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The Army Ethic White Paper July 2014 - Discussion part 4
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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 the Army Civilian White Paper (2012), the authors noted that all Army leaders must be the living embodiment of the Army Ethic. The Army Ethic enables Trust externally with the American people and internally within the ranks. They affirmed that Army Civilians, “…share the same Army Values, profess and embody the same Army Ethic, and maintain the same mission-focus.” 35 Thus, all Army education for Soldiers and Army Civilians requires an articulated Army Ethic in order to support a holistic concept and strategy for Character Development.

Recognizing this decades long omission in doctrine and strategy, Lieutenant Colonel Brian Imiola and Major Danny Cazier, of the US Military Academy, Department of English and Philosophy, recommended in their Military Review article that we get “on the road” and articulate our Army Ethic. Their position, echoing the point previously made by Major Ewing, is that the Army Ethic must be expressed as enduring principles. They emphasize that these principles must be “internalized, not merely memorized.”36 In a more recent article, Lieutenant Colonel Imiola restates this view and concludes, “Up to this point the Army has failed to adequately express such an ethic.”37

Within the Army Profession, described in ADP 1/ADRP 1, the Army Ethic is integral to Military Expertise (Competence), Honorable Service (Character), Stewardship (Commitment), and Esprit de Corps (Winning Spirit and Morale); without these, Trust fails. However, with an articulated and understandable Army Ethic, we can sustain the moral-ethical ethos within our Army culture. Thus, the Army Ethic should drive Character Development and inform certification of Army Professionals.

“Reputation is what people think you are; Character is what you are.
We build Character ... in order for us to withstand the rigors of combat and resist the temptations to compromise our principles. … [We] must have the intestinal fortitude to carry out [our] Duties and to do what is right for our Soldiers and our Army.”38 —SMA Glen E. Morrell, 7th Sergeant Major of the Army

Properly expressed, the Army Ethic explains Character and how this quality is reflected in decisions and actions. The ethic informs the identity of Army Professionals (Soldiers and Army Civilians) in providing loyal and Honorable Service to the Nation. It explains why ethical conduct is the standard, why unethical practices are not tolerated, and provides motivation for upholding Army Values. The ethic also explains what is expected in ethical conduct of the mission, in the performance of Duty and in all aspects of life. Thus, it inspires Army Professionals’ dedication to continuous development in Character, Competence, and Commitment.

Our mission is to publish and promulgate the Army Ethic to inspire and strengthen our shared identity as Trustworthy Army Professionals, drive Character Development, and reinforce Trust among Soldiers, Army Civilians, Army Families, and with the American people.

The key facts informing mission accomplishment -- The Army Ethic:

  • Embraces American values embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

  • Expresses the nature of Honorable Service and the mandate to uphold Army Values.

  • Guides the ethical design, generation, support, and application of landpower.

  • Informs regulations, policies, doctrine, programs, systems, practices, and procedures.

To accomplish this mission we make two fundamental assumptions. First, the Army Ethic does exist, but must be concisely and clearly expressed so that it is accessible, commonly understood, and applicable throughout the profession. This assumption is warranted based upon the extensive literature discussing the ethic and its framework as expressed in ADRP1. Second, upon taking their Oath members of the Army Profession voluntarily relinquish some of their rights as American citizens. This includes the right to make decisions or take actions that conflict with the Army Ethic.

Last Updated on Friday, 14 November 2014 12:35