Sunday, December 14, 2014

Military Officer Like Qualities (OLQ) = MORAL ASCENDANCY

Military Officer Like Qualities (OLQ) = MORAL ASCENDANCY
Ramblings of a Retired Navy Veteran
By
VIKRAM KARVE

As a young officer in the Navy, I used to ask myself:

“If I remove my badges of rank, then why should a sailor willingly obey me?”

The answer I gave to myself was that a sailor will obey me if he respects me.

And to respect me, the sailor should feel that I am “better” than the sailor.

Yes, an officer will be respected by his men only if his men believe that the officer is “better” than them.

Those days, I could not exactly define what the term “better” meant.

Now, I realize that the term “better” means “moral ascendancy”.

Your juniors will willingly obey you if they “respect” you.

And you must have “moral ascendancy” over your subordinates in order to gain their “respect”.

Thus, “moral ascendancy” in officers, especially senior officers, is an essential prerequisite for discipline in the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Moral Ascendancy is the most important Officer Like Quality (OLQ) for a Defence Officer.

You have to attain moral ascendancy before you demand respect.

Genuine respect does not come from authority.

Genuine respect comes from “moral ascendancy”.

A good officer never has to use the power of his rank to command his men – his men will willingly obey him because of his “moral ascendancy”.

That is why the most important aspect of selection and training of officers is to ensure that they have “moral ascendancy” over the men they are going to command.

VIKRAM KARVE
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