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The Army Ethic White Paper July 2014 - Discussion part 5
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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

The origins and foundation for the Army Ethic include a philosophical heritage, based upon the writings of prominent Greeks and Romans; a theological heritage, based largely upon Judeo-Christian writings and teachings; and a cultural and historical heritage -- for example, our tradition of the Citizen-Soldier and the All-Volunteer Army. These foundations are enshrined in the Preamble to the Constitution and our Bill of Rights. They are also reflected in US Code (e.g., Titles 5, 10, 32; Uniform Code of Military Justice; treaties; status of forces agreements; and the Law of Armed Conflict). They are further expressed in our oaths and creeds.

“It all begins with the oath of office. The ‘profession and ethic’…are inseparable. The oath clearly brings this out. Military professionals incur moral responsibilities, including adherence to treaties governing the ethical application of landpower and respecting the rights of persons. When we take this oath, we are making a…commitment to abide by the values and interests of the American people. We are pledging ourselves to the ethical foundation of our profession and that of the Nation.”39 —LTG Robert L. Caslen, Jr., Superintendent, US Military Academy

Beyond the law, these ethical and moral principles are expressed in the Declaration of Independence, Western Just War Tradition, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, universal norms (e.g., Golden Rule), Army Values, Creeds, and Mottos.

The Army Ethic must have a pervasive influence throughout the Army Profession. This includes the Essential Characteristics, operations (e.g., Mission Command), the institution (e.g., Education and Training), and Army Culture. It motivates and inspires shared professional identity and an appreciation for the complementary roles of each cohort. When doctrinally captured, it serves as the foundation for the concept and strategy for Character Development and provides ethical standards for certification in Character.

Living the Army Ethic is a commitment and an expectation. Specifically, the Army Ethic informs, motivates, and inspires Army Professionals to:

  • Seek to discover the truth, decide what is right (ethical, effective, efficient), and demonstrate the Character, Competence, and Commitment to act accordingly.

  • Contribute Honorable Service in the conduct of the mission, performance of Duty, and all aspects of life.

  • Stand Strong as Stewards of the Army Profession to uphold the Army Ethic -- prevent misconduct and do what is right to stop unethical practices.

The Army Ethic guides the conduct of Army operations as described in Army Doctrine, and applies equally to all environments. In the conduct of our mission, the Army Ethic supports Unified Land Operations (ADP 3-0), through its contribution to the professional development of all Army leaders in the ethical design, generation, support, and application of landpower.40

Last Updated on Friday, 14 November 2014 12:35