Are You Maintaining Your Bearing?

Are You Maintaining Your Bearing?

Reading the blog title, you may be asking yourself, “I’m not out in the woods with a compass, so what are you talking about?” I’m writing about how you carry yourself and how you present yourself to those you lead. As I continue the series on the Marine Corps leadership traits, this week’s topic is bearing.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Have you ever visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia? If not, then do an Internet search and watch the guards as they walk their post, but make sure you watch the changing of the guard.

The Tomb is guarded by U.S. Army soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Regiment, “The Old Guard” posted at Fort Meyer, Virginia.1 Their uniforms are immaculate, and every medal, badge, and patch is precisely placed. The trousers are sharply creased, and the faces of the guards are reflected on their shoes. The movement of the guards is precise and calculated.

These soldiers understand the importance of their solemn duty and mission to guard the Tomb from interlopers who would demean, disrespect, or desecrate this monument to our fallen military members.

The soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Regiment demonstrate bearing every hour and every day of the year regardless of the weather conditions.

Do You Have Bearing?

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines bearing as, “the manner in which one behaves or comports oneself: the manner in which one bears oneself.”2

What about you? Do you have bearing? How do you behave in uniform? Is your fire department uniform clean and pressed? Is your Class A uniform immaculate? When you salute at a ceremony is it a sharp military salute or is it some sloppy substitute with your fingers curled into your palms?

How you carry and present yourself to others has a direct impact on your leadership, and make no mistake, maintaining your bearing is leadership by example.

Join Tailboard Talks

You can learn more about bearing and other leadership topics at the Fire Officer Leadership Academy’s membership program, Tailboard Talks. This is a place where you can grow and flourish among like-minded individuals in a safe environment free of ridicule and free of the threat of a comment being placed in your evaluation. Click this link and join today: Officer Development – Fire Officer Leadership Academy.

1Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial | The United States Army

2Bearing Definition & Meaning – Merriam-Webster

©2023 Rick Davis. Artificial intelligence (AI) WAS NOT used to generate this content.

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