A Code of Ethics for Air Force Officers
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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The US Air Force Personnel Plan lists the establishment of a code of ethics to enhance the image of career officers as one of its objectives. Three basic questions are considered is a published code required what should be the essential elements of the code and, what would the publication of a code be expected to accomplish. Current official publications were examined for ethical guidance for Air Force officers. Congressional testimony of officers involved in the unauthorized bombing of North Vietnam in 1972 was reviewed for ethical conduct and attitudes. Traditional elements of the American officers military ethic were assembled from a variety of official and unofficial, but generally accepted as authoritative, publications. Past and current attitudinal surveys were examined for trends in the perception of the public and the military of the prestige of the officer corps. The following conclusions were reached Written ethical guidance is incomplete and unwritten codes are inadequate, resulting in uncertainty of standards among the officer corps a written code would remove the uncertainty the essential elements of the code should be the traditional one, but added emphasis should be placed on first allegiance to the Constitution an established code, if enforced, may be expected to improve internal and external prestige, but more importantly, promote higher standards of professional conduct among Air Force officers. It is recommended that a code of ethics by published, and a sample code is proposed.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations