Moral and Ethical Issues
Perhaps a famous Army General stated it best when he said whether
the soldier is a friend or foe, he is charged with the protection of the
weak and unarmed. He believed it is the very essence of a soldier's
being, what is called a sacred trust.
The third criterion is conduct in accordance with international
agreements. Once signed by representatives of our nation,
international agreements, such as The Hague and The Geneva
Conventions, have the force of law. Their violation subjects a soldier
to punishment under the UCMJ. It deals directly with such issues as
who can be attacked in battle; what weapons can be employed and in
what manner; the treatment of prisoners, internees, and civilians; and
what constitutes legitimate targets. You should always remember that
even just wars can be fought unjustly.
Section IV Procedures for Ethical Dissent
If you feel compelled to challenge an authority concerning an ethical
issue, review Step 3 of the ethical reasoning process first. Ask
yourself these practical questions:
How do Army Values apply?
How do moral principles apply?
Then, continue with the procedures for ethical dissent.
Make sure your supervisor knows that the most loyal thing you can
do is help rethink decisions that have potential for unethical, illegal,
or grossly negligent consequences.
10 May 2005