Since leadership is considered such a sacred trust in the military, moral violations by the leader are an egregious transgression.  Part of the reason for the magnitude of this transgression is because the military is such a quintessentially moral organization.  Another reason why it is such a tremendous moral violation is that the men and women of the military belong to the service so completely.  When they take the military oath at enlistment or upon receiving their commission, they then belong to the military24 hours a day, seven days a week until legally released from their service at the end of their contract enlistment, until released from service upon retirement at their request (which can be denied by the military authorities), until released in a limited set of circumstances at the soldier’s request if there is a documented hardship that interferes with their military service (which also can be denied but usually is not), or until dismissed from the service under disciplinary circumstances with an administrative discharge or court martial order that may be honorable, dishonorable, or other than honorable. 

Until they are released from the military, troops of all services are under compulsory service at all hours of the day. Even when they are off duty, their behavior must represent the service  in an exemplary manner.  Misdeeds during their off-duty hours can be punished under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), the Congressionally ratified law governing all legal aspects of military service, primarily the conduct of trials and non-judicial punishment for soldier misconduct.  While the UCMJ covers just about any behavior you can imagine, there are also catch-all articles that address “conduct unbecoming” in which the service-member can be punished for almost any behavior that is considered as bringing discredit upon the military service he or she is serving under. Since the troops belong to the services so completely, fair and just treatment by their leaders is a monumentally moral issue.  Thus, violations by the leader under these conditions is magnified greatly in significance.

Another related reason why leadership failures or misdeeds are such an egregious moral violation is because, under the conditions mentioned above, troops sacrifice so much and work so hard for the military.  There’s an implied contract between troops and their leaders which makes the tremendous sacrifices, the hard duty, and the discomfort bearable.  Troops bear up under these difficult conditions willingly because they expect that, when the chips fall, when it is really critical, their leaders will do the right thing and will take care of them.  In the eyes of the troops, leadership is a sacred trust that is completely and selflessly committed to the welfare of subordinates.  At least, that is what they expect and believe.  However, when they sacrifice so much and reach the point that they need their leader’s support during a time of hardship or when they look to their leader for courageous, clear, and morally unambiguous decisions and actions in the chaos of combat, if their leaders fail them, it is like a knife to the heart, a gut shot, that can take all their courage away in an instant, leaving them confused and shocked.  It is such failures in a crucial time that can morally wound a soldier so deeply, causing the shattering of their worldview and bringing on the grief and pain of PTSD.  It was this tremendous moral violation by leaders and the resulting mental and emotional wounds that Dr. Shay discovered was at the root of his patients’ greatest pain, shock, and bewilderment. 


I pray that you will be filled with His peace that passes all understanding, with His limitless power, and with His overflowing Joy.  I pray that you will be a useful instrument in the hands of the Master, exemplifying His love wherever you live and wherever you may encounter people throughout your week.

 


Comments

06/06/2016 8:51am

The violation of the bad and all rules of the sanctity. It is the imported and exported. It is the bad and violation of the set rules and all laws. It is the amended and rightly organized.

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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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