Can I be counseled for refusing to snitch? | – Leader Development for Army Professionals

Can I be counseled for refusing to snitch?

Here's the deal. A buddy went out, got drunk, and got in a fight with an NCO. The next morning I got called in and was told to write a sworn statement on what I saw. I knew they were trying to hammer my buddy so I refused to write a statement. Then they pop me with a counseling statement--something about values and doing the right thing...what a bunch of crap. Can they really counsel me for taking the 5th?

The Army’s goal is to train Soldiers to do the right thing even when it’s painful. Your unwillingness to provide information on what you saw is unfortunate. You may see it as ratting or being a snitch, but the Army sees it as maintaining good order and discipline.

Perhaps we should look at this a little differently. You are at the local convenience store and someone sneaks up behind you, beats you up, and takes your wallet.  He walks over to his buddy and asks him, “Did you see me knock the crap out of that kid and take his wallet, Gus?” “I sure did, John.” Ten minutes later, the police show up ask you for your side of the story.  You report that Gus saw the whole thing and he even knows who your attacker is. When the police walk over to question Gus he shrugs his shoulders and refuses to bear witness.

You may not see the two as related but they are. You are held to a higher ethical standard as a Soldier. Your not some “kid on the block”, you are a Soldier with a duty and responsibility to do what is right, even when one of your buddies did something less than bright!

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posted on 03/23/2017 under Q&A
Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

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