There is a zero tolerance policy in the United States Armed Forces for disrespect of any kind. A plethora of reasons exist as to why disrespect is not permitted within the army. In fact, one may even quite successfully argue that disrespect serves to undermine virtually all of the principles that the armed forces represent and attempt to uphold. The very nature of this particular occupation requires complete compliance within chains of command. Furthermore, there are highly strict rules that must be adhered to in order for any sort of operation, from that of the most basic training to potentially hazardous missions, to be carried out successfully. Disrespect would certainly exacerbate the carrying out of any of these objectives, and at best would undermine the efficiency of what is trying to be achieved and at worse completely jeopardize the aim of any sort of procedure that is being attempted. To that end, disrespect has no place within the ranks of armed forces.
In fact, the successful conducting of operations within the military and all of its branches largely hinges upon the exact opposite concept of disrespect -- which is, of course, not just respect, but also discipline. Discipline is a highly integral component of life within the armed forces; it helps to preserve order, and enables a variety of tasks to be accomplished in order to for the armed forces to exist. There are many reasons as to why disrespect is contrary to the conception of discipline, as any sort of voicing of attitudes or opinions that are perceived as counterproductive to someone's authority or right to be involved in any military process is essentially a breach of the discipline that largely holds the military together. Additionally, one of the most ultimate expressions of discipline is the refraining of engaging in disrespectful actions of practices, for the simple fact that situations occur in which it is increasingly difficult not to convey some sort of negativity about someone or something which others consider disrespectful.
Another reason why disrespect is not allowed in the army is because there is very little that can be achieved through disrespect. This notion, of attempting to undermine someone's authority or of not regarding a situation with the due gravity, attention and respect that it is worth does not actually lead to anything productive. Essentially, disrespecting someone or some action that is to be performed is merely negative energy that detracts from the carrying out of objectives that truly need to be attained. More than most institutions, the armed forces require a stability and dependability to balance what, at times, can be the lives of people or a way of life that needs to be preserved at all cost. Due to the paramount importance of the nature of the work that the army provides in protecting people, the country of the United States, and in protecting the livelihoods of those that depend on it, any sort of disrespect can potentially impede this work and its progress, and result in failure.
To that end, it stands to reason that it is widely because of the potential for disrespect to counteract the effectiveness of the armed forces that it is never permitted. The fact that it is never permitted means that even during situations or routines in which there is nothing highly substantial at stake, other than the preservation of the rigidity and order that is central to the notions of discipline and respect that the armed forces are based upon, disrespect still cannot be tolerated. It is a fairly confirmed fact that people do not do what they are told to do; they do what they see others do. Any allowance of disrespect in even the most menial, meaningless of tasks or situations would simply set a precedent that would (wrongfully) encourage future/further disrespect in additional situations. Therefore, the most effective means of making sure that disrespectful actions and expressions do not infiltrate and potentially detract from the efficaciousness of performing actions or missions of an important nature, is to not allow this counterproductive practice to occur at any level, at virtually any period of time.
Moreover, there are a number of varying ways and instances in which disrespectful actions, statements, and expressions can actually take place and which may have an adverse effect upon both personnel and any ends such personnel are striving to achieve. The armed forces are reflecting the general populace in the fact that it has become more diversified at the present moment than it has ever previously been. Furthermore, this trend is expected to continue wherein the personnel found within the United States armed forces will increasingly encompass more members of different nationalities, religions, creeds, genders, and quite possibly even sexual orientations. With all of these myriad people present and actively working to further the development and the work actuated by the armed forces, any sort of gesture, remark, or typewritten note, regardless of one's intention, whether it be jovial or not, has the potential to offend someone of another belief or orientation.
As a matter of fact, the armed forces has produced fairly copious quantities of literature and taken a number of training measures to ensure that such unintentional disrespect (such as that incurred by joking, jesting, or making comments that are largely inappropriate and not directly related to the fulfillment of duty and the furtherance of the progression of the armed forces) is discouraged. To that end, several punitive responses and actions are designed to minimize, and ideally prohibit, any unintended disrespect that would merely exacerbate what is mostly a job and obligation to work that is already difficult enough. The challenge of bringing in people from a number of disparate backgrounds, each with differences inherent to their particular culture or viewpoint of life presents a significant amount is a substantial one. The only way in which an institution can effectively hone these different perspectives into a unified format so that they can be used as an advantage, and not a disadvantage, is by rendering an environment that is decidedly neutral and non-partisan, and highly conducive to the fulfillment of duty. Any form of disrespect would merely undermine this process, and run the armed forces the risk of dissolving into a random collection of individual tools, instead of gelling as a collective unit that moves in a synonymous manner fulfill varying aspects of its duty.
Again, the chain of command that the military revolves around plays a vital role in the facilitation of a an organized structure that largely provides the degree of cohesion required to be an effective institution. There are superiors and subordinates, and the subordinates must regard their superiors with respect in order for such a chain of command to be effective and to preserve the unity that this collective is based upon. In many ways, disrespect is actually a precursor to insubordination, which would simply cause havoc with the armed forces, or for any other organization, for that matter. Were subordinates permitted to demonstrate expressions of disrespect to their superiors, and not be suitably punished or even expelled from the service for such violations of one of the military's most important tenets, there is a very real possibility that such subordinates could attempt to undermine individual segments or missions of the army. When one pauses to give due consideration to the amount of gravity of some of the engagements of the U.S. armed forces, such as the war in Iraq, the war on terror, or any other sort of covert operation that is, very literally, a manner of life and death, the possibility of insubordination becomes a risk that may yield the most dire, and deadly, of ramifications. Fortunately, there is a fairly simple remedy to this possibility, which is to abort its likelihood of happening by disallowing any manner of disrespect to exist within the army. Curtailing disrespectful behavior and language is a sure way of significantly reducing the risk of insubordination, and the mutiny that may result from it.
Furthermore, it should be noted that the very nature of the structure of the military is designed to prohibit disrespect. Some may even maintain that this organization makes many attempts to even reduce outward manifestations of individuality -- for the very fact that such manifestations may either lead to one's desire to disrespect another or provide a reason for others to potentially disrespect that person. Therefore, several facets of the armed services have been purposefully constructed to reduce individuality, which minimizes reasons for people to become envious of and disrespectful towards one another. The one quality that is endemic to virtually all of these facets is an unqualified uniformity, that rears itself is speech, dress, and in actions. Consider the language that typifies most of the verbal interactions between personnel within the armed forces. There is a uniformity to this language that reinforces the notions of respect which this organization largely relies upon. For instance, subordinates are required to address…