personnel assume this type of loyalty without
question, but they must also broaden their loyalty
to include their superiors and subordinates.
Because of human nature, the ordinary person
wants to and will extend loyalty to others in the
organization. In the long run, however, everyone
must earn the loyalty of others. Part of the price
a person pays for earning this loyalty is extending
loyalty to others. Enlisted personnel are par-
ticularly sensitive about loyalty extended to them
and are quick to discern and resent its absence.
The degree of loyalty a division officer shows
toward the division has a direct bearing on the
morale of division personnel. Most persons have
a strong devotion to duty, and their self-respect
will not allow them to neglect that duty merely
to spite a superior. But the officer who has not
earned the loyalty of the personnel cannot expect
to receive that extra effort above the call of duty
often necessary to accomplish a mission. This
brings us to another important quality, devotion
DEVOTION TO DUTY
Devotion to duty is closely allied to loyalty.
In fact, it might be defined as loyalty to the post
or position one holds. Occasionally immature
young persons feel their talents are superior to
those required to fill the positions in which they
find themselves. In such cases these young persons
may become resentful because their abilities are
not used to better advantage. Consequently, their
performance falls off.
More mature persons might assume that
because the position exists, it must be important
even though the importance is not readily
apparent. Assuming this, such persons give a little
more to the position than it requires by spending
their extra energy and talents learning the new job.
Thus, they fulfill their obligation to the organiza-
tion, inspire other personnel to greater efforts,
and earn the respect of all concerned. When
important openings occur, the choice between
these individuals and others less willing to put
forth extra effort is clear.
Any civilian firm would consider ambitious
persons as positive assets; employers would keep
their eyes on them and perhaps expect great things
of them. However, mere ambition is not enough
in the military service. Any military service
expects all of its officers or enlisted persons to
place duty above themselves. Everyone at all times
must do their duty to the best of their ability. They
must do their best in an effort to support the
efficient accomplishment of the Navys mission,
not to receive personal gain.
Individuals who refuse to shoulder their share
of the load make it that much heavier for the rest
of the unit. Hardships may be increased, lives may
be sacrificed needlessly, and the unit might fail
to accomplish its mission. The well-known parable
of the loss of a kingdom through want of a horse
describes the situation perfectly.
The ability to take orders goes hand in hand
with devotion to duty. One so closely follows the
other that distinguishing between them is difficult.
Commands usually issue standing orders to cover
every situation. The orders help those assigned to
the position do the job more effectively. As soon
as a person receives an order, it becomes that
persons duty to carry it out. Therefore, personnel
should not resent even the most trivial order, even
one given in the nature of a reminder, necessary
or not. Personnel should obey each order quickly
and cheerfully and report its accomplishment to
the superior who gave it.
Devotion to duty and the ability to take orders
are so important that the Navy has no place for
the immature people who refuse to grow up. It
has no place for the self-seekers who do their best
only when it is advantageous to them to do so.
The Navy doesnt need resentful, hard-headed,
self-important individuals who cannot take
Leaders who thoroughly know their job are
far better qualified to lead than ones who do not;
but unfortunately, professional experience does
not burst into full bloom merely because one
wishes it so. Although as a new officer, you will
have professional knowledge, you will lack pro-
fessional experience when you step aboard ship
for the first time. Yet, you will be placed in a
position of leadership, given various jobs to do,
and then seemingly left to your own devices. The
jobs will appear monumental to you. Uppermost
in your mind will be the probability of your
making a serious error that could expose your
inexperience. You will have people on all sides,
however, ready to assist you.
The officer you relieve will assist you in
learning your new duties, outline the present
program, and point out what has not been done.
The officer will also discuss the inherent dif-
ficulties of the job and briefly describe the abilities
and personalities of your new division personnel.
Senior officers are always ready to give you a