The Stakes Are High: Ethics Education at U.S. War Colleges
AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
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A series of high profile ethical lapses by senior military professionals has generated calls from levels as high as the Commander in Chief for a renewed emphasis on military ethics. Leaders engaged in Professional Military Education PME across the joint force have worked to ensure their programs support this call. This paper explores and assesses the ethics education programs at the Service Senior Leader Colleges War Colleges. There are the three fundamental questions facing those charged with teaching ethics to senior military officers What are the desired outcomes of ethics education How should the curriculum be structured to achieve those outcomes And, finally, what is the correct faculty composition to develop and employ that curriculum Using the answers to those questions to produce a rough framework for a model War College ethics education program, this paper then compares the current War College programs to this model form in order to determine areas of strength and weakness. This analysis reveals that the existing ethics education programs at the War Colleges compare favorably to the model program structure. However, leaders at these institutions could further strengthen their programs by creating and empowering an ethics team that includes both trained ethicists and military practitioners and by conducting more robust faculty development programs for non-ethicists.
- Administration and Management
- Sociology and Law
- Military Forces and Organizations