships that can benefit either oneself or other soldiers and leaders in the army. The present paper will discuss the concept of respect and will aim to demonstrate why it is so important for those serving in the military.

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While the word “respect” is commonly used in speech, there is no single universal definition for it. As such, respect can be viewed as the “[perceived] worth accorded to one person by one or more others” unconditionally (Rogers and Ashforth, p. 4). This definition implies that every person can be respected just by the very virtue of being a human. However, another definition of respect is as follows: “the worth accorded by one or more others, which is based on the target’s attributes, behaviors, and achievements” (Rogers and Ashforth, p. 4). This view on respect implies that individuals deserve to be valued in accordance with certain qualities they have. It is valid to say that both of these types of respect are applicable to the military context. Soldiers must acknowledge the rank, experience, knowledge, and remarkable attainments of either army leaders or their successful peers. At the same time, even those soldiers who perform worse than others should be respected to feel supported and encouraged to become better and thrive.

Mutual respect has multiple favorable impacts on all parties involved in the work process. For example, when expressed towards a leader, respect serves as a guarantee that soldiers listen to him or her and strive to learn from him or her. A respectful attitude towards army leaders is an essential prerequisite for maintaining order in the team and fostering better outcomes of professional communication. At the same time, it is important for leaders to respect soldiers as well. When regular servicemen feel that they are treated with regard, they are likely to become more receptive to every demand voiced by a leader and also more willing to collaborate and improve. It is also worth noting that when a soldier starts to treat others with appreciation and show attention towards authorities’ orders, it is easier for them to gain respect back. In this way, one can not only build favorable relationships with colleagues but also demonstrate oneself as a competent person and, thus, increase one’s chances to be promoted.


Overall, mutual respect signifies that every party is considerate of the interests of one another and views themselves as a part of the team rather than an individual, separate entity. Therefore, it is appropriate to conclude that respect for both a person and a rank is necessary for the maintenance of a positive atmosphere and the enhancement of teamwork. In its turn, a good work climate and team cohesion stimulate the betterment of communication. With mutual respect, less experienced soldiers grow faster, while the more experienced ones complete their tasks more efficiently. Moreover, in such an atmosphere, the risk of interpersonal conflict incidence is low and, if occurred, conflicts are likely to be managed quickly and with fewer negative impacts on soldiers’ morale. With all that, when respected and showing respect back, every serviceman may feel more satisfied with both his or her job and his or her performance.


Rogers, Kristie M., and Blake E. Ashforth. “Respect in Organizations: Feeling Valued as ‘We’ and ‘Me’.” Journal of Management, 2014, pp. 1-31.

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