ARMY LEADERSHIP DOCTRINE, PART TWO
CH (CPT) JUSTIN DUBOSE
DL C4 (H-RC) FY16 CLASS 412
August 16, 2017
I. INTRODUCTION TO “FALSE CEREMONIES”
II. CEREMONIES HIGHLIGHT DEFICIENCIES IN LEADERSHIP
i. ARMY LEADERSHIP IS TIED TO ETHICS
a. ETHICS ARE TIED TO ARMY VALUES
b. CEREMONIES ARE A VIOLATION OF ARMY LEADERSHIP, ETHICS AND ARMY VALUES
III. PREVENTION OF UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR
A. INSTILLING OF HONOR INTO TROOPS
B. IMPORTANCE OF HONOR IN UNIT LEADERSHIP
i. INTERNAL PERSONAL CHANGE PRECEDES CULTURAL CHANGE
IV. ETHICS TRAINING FOR TROOPS
A. IMPORTANCE OF THE CHAPLAIN IN ETHICS TRAINING
18 AUG 17
This paper addresses the issue of “false ceremonies” within the US Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC). As the Brigade Chaplain, these ceremonies represent a clear violation of Army doctrine regarding ethics, Army Values, and Army leadership. This behavior must be eradicated through the modeling and distilling of honor which starts at the level of unit leadership. Additionally, ethics training by the Chaplain must supplement this instilling of ethics into our troops.
CH JUSTIN DUBOSE
Recent events surrounding the US Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) have highlighted the need within the United States Army for an ethically stable and morally healthy command climate and institutional training and practices. The impetus for this focus is the practice of “false ceremonies” conducted by JPAC and recently reported on by the “Stars & Stripes”. These ceremonies, which have persisted for seven years, lead onlookers to believe that remains of veterans from World War II, Vietnam, and Korea were being ceremonially honored for their service, when, in fact, no remains were present.
These “false ceremonies” illuminate personal and institutional deficiencies in the areas of leadership and integrity. As Soldiers and officers in the United States Army, we have the benefit of approved publications which specifically address these issues of leadership and integrity. First among such publications is ADRP 6-22 which, when paralleled with current circumstances, inarguably demonstrates such ceremonies and behavior as a clear violation of Army principles. ADRP 6-22 unequivocally ties the organizational leader as the champion of an objective ethical standard which is to be maintained by those within the organization. In section 7-23, which deals with ethics and climate, we see that “a leader is the ethical standard-bearer for the organization, responsible for building an ethical climate that demands and rewards behavior consistent with the Army Values.” ADRP 6-22 not only defines what a leader is, but, more importantly, addresses the need for internalization of ethical leadership principles by the individual. In section 3-35, under the heading of “Character and Ethics”, we read that, “Soldiers and Army Civilians adhere to the Army Values because they want to live ethically and profess the values because they know what is right.” These ceremonies not only violate the Army Values of Honor and Integrity, but are an indictment against the leadership for not living ethically and doing that which is right and honorable.
The focus of the command moving forward should be both the prevention of such behavior by current and future leadership and the mitigation of such behavior through appropriate command training and practices. These two issues are intertwined as behavior modification is partially cultivated and developed through appropriate training and practices. Therefore, each issue is worthy of thought, but must be tied together in both comprehension and implementation.
The prevention of such behavior justifiably occupies the primary concern of leadership. The United States Army already has an institutional honor code in the form of the Army Values, the first of which is “Honor” itself. Soldiers of all ranks must internally develop and live out “Honor” in their personal and professional lives. Lieutenant Gabriel Bradley rightly surmises that ethical behavior will never result from an honor-less life. While the law, he suggests, is intended to curb unethical behavior, it can never inherently instill ethics into its followers. Thus, for the language expressed in ADRP 6-22 to translate into action, more is needed than simply well-written doctrine and publications. If unethical attitudes and actions are to be eradicated amongst our force, then an objective honor and ethics must be personally instilled and internalized. As Paul Robinson stated, “It is one thing to say that Soldiers will have to undergo ethics training, it is quite another to ensure that they learn the right lessons.” Learning the right thing, as Robinson expressed, is the difference in being told and trained in what is right, and living and acting, personally and professionally, in an upright, ethical manner. As Hilliard Aronovitch eloquently stated, “good Soldiers must … be good persons as well.”
