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Conduct comprehensive ethical analysis of the issue identified: One single moral problem most leaders face is to report or not report a soldier who is absent from formation. This moral problem is common and occurs on a daily basis. When a soldier is absent from their appointed place of duty, leadership must inform higher command elements. However, some leaders lie for subordinates by reporting the soldier is present or en-route when a soldier’s location is unknown. In this situation the soldier’s absence is referred to as “out of ranks” and poses several issues.
Define the ethical dilemma associated with this issue.
Identify at least two ethical principles to be observed in analyzing this problem.
What alternative courses of action, including one or more that differ from the do vs. don’t options posed in the dilemma, could narrow conflicts between principles or interests, ideally allowing a win-win solution to this problem?
Evaluate each of these alternatives in turn according to the ethical principles chosen to apply to this problem. Be sure to include business or organizational interests in this task.
What do you recommend as your preferred solution?
Conclude with a brief justification for your recommendation.
Write a 4-page paper, not including cover page and reference page.
Paper should be double-spaced and in 12-point type size with a separate cover page and a separate reference page.
Cite in text and list references in APA format.
Background info: Army organizational infrastructure operates from what is deemed as key stakeholders such as its employees e.g. leaders and soldiers. Prospective civilians sign a contract, volunteering to enlist in the Army for a specified amount of time. When a civilian signs an active duty contract, he or she, signs up to train for a special skill they will perform for the duration of their time in the military. The individual attends basic combat training to learn soldier skills, technique, values and ethical principles. Once they graduate from basic training the soldier attends advanced individual training to learn their specialized skill such as a mechanic. Soldiers are given strict timelines during all training. Accountability teaches soldiers to prioritize and use teamwork to make it to formation on time. Formations are structured elements where soldiers stand side by side and in ranks in order to provide accountability and or receive instructions such as an order to complete a mission. Leaders such a platoon sergeants must account for every soldier and report the status to higher-ranking individuals. A soldier’s service or duty to their country is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and they are always accounted for. Ethical implications ensue as a result of both the soldier and leader’s actions. The absent soldier’s peers may perceive the report as a double standard when they notice inaccuracy in the leader’s accountability reports. They may refer to a memory account of a time someone else was reported “out of ranks” and did not receive special treatment. One less soldier may also derail preplanned events and could cause significant hardship for the section as well as decreased performance. Soldiers may begin to feel animosity toward team members who appear to have different standards. This would undoubtedly decrease morale within the section or unit.
According to FM6-22, Army Leadership (2006) “Moral courage is the willingness to stand firm on values, principles and convictions” (p. 4-9). In my research I’ve applied two ethical principles to solve this problem. The first principle, integrity, uses moral courage to do the right thing and be consistent in thoughts, words and actions. In the formation example, a leader with moral courage and integrity would give an accurate report stating the soldier is out of ranks. Leaders must apply integrity in order to show subordinates fairness and accuracy across the board. Without integrity, subordinates and peers will be less likely to follow or respect a leader thus creating a weak force. Accurate reports remind the soldiers they will be held to standards under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The second principle, reputation and morale, comes from a business ethics article written by Michael Josephson. Reputation and morale are detriments to business success (M. Josephson, 2010). Leaders and soldiers are employees in a unique business structure. Although structured differently, normative principles that are guides to action through the result of careful thought, still apply. Strong leaders build pride throughout the company through self-representation. Leaders should take swift action to correct negative behavior of others. As this occurs, a leader’s reputation will precede him and soldiers will be more apt to follow. This platform sets standards by creating a solid foundation for moral reasoning.
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