The US Air Force Academy recently hosted its annual Falcon Heritage Forum, focusing on “moral courage in the midst of difficult decisions in the active-duty Air Force.”
“It is was a great opportunity for cadets to interact with young company grade officers who aren’t much further ahead of them and where cadets could get a perspective on what these officers deal with on a day to day basis,” said Cadet 1st Class Nicholas Espinoza, Cadet Wing character officer.
“Having the courage to make hard decisions is Read more
On September 15th, former US Marine Sergeant Dakota Meyer was presented the Medal of Honor for his actions in a pitched battle in Afghanistan.
There has been a frequently mentioned, though just as frequently passed over, detail to Meyer’s story (emphasis added):
Former Marine Corps Cpl. Dakota Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor…for disregarding orders in Afghanistan. 
President Obama…bestowed the nation’s highest military honor on Dakota Meyer, a young and humble Marine who defied orders… 
Defying orders, Meyer drove into a firestorm Read more
After the recent articles on moral courage, Chaplain (LT) Paul Hyder writes on the “need for moral leadership.” Highlighting Abu Ghraib and the recent allegations of a US Army ‘hit squad,’ Hyder makes what seems to be an obvious recommendation:
When we, as a nation entrust men and women with the authority to use deadly force, they MUST be morally grounded and ethically above reproach. (emphasis original)
It is vital that our military leaders at every level (NCOs, SNCOs and officers alike) be rooted and grounded in moral leadership principles. When this is not the case and the moral compass is not calibrated, the slippery slope of immoral behavior can easily erode from ‘‘cutting a few corners” to cold blooded murder.
The question, of course, is how does the military “teach” morality? How does Read more
General Darryl W. Burke, commander of the 82nd Training Wing, pens an interesting commentary on the official Air Force site. He asks a simple question: “Do you have moral courage?”
While academically interesting, it’s noteworthy that the General never really defines moral courage. He simply seems to assume there are two kinds of courage: physical and non-physical (moral).
Moral courage is more than just “mental courage,” however. It is not merely the courage to stand up for the correct answer; it is the courage to stand up for what is right.
Moral courage has been mentioned by military leadership before.
Not long after talking about the discharge of the cheating Marines, Stars and Stripes noted that two Navy Chiefs are being “forced to retire” after helping a Sailor cheat on a military advancement exam.
During a rare court-martial at sea, chief petty officers Reynaldo M. Bernardo and Ferdinand P. Quinto were found guilty May 24 of failing to obey a lawful order, said the aircraft carrier’s spokesman, LtCmdr Bill Urban…
It appears the cheating, which occurred on the USS George Washington, was fairly obvious:
During the exam, Bernardo and Quinto moved a sailor to a different table and then instructed the sailor to cheat off another sailor’s test, Read more