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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.
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