Tag Archives: Concern Grows Over Top Military Officers’ Ethics

The military mirrors society

13 Nov

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Despite the fact that those in high places are routinely outed for lapses in judgment and behavior unbecoming the office or position they have been entrusted with, many continue to feign surprise at the lapse. Really, many are feigning the surprise at the stupidity of the seemingly bright and often brilliant folk who now have to explain to those close and the public about the stupidity which brought their lives to ruin. Some how the “devil made me do it” does not quite fully explain the hubris. The hubris comes from a society and culture where ME is all that counts and there are no eternals. There is only what exists in this moment.

Thom Shanker writes in the New York Times article, Concern Grows Over Top Military Officers’ Ethics:

Along with a steady diet of books on leadership and management, the reading list at military “charm schools” that groom officers for ascending to general or admiral includes an essay, “The Bathsheba Syndrome: The Ethical Failure of Successful Leaders,” that recalls the moral failure of the Old Testament’s King David, who ordered a soldier on a mission of certain death — solely for the chance to take his wife, Bathsheba.

The not-so-subtle message: Be careful out there, and act better.

Despite the warnings, a worrisomely large number of senior officers have been investigated and even fired for poor judgment, malfeasance and sexual improprieties or sexual violence — and that is just in the last year.

Despite the warnings, a worrisomely large number of senior officers have been investigated and even fired for poor judgment, malfeasance and sexual improprieties or sexual violence — and that is just in the last year….http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/13/us/petraeuss-resignation-highlights-concern-over-military-officers-ethics.html?hp

The Petreaus Mess is simply this month’s scandal de jour. There will be others to follow.

Moi wrote in Cheating at Harvard:

Minnesota State University Mankato has an excellent newsletter article about academic dishonesty. Richard C. Schimming writes in Academic Dishonesty

A recent survey found that 1/3 of all students admitted to cheating on an examination, 1/2 admitted to cheating on a class assignment, 2/3 admitted to cheating at least once during their college career, and 2/3 have seen classmates cheat on exams or assignments. Paradoxically, 3/4 of those in that survey believe that cheating is not justified under any circumstances. Finally, 1/2 of the students surveyed believe that the faculty of their university do not try to catch cheaters….

The various reasons that students give for cheating can also be instructive in obtaining a picture of academic dishonesty. Gleaned from a variety of sources, the list of student reasons for cheating given below is meant to be illustrative rather than exhaustive:

  1. Today’s generation of student has less of an attachment to the institution so that cheating is more impersonal and seen as less painful because of this detachment.

  2. The difficult job market places a premium on a high grade point average so that any means necessary will be employed to achieve and maintain good grades.

  3. Some students believe that professors are cheating them in the classroom by shirking their teaching responsibilities. Therefore, students come to believe that turnabout is fair play.

  4. New entering students find themselves in courses beyond their capability so they resort to cheating to succeed in the course.

The metaphors and social constructs provided by students in surveys can also provide insight into the rationale for academic dishonesty. In one recent study, students used the following metaphors for cheating:

  1. Cheating is just a game, so that it is not important how you win but what is important is that you win.

  2. Cheating is an addiction. Once a student has successfully cheated in some academic context, the urge to continue can become addicting.

  3. Cheating is an easy out. Rather than working hard to master the material, a student can be tempted to use the shortcut of academic dishonesty.

  4. Cheating is a personal dilemma. Students do not begin to cheat because they are ignorant of the potential consequences. Rather the decision to cheat is a difficult decision for most students.

  5. Cheating is theft. The act of cheating robs the institution, the professor, the cheating student, and the other students.

  6. Cheating is a team effort. Cheating does not occur in a vacuum. Where there is a culture that condones cheating and where a student sees other students cheating, academic dishonesty is more likely to flourish.

For some students, cheating starts early. By the time some kids reach college they have already established a pattern of cheating. ABC News has a good report, A Cheating Crisis in America’s Schools http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/cheating-in-schools-goes-high-tech/ https://drwilda.com/2012/09/02/cheating-at-harvard/

Today’s college students become tomorrow’s generals and captains of industry.

Too many families lack a moral compass or a compass of any type. In fact, too many children are growing up in shells of what a family should be. Moi wrote about the culture in It’s the culture and the values, stupid. https://drwilda.com/2011/11/04/its-the-culture-and-the-values-stupid/

Petreaus too shall pass. The next unnamed scandal is be formulated like a hurricane forms over the ocean. After all, it’s really all about ME.

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