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Showing posts from September, 2005

What we owe our Soldiers

This week, I received an email from a friend who is attending the Army's Command & General Staff College, which is the intermediate level (rank of major) education for officers. He had been tasked to lead a seminar discussion based on my article, "Military Leaders' Obligation to Justify Killing in War," so he asked me some questions as he prepared. Below are his questions and my off-the-cuff responses.

1) What are our moral obligations as leaders to our soldiers?
There are probably tons, but here are some thoughts off the top of my head:

a. Train them to be proficient in their wartime tasks, so they have the best chance of accomplishing their mission and returning home alive.

b. Respect them as persons--this includes things such as recognizing their family obligations and not humiliating them and looking out for their long-term welfare (encourage GI Bill, financial counseling, etc). A part of respecting our soldiers as people is ensuring that they can integrate thei…