Tag Archives: ethics

Former Army Secretary Eric Fanning Wrong on Character

Former Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning — known most widely as the “first openly homosexual” Service Secretary — took to Time.com last Friday to support the effort to allow transgenders to serve in the US military.

In so doing, he promoted a common canard — that the US military must accept everyone, regardless of sexual proclivities or behavior — because, well, America:

I know first-hand the need for our military to attract the best talent, regardless of their race, national origin, gender identity or sexual orientation…

Our Read more

USAFA Supe Highlights Character, Religion in Recruitment Message

In a widely distributed op-ed style piece, US Air Force Academy Superintendent LtGen Michelle Johnson answered the question “Why you should consider attending a service academy,” though by “service academy” she meant USAFA. The Supe highlighted leadership, followership, sports — and also the culture of character:

At the Academy, character is paramount – while they’re evaluating our Academy we’re evaluating them to determine if they have the honor and fortitude it takes to succeed at the Academy and serve in our Air Force…

Our four-year curriculum and emphasis on character development is interwoven in all aspects of cadet life to create an atmosphere of trust and accountability amongst cadets and staff…

Our emphasis on impeccable character is why it becomes “news” when an extremely small minority of our cadets does not meet our high standards. We hold ourselves to a higher standard.

(Despite using similar language about character, LtGen Johnson’s column did not include a disclaimer as BGen McGregor’s did.)

Character is, of course, extremely important, but simply saying “impeccable Read more

Vince Vaughn Comments on Pirated Movies at Edwards AFB

Actor Vince Vaughn recently visited Edwards Air Force Base, California, to show an advanced screening of “Unfinished Business.” The visit was coordinated through the USO, with which Vaughn became associated after Pat Tillman’s death in Afghanistan:

The death of the pro-football-player-turned-soldier really affected him, he said, and he immediately called the USO to see if he could bring his then-new comedy, “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” to the troops.

The call led to his first USO tour, in June 2004. The following year, he traveled the world screening “Wedding Crashers” for servicemembers.

In an offhand comment, Vaughn “laughed as he told airmen” that he was surprised to find many deployed troops had already Read more

The USAFA Paradox: Teaching Ethics without Morality

The US Air Force Academy published an article featuring cadets attending a seminar on “ethical dilemmas.”

Eight special operations captains from Kirtland and Cannon Air Force Bases, Academy active-duty Airmen and Air Force retirees shared ethical dilemmas that have occurred in their personal and professional lives with about 70 cadets, to engage in reflective conversation, focus on character and leadership, identify pressure that make ethical action challenging and how to improve them.

While the class was certainly long-scheduled, the timing of the public affairs piece is probably not coincidental, given the recent focus on ethics — more accurately, ethical failures — in the US military.

The cadets were introduced to the USAFA Center for Character Development’s ARDA model for decision-making: Awareness, Reasoning, Decision and Action. They then rotated through tables where they interacted with active duty officers who spoke to them about ethical dilemmas they had experienced.

The program certainly gained much credibility in Read more

Bill Nye, Ken Ham Debate Meets Military Cheating Scandals

There’s a fascinating philosophical connection between the debate of Bill Nye and Ken Ham over creationism on the one hand, and reports the US Department of Defense is becoming increasingly “troubled” over troops’ ethical problems on the other.

First, Dr. Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, attended the Nye/Ham debate (viewable on YouTube) and made an interesting assessment. The debate wasn’t, in the end, over facts. It was over worldview — and Bill Nye’s faith that “human reason” was an ultimate solution [emphasis added]:

Bill Nye repeatedly cited the reasonable man in making his arguments. He is a firm believer in autonomous human reason and the ability of the human intellect to solve the great problems of existence without any need of divine revelation…He sees himself as the quintessential “reasonable man,” and he repeatedly dismissed Christian Read more

President on Sexual Assault: Explore Every Good Idea

President Obama has explicitly told US military leaders to “leave no stone unturned” in their efforts to fight the “national security threat” of sexual assault in the ranks:

Obama said he is pleased that Hagel and Dempsey are looking at proposals on Capitol Hill and elsewhere to address the problem. “What I’ve said to them is I want to leave no stone unturned and I want us to explore every good idea that’s out there,” he said.

What do you think the chances are that the US military will consider the “good idea” that religious faith plays a substantial role in supporting moral conduct?  That’s not Read more

Petraeus Scandal Inspires Emphasis on Ethics, Morality

After a couple of years of being told the US military has no business levying its morality on its troops — or dictating the conduct of their private lives — the Secretary of Defense recently told the Pentagon to figure out why American troops aren’t staying morally in line — even in their private lives.  Said Secretary Leon Panetta:

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has ordered the Pentagon’s top brass to figure out how to keep their officers ethically in line…

“Beyond mere compliance with the rules, I also expect Read more

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