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The Army Ethic White Paper July 2014 - Discussion part 6
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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 Operations Process (ADP 5-0) and Mission Command (ADP 6-0), recognize that military operations are foremost a human undertaking. In this regard, Army Professionals comply with applicable laws, treaties, and host nation agreements. Commanders at all levels ensure their Soldiers operate in accordance with the law of war and the rules of engagement.41 Thus, conduct which violates legal and regulatory norms is unacceptable. Beyond that minimum standard, Army Professionals’ decisions and actions must also reflect the moral foundations of the Army Ethic. In doing so, Army Professionals uphold the ethical principles guiding the use of force on behalf of our Nation.42 This is a tenet of Honorable Service revealing an omission in operations doctrine. Those principles of application include “critical and creative thinking,” yet are silent on the imperative of ethical reasoning in the decision process.43

Mission Command requires an environment of mutual Trust, shared understanding, prudent risk, and disciplined initiative. “Trust is assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, and truth” of another.44 Thus, we earn Trust by upholding the Army Values and exercising ethical leadership, consistent with the Army’s leadership principles. Further, Mission Command is enabled through Stewardship, an ethical Duty of Army Professionals.45

The Foreword to ADP 6-22 Army Leadership states, “Leadership is paramount to our profession. It is integral to our institutional success today and tomorrow…..our Army requires…leaders of character.”46 It quotes General Omar Bradley, who observed, “Leadership in a democratic army means firmness, not harshness; understanding, not weakness; generosity, not selfishness; pride, not egotism.”47

This perspective resonates with the earlier guidance provided by Major General John M. Schofield regarding discipline and Soldiers of a free nation:

“The discipline which makes the Soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh or tyrannical treatment. On the contrary, such treatment is far more likely to destroy than to make an Army. It is possible to impart instruction and to give commands in such a manner and such a tone of voice to inspire in the Soldier no feeling but an intense desire to obey, while the opposite manner and tone of voice cannot fail to excite strong resentment and a desire to disobey. The one mode or the other of dealing with subordinates springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander.”48 —Major General John M. Schofield Address to the US Corps of Cadets, US Military Academy August 11, 1879

These exemplary Army leaders confirmed that Respect, an Army Value, integral within the Army Ethic, is necessary to accomplish the mission.

Leaders of Character must live by the Army Ethic, adhering to Army Values. This Commitment is inherent within their professional identity and demonstrated in the example they set for others.49 Character is required of a leader, recognized in the Leadership Requirements Model (ADP 6-22) and for professional certification (ADP 1).50

Last Updated on Friday, 14 November 2014 12:35