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U.S. Military - Term Paper Example

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U.S. Military Ethics can be defined as the standards by which one should act, and values can be termed as the core beliefs like duty, honor, and integrity. Ethical values help one in deciding what is right and what is wrong when one is faced with two options. …
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Download file to see previous pages However, on joining military, I realized that instead of the deontological point of view I possessed in ethics, the military ethics is more easily explained in the light of teleology and utilitarianism. Admittedly, before joining military and even now I love to adopt the Deontological point of view in ethics. I was of the opinion that the rightness of an action is assessed by the goodness in the action itself; not in the consequences. However, on reaching the military career, I faced a dilemma as I felt, in the first glance, that my own ethical principles would be in sharp contradiction with the basic military ethics. According to Toner (2003), military ethics is rooted in three Os: owing, ordering, and oughting. A look into the concept of owing made me at first feel that if I owe to my comrades, my chain of command, and my nation, I will have to remove integrity from my ethical repertoire. This happened because according to my notions, integrity meant being faithful to ones own convictions. So, I reached the conclusion that while totally owing to the chain of command, one will not be able to be loyal to ones own judgments. However, as I probed further into the issue, I made the realization that army life is ‘selfless service’ where there is no ‘me-ism’ or ‘egotism’. This owing in military life is the result of knowing what one is doing and why it is being done. As Sonnenberg (1985) states, in military, ones integrity lies in the fact that one recognizes ones responsibility and obligation towards ones duty by understanding ones moral indebtedness towards those who have given one life and learning. There I made the realization that integrity is also about knowing the ethical basis of ones own actions. Integrity, in military sense, means acting with honor, performing duties with impartiality, and most importantly, avoiding conflicts of interest. The second important foundation of ethics in military is ordering. Admittedly, this too created a lot of issues in the beginning as I found it contradictory to my own concept of liberty. However, later on I realized that in military, order is not directing subordinates what to do, but is the moral structuring and ethical priorities. The last point that deserves consideration is ‘oughting’. That means making one responsible for ones action. In fact, I always consider this personal responsibility as one among the most important ethical principles a person should possess. One naturally develops the doubt that when one is supposed to obey what directions come from the chain of command, how it is possible to be certain about the outcome of that action. Admittedly, for a soldier in the warfront, it is impossible to think a long time about the implications of following a direction before reaching an ethical judgment. So, it is reasonably justifiable if one claims that one cannot hold personal responsibility for ones actions in military. The best possible way to solve the confusion at this juncture is to bring forth the next important concept, that is, faith. In fact, I strongly believe in the ethical principle of faith. It is this mutual faith that keeps families, social organizations, governments, and even military together. One can say that faith in military is very vital, and in fact, a closer look will prove that just like a soldier’s faith in his nation’s and superior’s decisions, the whole nation and the superiors have faith in the soldier too. To illustrate, every military person is entrusted with a lot of arm ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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