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The Army Ethic White Paper July 2014 - Discussion continued
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Article Index
The Army Ethic White Paper July 2014
Introduction & Background
The Problem and The Risk
Discussion continued
Discussion part 3
Discussion part 4
Discussion part 5
Discussion part 6
Discussion part 7
Reinforcing the Army Profession plus Summary & Solution
The Army Ethic—Heart of the Army
All Pages

In December 2010, then TRADOC Commander, General Martin E. Dempsey, distributed an Army White Paper on The Profession of Arms.20 This paper, intended to facilitate dialogue, was neither definitive nor authoritative. It served as the catalyst for the CY 11 Profession of Arms Campaign (later renamed the Army Profession Campaign). In February 2012, the Army Civilian Corps released its own White Paper recognizing the importance of Army Civilians as vital members of the Army Profession.21 A few months later, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dempsey issued another White Paper on America’s Military – A Profession of Arms.22 In common, all of these works cite the importance of an ethic in guiding the decisions and actions of Army Professionals. None, however, attempted to express the ethic in a manner that was complete and applicable to all Soldiers and Army Civilians.

"A code of ethics ... cannot be developed overnight by edict or official pronouncement. It is developed by years of practice and performance of Duty according to high ethical standards. It must be self-policing. Without such a code, a professional Soldier or a group soon loses its Identity [emphasis added] and effectiveness."23 —SMA Silas L. Copeland, 3rd Sergeant Major of the Army

In the past thirty years, many Army Professionals have published theses, journal articles, and reports reflecting their concerns and recommendations for improving both the expression of and commitment to living by appropriate ethical principles in the practice of our profession. 

In 1985, then Major Linda Ewing wrote that there is an objective, logical, and principled nature to the values that framed our nation; and these remain inherent within our [Army] ethic.24 Citing her work in his own thesis, then Major Martin E. Dempsey, discussed the imperative of Duty within the Army Ethic. He expressed the concern that Duty is not well defined, and therefore not well understood and applied in the conduct of the mission and in shaping the identity of Army Professionals.25

In November 1991, Dr. James T. Johnson wrote a review of Moral Issues in Military Decision Making, authored by now-retired Brigadier General Anthony E. Hartle. Dr. Johnson noted that much had been written about the concept of professional military ethics, but that these collective writings lacked sufficient commonality to define the ethic coherently and systematically. He observed that General
Hartle’s book made a substantive contribution to providing that synthesis. However, in his opinion, it did not concisely and clearly articulate the Army Ethic.26

Nineteen years later, reflecting on the importance of such an expression, the 36th Chief of Staff of the Army, General W. George Casey Jr. explained his decision to create the Army Center for the Professional Military Ethic, at West Point [now the Center for the Army Profession and Ethic (CAPE)]. General Casey charged CAPE with the mission “to create and integrate knowledge about our ethic.”27 He believed that our Army Ethic was essential to the development of leaders who make ethical decisions and “demonstrate the confidence and courage to do what is right.”28

Last Updated on Friday, 14 November 2014 12:35