Commentary

March 31, 2012

Moral courage takes action despite consequences

by Lt. Col. John Bosone
56th Operations Support Squadron
Pg-2-commentary

Physical courage is a quality rightfully associated with military members. Tales of battlefield heroics from Greek mythology through present day are replete with names synonymous with great physical courage. Hearing names such as Hercules, Perseus, Levitow, and Sijan summon powerful images of these larger than life warriors.

Serving downrange and living apart from one’s family takes courage. It takes courage to answer our nation’s call, to enlist and to excel during training. Physical and mental courage are requisites to serve one’s country. While the needs of the Air Force require discipline, integrity and physical strength we cannot fulfill our duty lacking another requisite – moral courage.

Mark Twain wrote “It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.” Moral courage can be described as doing the right thing even at the risk of inconvenience, ridicule, punishment, loss of job or security, or social status. It means taking action for moral reasons despite the risk of adverse consequences. Defining moral courage takes only a few minutes of research and critical thought. But, demonstrating moral courage in a military organization is sometimes much more difficult due to supervisory hierarchies and perceived cultural and group norms. Demonstrating moral courage can be therefore especially challenging for our youngest Airmen.

We all have the potential to demonstrate moral courage, to show character in the face of difficult situations. Taken individually the following examples may appear minor, but when the concepts manifested in these examples are applied across an organization, the effect can be powerful.

It takes moral courage to refuse to listen or repeat gossip; to report crimes or serious violations of regulations; to correct standards of conduct; to call “knock it off” when a joke is inappropriate; to stand up against group norms when a trainee’s feedback becomes personal; or to speak up when the status quo conflicts with the “right thing to do.”

When we listen to our instincts, our conscience and that quiet voice within, we can make the tough calls. The risk associated with demonstrating moral courage must be met with an equally supportive and engaged chain of command.

Squadrons exist and are organized to accomplish the mission while developing Airmen. Today’s E-1s and O-1s are the Air Force’s chiefs and generals of tomorrow. We’re in the business of creating Airmen who are absolute masters of their craft while simultaneously developing these Airmen to be leaders. As an enduring organization we are in fact training our replacements. Every commander I have worked with shares a desire to develop competent, well-rounded, morally and physically fit Airmen. There must not be any barriers to achieving this end.

The chain of command is there to serve. Do not be afraid to ask for advice if you feel there is something holding you




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
square

Luke conducts first F-35 training deployment

Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A 61st Fighter Squadron F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter taxis prior to take off April 15 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Ten F-35s from the 61st Fighter Squadron were sent to Nellis for th...
 
 

The gift of leadership

Gen. Mark Welsh III may have said it best, “Leadership is a gift. It’s given by those who follow. You have to be worthy of it.” As the people of this nation give their children up to serve in the armed forces we as leaders need to be ready to lead them as they are...
 
 

Have faith in Air Force system

Throughout our Air Force careers, we have all received extensive training covering the Air Force core values — integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. We talk about them on a daily basis in one capacity or another using them as buzz words to drive our point home or steer a...
 

 

Sidewinders fly missing-man formation

A missing-man formation flyover took place at the Air Force Academy Cemetery April 14, to honor a fallen Airman whose remains were repatriated and laid to rest. Pilots from the 311th Fighter Squadron of the 54th Fighter Group from Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, flew it. Capt. Richard Chorlins, U.S. Air Force Academy class...
 
 

Birth of a flagship

Courtesy photo An F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter taxis at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas, facility just before its first flight March 31. This jet is one of several Lightning IIs destined for Luke Air Force Base in the near future after flight testing. Tail number 5056 is scheduled to be the 56th Fighter...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

Days of Remembrance There will be a Holocaust remembrance ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday in the Luke Air Force Base Chapel sanctuary. The Hiding Place exhibit will be on display 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 1 in the chapel annex. AFA golf tournament The 16th Annual Air...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin