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\”Faithfulness\” – Word of the Week

Definition of the word of the week (FAITHFULNESS): Adhering firmly and devotedly, as to a person, cause, or idea; loyal.

A Message to Garcia was written by Elbert Hubbard and describes events leading up to the Spanish-American War. One can read this popular story by accessing the Georgia Military College Character Development website.

Lieutenant Rowan offered a prime example of a man loyal to a trust. President McKinley needed to have someone make contact with the Cuban rebel commander, General Garcia, so that the Cubans and the Americans could coordinate their efforts in fighting the Spanish. Although a courier sneaking through enemy lines involved great risk, Lieutenant Rowan readily accepted the challenge. It is worth noting what he did not say when he accepted the task. He did not say: “What’s in it for me?” “Where is Garcia?” “How do I get there?” “What about compensatory time?” “This isn’t in my job description!”

He was loyal to a trust and risked his life and his reputation for his country. He was less concerned with who got the credit than he was with getting the job done. He simply gave his word that he would take care of it, and then he never looked back.

I remember when I was at the School of Advanced Military Studies, we were studying the operational level of war. This is the critical level between the tactical field level and the strategic national level. We were fortunate to have General Richard Cavazos visit our class. He was a four-star general and commanded U.S. Forces Command before he retired. In my eyes, he epitomized the Warrior-Leader ethos. He challenged us to describe in one word what virtue we would most like to have in a subordinate. His Aristotlean line of questioning led us to the inevitable conclusion—faithfulness. It is important that we can trust our subordinates to accomplish whatever task is assigned and be absolutely certain that the subordinate will be steadfast in accomplishing the task. Such loyal trust will keep America’s Army the best in the world.

When we look back on our lives, I do not believe a greater compliment could be said about us than that we were faithful to a trust.

The following quotations are intended to assist in explaining and exemplifying the word of the week:

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. Buddha

Faithfulness and sincerity are the highest things. Confucius

Nothing is more noble, nothing more venerable than fidelity. Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellences and endowments of the human mind. Marcus Cicero

By faithfulness we are collected and wound up into unity within ourselves, whereas we had been scattered abroad in multiplicity. St. Augustine

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Bible

Unfaithfulness in keeping of an appointment is an act of clear dishonesty. You may as well borrow a person’s money as his time. Horace Mann

LTC Patrick Beer, the Dean of Students and Commandant of Cadets at Georgia Military College, prepares this study guide each week as part of the institution’s character education program. He welcomes comments and suggestions from readers. He can be contacted by phone, 478-445-2710 or by email, pbeer@gmc.cc.ga.us