The Obligations of Military Professionalism: Service Unsullied
Partisanship - Military Values, Public and Private Conduct, Disagreement with Authority, Retired Officers, Implications for Education by Progressive Management
|About the Book|
Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this book expresses a set of views on the ethical obligations of members of the American profession of arms in order to stimulate thoughtful discussion and broader debateMoreProfessionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this book expresses a set of views on the ethical obligations of members of the American profession of arms in order to stimulate thoughtful discussion and broader debate about the proper limits of acceptable and effective professional conduct. These views are focused for most part on the obligations of commissioned officers, but they apply in many ways to the public and private conduct of senior non-commissioned officers, and indeed, all military members. They depend to a large degree on a particular understanding of the governing compact of this country and the behavior American citizens expect of their uniformed servants.As in any serious, thoughtful discussion between professionals, there will be aspects of these views that will not receive universal assent. Some positions will be challenged by other equally strong and honest views, grounded on other principles, other readings of the Constitution, and other understandings of the boundaries of the profession of arms. As a profession, we should have that discussion.Beyond the universal agreement that the members of the Armed Forces must be bound by their Constitutional oaths, the provisions of their appointments in the case of officers, their enlistment contract in the case of the enlisted force, the statutes of the Congress and the regulations of the services, there can be areas of honest difference in application. There are times when the limits of discipline seem to conflict with the transitory demands of immediate importance, or when the requirements of individual roles or identities appear to be opposed. At times, private values can conflict with public policy. One must decide which will give way before the other. These choices are not cost free and should be considered before they occur.This paper should be read as an aspirational statement, one of the ambitions of which is that these views be examined carefully, considered seriously, and debated thoughtfully. Where there are differences of opinion, the ground between them should be clarified and explored so the terms of the disagreement are better understood. The hope is that such an active discourse among members of the American military profession will lead to a better understanding of the nature and boundaries of military professionalism in the twenty-first century.The paper, then, has three parts. The first will offer conclusions about professional values to which most can subscribe. The second will offer some judgments on application of the principles offered, based on these values and, the third, on where and how to draw lines between acceptable and unacceptable conduct, both public and private. Linking professional values, judgments and conduct may help both active and retired members of an important profession to exercise self-discipline based on reflection and thus to regulate individual conduct so as to best serve the needs of the nation and her armed forces. All this comes down to respect for a standard of collective and individual service to the nation that is faithful to the principles of the governing compact and unsullied by inappropriate partisanship.