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Ethics In The Military 1


Ethics In The Military

Allen Addison

University Affiliation
Ethics In The Military 2

Ethics in the Military

Part One

The suggestions of the authors considered potential solutions to the growing ethical

dilemmas in the military. For instance, Doty and Sowden (2009) suggested a more holistic

approach in training military students by adding more focus on their character development since

more attention are being given on skills and knowledge for a typical or traditional military

education and training programs. The authors suggestions were not that that revolutionary or

radical as how Doty and Sowden (2009) presented them to be. Incorporating more training and

character development in military trainings and putting men out in the field more to gain a

plethora of experiences in order to hone their decision-making skills especially on the moral or

ethical side, is just a practical approach in addressing the dilemma. Perhaps it is just not in the

military education and military training and development that needed to participate in order to

address the ethical dilemmas in the military. Those in authority, security institutions and those in

the monitoring and control of military and security organizations must undergo assessments with

regards to their morals and ethical values. And from there, loopholes of how security

organizations are run will surface; thereby suggesting that these sectors needed to be worked out

as they contribute to the ethical dilemmas in the military as well. Of course, the

recommendations of the authors are essential and be taken note of. It would be a success if more

training is being introduced in the curriculum of military education. More experiences on the

field would provide military students with the necessary skills and capabilities that would enable

them to act quickly and behave appropriately in times of trouble and when something goes

wrong. The success of incorporating this aspect in military education can be evaluated, for

instance, in terms of how military students improve morally and ethically.

On the other hand, the Islamic Law provides a very comprehensive approach on the
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treatment of the prisoners of war (Murphy and El Zeidy, 2009). Coupled with the principles

contained in the Geneva Convention, prisoners of war (POW) are to be treated humanely at all

times. Such law is self-explanatory; however, parameters are still needed to be clearly defined in

order to provide a concrete understanding and comprehension in the application of the Islamic

Law and international laws and principles for the protection and human rights of POW. However,

there are differences between the international law and the Islamic Law, of which the military are

to be mostly familiar with as many deployments involve assignments in Islamic regions. Perhaps

not all military knew or have been oriented about the Islamic Law before their deployment.

Part Two

In basic training, ethics were not taught or were not the focus, which is a disappointing

matter. Skills and knowledge are the main focuses on basic training, which is understandable and

crucial. But the lack of ethics in basic training does not apparently provide a holistic military

program. The study conducted by Williams (2010) presents to be reliable as there are scientific

basis as to how the study was conducted and how the data were analyzed and results interpreted.

The results of the study based on focused group discussions reveal that close dealings with drill

sergeants have significant impact on the development of moral behavior (Williams, 2010).

Therefore, leader roles have major roles in carrying out to their respective platoon and

subordinates moral and ethical skills and behavior. As such, this line of command must also be

properly and well-trained in the aspects of morals and ethics and must have ample field

experiences for them to impart their learning to military students so that they may order to act

morally and ethical in combat and non-combat situations. Of course, assessments and re-

assessments of platoon leaders and commanders are to be conducted to know how well they lead

and how they behave and act morally and ethically in situations as well.
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Doty, J., & Sowden, W. (2009). Competency vs. character? it must be both!. Military Review,

89(6), 69-76.

Murphy, R., & El Zeidy, M. M. (2009). Prisoners of war: a comparative study of the principles

of international humanitarian law and the islamic law of war. International Criminal Law

Review, 9(4), 623-649.

Williams, K. R. (2010). An assessment of moral and character education in initial entry training

(iet). Journal of Military Ethics, 9(1), 41-56.