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We propose the following description of the Army Ethic and its guiding moral principles:
The Army Ethic—The Heart of the Army
The Army Ethic defines the moral principles that guide us in the conduct of our missions, performance of duty, and all aspects of life. Our ethic is reflected in law, Army Values, creeds, oaths, ethos, and shared beliefs embedded within Army culture. It inspires and motivates all of us to make right decisions and to take right actions at all times.
The Army Ethic is the heart of our shared professional identity, our sense of who we are, our purpose in life, and why and how we serve the American people. To violate the Army Ethic is to break our sacred bond of trust with each other and with those whom we serve. Failure to live by and uphold the Army Ethic brings dishonor on us all and may have strategic implications for the mission.
Army Professionals fulfill distinctive roles as honorable servants, military experts, and stewards of our profession. By our solemn oath, we voluntarily incur an extraordinary moral obligation inherent in the identity to which we aspire:
Trustworthy Army Professionals
Honorable Servants of the Nation – Professionals of Character:
By oath, we support and defend the Constitution, subordinate to civilian authority, and obey the laws of the Nation and the orders of those appointed over us; we reject and report illegal or immoral orders or actions.
We take pride in honorably serving the Nation with integrity and demonstrating character in all aspects of our lives.
We recognize the intrinsic dignity and worth of all people, treating them with respect and compassion.
We demonstrate courage by setting the example for right conduct despite risk, uncertainty, and fear; and we candidly express our professional judgment to subordinates, peers, and superiors.
Military Experts – Competent Professionals:
We commit ourselves to do our duty, with discipline and to standard, putting the needs of others above our own, and accomplish the mission as a team.
We understand the mission may justly require taking the lives of others while courageously placing our own lives at risk.
We continuously advance our expertise in the knowledge, skills, and abilities of our chosen profession, seeking the truth, and striving for excellence through life-long learning and professional development.
Stewards of the Army Profession – Committed Professionals:
We uphold the standards of the profession and adhere to its values; we lead by example and hold ourselves and others accountable for decisions and actions.
We apply discipline in our use of the resources entrusted to us by the American people; we ensure our Army is well-equipped, well-trained, and well-led; and we care for and develop Soldiers, Army Civilians, and Families.
We develop and sustain Esprit de Corps and persevere, adapt, and overcome adversity, challenges, and setbacks.
Failure to publish and promulgate the Army Ethic in doctrine continues an omission, which compromises the development and conduct of our future force.
Therefore, to motivate, inspire, and inform the development of Army Professionals in Character, Competence, and Commitment we must articulate and promulgate the Army Ethic.
The Center for the Army Profession and Ethic, as the Army modernization proponent (AR 5-22) for the Army Profession, Army Ethic, and Character Development, will lead a cooperative effort to articulate and publish the Army Ethic, no later than 14 Jun 2015, the Army’s 240th Anniversary.