Accountability is important in many different ways. It is important to keep track of and not misplace personnel, gear, personal items, PII, documents, etc. Once you’ve lost something important it can lead and show complacency, lack of work ethic, and lack of trust from your leadership. Misplacing gear to most people is an easy replacement. Either way somehow, it’s replaced like it was never lost. Most of not all Marines are guilty of this. You should still look at missing gear as a big deal even when you can conveniently replace the item(s).
You should figure out how you can do a better job next time of remembering the item(s) and to prevent yourself from repeating history. Keeping track of your fellow Marines is important.
Personnel accountability is a huge deal because one Marine out of the fight creates friction not only in the squad, platoon, company, battalion, etc, but in the Marine Corps itself.
We’re told multiple times “If you all leave you all come back” and that itself is significant enough to not leave your friends in bad positions or by themselves, out in town. It also goes for the rest of the time your training and on the clock. So both on and off work, keeping your fellow Marines accountable is highly important, and one of the most frustrating things a Marine can run into.
Ensuring your personal items are on your person or in a safe location is a great way to keep track of it.
Such as double checking for your wallet or keys may save you a lot of trouble. It really is the little things that matter in keeping your personal items safe.
PII may be the one thing civilians never get the hang of. Checking their mail and tossing it without making sure there isn’t any personal information is overlooked and simply forgotten. As Marines we’ve all learned keeping our mail, access requests, specific contact info, range cards, and sheets that include our SSN or EDIPI’s shredded or locked away. People all over the world use our information daily to build plans against us or simply steal our identities. PII can also be listed as a personal item but overall, it’s safe to just keep everything accounted for or destroyed once it is no longer in use.
Although we’re human and we slip from time to time, complacency kills. Becoming complacent at the wrong time can make everything change in the blink of an eye. Working with something as small as forgetting to do a simple task can lead you to forget the bigger tasks in life that matter not only to you, but to the Marines and people around you. Showing complacency shows that you don’t care and you’re in another world. Showing complacency not only sets you up for failure but the Marines and people that look up to you as well.
Work ethic shows your performance as a whole. If you’re constantly losing, misplacing, or forgetting something, you’re doing nothing but setting yourself up for failure. You’re not only making yourself look bad, but the Marines that trusted you now reflect your mistakes.
When your leadership shows that they do not trust you to carry out the smallest things, it puts a lot of stress on them and every step you take. If you just “Can’t seem to get it right” you may have to be micromanaged in everything you do. Once you’ve reached that you’ve shown your leadership you can no longer walk, talk, or eat by yourself. You now have their attention because you can not be trusted. So keeping up with your items on a daily basis and not misplacing them every time you turn around, is a good way to keep yourself ready for more tasks and a great way to show your leadership that you can in fact be trusted.
In conclusion I personally have to say that putting words into action is the most important lesson. Telling someone you understand the issue and fixing the issue go hand in hand. So doing your absolute best to keep yourself, your items, other Marines, etc accounted for, is not only important but a very responsible way to live.