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Why Ethics Matter in the Army

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[Technical Report, Other]

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Ethics in the Army is as important as leadership is to Soldiers. Ethics is defined as a body of moral principles that set standards of behavior. These standards reflect shared values expressed in a code of ethics that members of a profession or organization agree to uphold. The principals of leadership cannot stand-alone without ethics being at the core of its foundation. In an article written by Michael P Vriesenga titled Are Military Professionals Bound by a Higher Moral Standard the following statement was made. The military, a tightly knit, intense subgroup within the larger society, requires and maintains a higher moral standard. The article correctly confirms the functional need for military professionals to behave ethically and morally within their calling. A strong argument can be made that because military life is higher pressure than civilian life, and because interactions between military personnel are more intense, military culture requires a higher moral standard to maintain its integrity. This important point is not only true within the military, but is just as important in terms of how the civilian populous views our military. According to the 2002 results of a survey by the Gallup Organization, The poll, which asked respondents to rate the honesty and ethics of 21 professions showed that Americans thought the most ethical, honest professionals working in the nation today are nurses, military officers and teachers. Given all of the negative publicity the military has endured during the Iraq war, and more specifically with what happened at Abu Ghraib prison, I am doubtful that the military would be looked upon so favorable in 2005 if the same respondents were polled. How the American people view our military impacts not only our public relations, but also our ability to maintain military personnel, as well as recruit new ones.


Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Sociology and Law

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[A, Approved For Public Release]