Working Toward a Joint Ethical Framework and Common Core Values
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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Core values have a prominent place in the leadership training and education, and character development programs of the United States Armed Forces. Without question, leadership and character development are critical to any military establishment and because of strong linkage, the U.S. military services have made core values a central theme in their leadership and character development programs. Each service has an official set of core values however, their development and implementation have been completely independent and not consistent with the spirit and perhaps the intent of joint vision. The separate sets of core values, built upon different ethical frameworks in each service, raise the question of why the U.S. Armed Forces are not working interdependently in such an important area. These separate programs and duplicated efforts also create a question of credibility. To explore this issue objectively, criteria for effective core values are established and a common ethical framework is chosen and used to study the core value programs of the Departments of the Army, Navy and Air Force. Core values of organizations outside of the U.S. military are also examined to help demonstrate their universality and importance. There are a number valid arguments why core values and associated programs should be the sole responsibility of the individual services however, there is more compelling evidence why the Department of Defense should take the lead toward the development of a joint ethical framework and core values. There is no single perfect set of core values or one ethical framework that must be adopted. A model is presented and guidelines are established that demonstrate some values and frameworks satisfy proven criteria better than others do. Additionally, a phased process for the development and linked integration of a joint ethical framework, common set of core values, and a consolidated character development program is proposed.
- Administration and Management
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics