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.


 
 

 
Senior Airman
JAMES HENSLEY

F-35 pilot training underway

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY Travis Byrom, Lockheed Martin instructor pilot, briefs students in the first F-35 Lightning II training course before the start of class May 5 at Luke Air Force Base. The students are Lt. Col. Sean Ho...
 
 

Everything I need to know about leadership, I learned …

I am sure you’ve heard of, or even read, Robert Fulgham’s best-selling book, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Fulgham’s text resonates with many for the simplicity with which he describes “how to be a person.” Leadership in the 21st century Air Force is a much discussed topic, and one can...
 
 

Which one are you?

Have you ever worked for someone you felt was impossible to deal with? How about someone who you simply tolerated? Or have you worked for someone you actually really wanted to work for? What was your work environment like, and what was the attitude of the people among the different types of bosses? Let’s be...
 

 
Senior Airman 
DEVANTE WILLIAMS

Wild Weasels reunite

Senior AirmanDEVANTE WILLIAMS The Wild Weasels gather for a group photo during their reunion May 1 at Luke Air Force Base. The Wild Weasels were formed during the early days of the Vietnam War. Their mission was to seek out and...
 
 

News Briefs May 15, 2015

Leadership Gold Members of the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence are visiitng Luke to present Dr. John Maxwell’s Leadership Gold, which grows leaders and fosters teamwork, at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 2 in the Navy Operational Support Center, Bldg. 300, Room 412. Open to civilians and all ranks of enlisted and officers....
 
 

AF announces senior selects

The following master sergeants have been selected for promotion to senior master sergeant: 61st Fighter Squadron Heather Hefner 56th Maintenance Group Christian Brandon 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Paul Branstetter and Brian Leonard 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Andres Vasquez 308th Aircraft Maintenance Unit William Jennings 310th AMU John Taylor 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Tommy C...
 




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