As the leader is the ethical standard-bearer for the organization, this ethical training and internalization must necessarily begin at the highest leadership levels. The commander, his or her staff, and every officer in the unit must exhibit this ethical standard in words, attitudes, and actions. Chaplain (Colonel) Kenneth W. Bush, in addressing the issue of morality in leadership, speaks to the necessity of both individual change and cultural change not only being tied with leadership, but even as having precedence over good leadership. He says that, “while good leadership is critical, cultural change requires internal personal change.” If these types of attitudes and actions are to be mitigated in the present and future, it is imperative that unit leadership embody the ethics which they hope to see in their Soldiers. General Maxwell Taylor once expressed that personal conduct and morality were unimportant to him, so long as his colleagues could perform professionally. However, as Paul Robinson observed, General Taylor’s position became untenable “due to a succession of scandals which undermined public faith in the military in the years following the Second World War.” Internal personal change, as Bush stated, is the most important variable in the equation of ethical behavior, and this must begin with leadership.
This internal personal change, however, can and must of necessity be augmented and continually cultivated with appropriate training and practice. Integral to such training and practice is the role of the Chaplain. As CH (COL) Bush aptly noted, “Because of the nature of our calling commanders rightly expect us to know something about personal growth, human interaction, and organizational development.” Each of these issues – personal growth, human interaction, and organizational development – are central to the establishment and cultivating of ethics and morality through training and practice. Individual Soldiers must firstly grow personally in their ethics, which impacts their interactions with their fellow man, and each of these are key to developing ethical standards across the organization. Therefore, the role of the Chaplain is essential to the training and practice of ethics and morality within the unit.
Furthermore, Army doctrine actually places such training within the scope of the staff officer role of every Army Chaplain. Paragraph 9-10c and 9-11 in Army Regulation 165-1 says that, “the Chaplain, as the advisor to the Commander in the areas of morals and morale as affected by religion, is the principal staff officer for this command directed program. It is a staff function of the Chaplain and not used as part of a religious event.” The Chaplain, therefore, is the principal staff officer within the structure of the unit in the areas of morals. Thus, as training and practices are developed for distribution across the unit, the Chaplain must be “the principal staff officer for this command directed program”.
Human behavior has made it abundantly clear that ethics and morality are central to the welfare of the individual Soldier, the unit, and the United States Army. These “false ceremonies” are but one practice which undeniably highlight this truth. The Army Values – specifically those of “Honor” and “Integrity” – point to the fact that it must be individually and institutionally adopted and modeled at all levels. Army Doctrine speaks to the need for these values to be embodied by leaders, which not only impact their personal lives but, in fact, the entire culture in which they lead. Integral to this entire discussion in the Chaplain. The Chaplain functions, in part, as a staff officer specifically to champion these ideals and translate them into programs and training. History has proven that problems associated with a lack of ethics and morality will not simply be ignored or disappear, and, thus, the importance of the Chaplain continues to be seen and felt by all within our ranks. As go the morals and morale, so follows the attitudes and behavior.
Headquarters, Department of the Army. ADRP 6-22: Army Leadership. Washington, D.C, 2012.
LT. Gabriel Bradley, "Honor, not Law" Armed Forces Journal (March 1, 2012), http://armedforcesjournal.com/honor-not-law/
Dr. Paul Robinson, “Ethics Training and Development in the Military” Parameters (Spring 2007), http://ssi.armywarcollege.edu/pubs/parameters/Articles/07spring/robinson.htm
Hilliard Aronovitch, “Good Soldiers. A Traditional Approach” Journal of Applied Philosophy April 2001, Vol. 18, Issue 1
Chaplain (Colonel) Kenneth W. Bush, “Moral Leadership in a Post-Everything Culture”, https://ellc.learn.army.mil/bbcswebdav/pid-3409454-dt-content-rid-36487408_2/courses/805D_5-16-C23_DL_2016_412_01_A/MODULE%201%20Leadership%20%26%20Ethics/L1F%20PART%202%20Leadership/Moral%20Leadership%20in%20a%20Post-Everything%20Culture%20-%20Bush.pdf
Headquarters, Department of the Army. AR 165-1: Army Chaplain Corps Activities. Washington, D.C, 2015.
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