• Military Thought
  • 2002-03-01MTH-No. 002
  • Size: 12.6 Kbytes .
  • Pages:118-122.
  • Words: 1987

What Is the Essence of Military Discipline?

Author: I. N. VOLKOV

I.N. VOLKOV Candidate of Philosophy

Military discipline is a special form of military relations. Its specifics lie in coordinating the conduct and actions of military personnel and in serving to establish such relations as are required for successful joint activity. The conduct of servicemen is regulated by special rules and standards of behavior set forth in laws, military regulations and orders of commanders (superiors) and reflecting the specific features of the military organization and the state's requirements on the behavior of military personnel. That is why one cannot agree with the view that "bullying and harassment" or some other kind of closed group behavior is also discipline, but discipline with a negative, dangerous and harmful purpose. This error stems from a lack of understanding that military discipline is compliance by servicemen not with any kind of rules and standards of behavior whatsoever, but only with those whose observance ensures such a condition of the Armed Forces as is necessary for the state.

Nor can one agree with those who regard military discipline as a system of rules and standards governing servicemen's behavior. Such a reading of military discipline misrepresents its essence and leads to the erroneous conclusion that a tightening of military discipline constitutes the development of such a set of rules and standards of servicemen's behavior as would in itself ensure the necessary order in the Armed Forces. In actual fact, it is only compliance with the rules and standards of behavior set forth in laws, military regulations and commander's orders that makes it possible to keep servicemen's behavior within certain limits, to coordinate and channel it along the necessary lines, and to ensure concerted action.

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