Air University Press
/ Published April 09, 2018
In the wake of ethical scandals of senior military leaders, the author evaluates current ethics education curricula at US war colleges, highlighting existing strengths and providing recommendations for potential improvements.
A series of high-profile ethical lapses by senior military professionals has generated calls from levels as high as the commander in chief for a renewed
emphasis on military ethics. Leaders engaged in professional military education across the joint force have worked to ensure their programs support this call.
This Maxwell Paper 73 by Army Lt. Col. Beth A. Behn explores and assesses the ethics education programs at the services’ senior leader colleges (war colleges) based on three fundamental questions: (1) What are the desired outcomes of ethics education? (2) How should the curriculum be structured to achieve those outcomes? (3) What is the correct faculty composition to develop and employ that curriculum?
Analysis reveals that existing ethics education programs at the war colleges compare favorably to the model program structure based on the answers to these questions. However, leaders at these institutions could further strengthen their programs by creating and empowering an “ethics team” that includes trained ethicists and military practitioners and by conducting more robust faculty development programs for non-ethicists.
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