Character and Integrity

If you need to train your 0-5s and 0-6s about character and integrity, you’ve already lost that battle.

From our phavorite ‘phibian:

There is one thing I can tell you – you can’t get men and women of character and integrity by training.

I actually disagree with the good CDR here.  You can indeed train character and integrity. But he’s right that the dog and pony show the Navy is shelling out bucks for is eye-candy and in no way a serious measure to address failings in the fleet (and I’m not picking on the Navy here. ALL the services have problems).

How do you train character and integrity? It’s a matter of culture. The entire culture of a service has to prize those characteristics, and reward them. And not just lip service. Being able to recite the NCO creed, or the Navy Ethos is unimportant. Being able to live those values is critical.  Set a high standard. Make that standard clear, and clear across the board. Everyone must be held to the same standard. That’s integrity. Setting different standards for different groups is a sure road to compromising both individual and group integrity.

Hosting mandatory training such as this for mid grade officers is counterproductive. As one of the commenters at CDR Sal’s place notes, 95% of folks don’t need it, and 5% of folks won’t heed it. 

3 thoughts on “Character and Integrity”

  1. Brad,

    You make an interesting point, but my question is this, “In today’s world, where do you find these qualities in men and women?” I am a 63-year-old disabled Veteran, in a realistic view, how do our military personnel learn what is expected of them, without the necessary training? I don’t care if we are talking about an E-1 to O–10. Yes, I know we do not have any more of the O–10 rank anymore. During my life, I have had the unique honor of having coffee with 2 of them. They were Eisenhower and Bradley. At the time, I was a civilian. It appears that you expect these 2 qualities to actually be born and bred into the individual. In reality, these characteristics are actually trained into the individual. Being born into a military family does not guarantee these qualities. But equally so, not being born into a military family show a potential flaw in that individual.

    I agree with you about the concept of the need for specialized trainers in this field. Every day military life builds them into the individual, one layer upon another. –Grumpy

    1. BTW, this is me… over here… being 100% completely jealous of your meeting Ike and Brad. What an extraordinary opportunity it would be to speak with those two men!

  2. Minor correction, at the end of the 1st paragraph, it should read, “But equally so, not being born in a military family, does not show all potential flaw in that individual.” Sorry about that, Grumpy.

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