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The imperative of the Army Ethic is not new. Its influence on the conduct of our mission and the performance of Duty is evident in the guidance of General Washington and Congress to the Continental Army. “In 1776, American leaders believed that it was not enough to win the war. They also had to win in a way that was consistent with the values of their society and the principles of their cause….It happened in a way that was different from the ordinary course of wars in general. In Congress and the Army, American leaders resolved that the War of Independence would be conducted with a respect for human rights, even for the enemy.”9 Decades later, the Commander in Chief, President Lincoln, promulgated General Order No. 100 (1863) Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, based upon the Lieber Code, to guide the ethical conduct of the Union Army in the Civil War.10 Even later, as the American Army entered World War I, General John J. Pershing found it necessary to publish guidance concerning the conduct of his Officers and Soldiers.11
In 1998, then Chief of Staff of the Army General Dennis J. Reimer directed that FM 22-100, Army Leadership include the essential nature of Army Values in guiding the decisions and actions of Army Professionals.
Values are at the core of everything our Army is and does. Army Values form the foundation of character. ... These values tell us what we need to be in every action we take. They are non-negotiable and apply to everyone all the time in every situation.16 —General Dennis J. Reimer, 33rd Chief of Staff of the Army
This sentiment endures. As affirmed in The United States Army Operating Concept, the Army Values serve as our guide about our covenant with the American people.17 The principle underlying this observation is emphasized in doctrine. “The Nation’s and the profession’s values are not negotiable. Violations are not just mistakes; they are failures in meeting the fundamental standards of the [Army Profession].”18 In this light, “American values affect every aspect of how U.S. forces fight and win.”19
|Last Updated on Friday, 14 November 2014 12:35|