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How do I handle a Soldier who lies?

I have a Soldier who lied to me about an issue on two separate occasions. It is not a misunderstanding. What should I do?

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You cannot tolerate lying and you must address the situation. Before recommending punishment or implementing training, you should determine the Soldier’s motivation to lie. If you can understand this then you may be able to prevent it from happening in the future. Remind the Soldier that lying is never acceptable and that his or her level of integrity directly influences the level of success he will enjoy during his military career (by means of the NCOER). It may be appropriate to implement corrective training such as:

  • Instruct the Soldier to write an essay about integrity.
  • Instruct the Soldier to present a class about integrity to the unit.

Have the Soldier answer the question “Why it is important to maintain a culture of honesty and integrity within the unit?”

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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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