There is a big difference of the definition between the civilian and military meaning of accountability. The definition of accountability in the military is the obligation imposed by law or lawful order or regulation of an officer or other person for keeping accurate record of property, documents, or funds. The person having this obligation may or may not have actual possession of the property, documents, or funds. Accountability is concerned primarily with records, while responsibility is concerned primarily with custody, care, and safekeeping. Making sure that everyone has what they need and what they are supposed to have is accountability.
A record or piece of something that gets left unsecure, thrown out or even misplaced is not being accountable for your equipment. Loaning out your gear, your personal documents, or anything of the sort without the proper paper work process is also not being accountable. You have to make sure someone is watching, tracking with paper work, or locked away properly to be able to be accountable. Also letting someone know if you are missing equipment or just don’t have a piece of equipment, allows you to be able to fix the problem and be accountable.
Accountability is not limited to just property, documents, or funds. It also has to deal with your actions, attitude, and the presentation of yourself. What you do affects your performance of being a soldier and the people around you. Making sure that you are doing the right thing and telling the truth is being accountable for your actions. Coming to work on time and doing what you are told is also an example of being accountable.
Accountability is important not only to the military but to me as well. Having all of my equipment, records, and funds sets me up to be a success in the military. Having positive control of my gear is my responsibility and should be taking seriously. If I want to be able to lend out a piece of equipment, I should have first cleared it with my first line and done the proper paper work to have been accountable for all of my gear. Also making sure that I am in the right place, right time and right uniform also makes me accountable.
There are many forms of accountability and all are very important in the military. The few examples in this essay are the ones that are dealt with from day to day on a regular basis. Not only is possession of property, documents, and funds the only form of accountability but there are many more that are just as important. You should always be accountable for actions, as well as your gear. So when you are thinking about doing something, make sure you are remembering the steps in the thought process of accountability. Never just think, perform, or even give something to someone unless you are using the proper steps to make everything you do accountable.