The following message was given to leaders of the 11ADA BDE during a “Ready and Resilient Day” training in May 2014 at Fort Bliss, TX.
Good Morning, it is great to see and speak to all of you this morning.
I want to talk a few moments about Morality and Resilience.
The US Army Character Guidance Manual of 1961 states that:
“In an age of modern warfare, the good combat Soldier needs morale as well as muscles—heart is as important as hardware.” FM-16-100, p3.
I believe as technology guides our capabilities, this statement is truer today that it was over 50 years ago. And in order for us to maintain this morale, we must face the issue of morality in our ranks.
Resiliency is a moral issue.
The definition of morality by the Oxford dictionary is;
“Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.”
And we see that resiliency is affected by morality.
Let me explain:
When you plan to assault another Soldier sexually—resiliency is affected.
When you drink alcohol to such a degree that you cannot make a good decision—resiliency is affected.
When you are selfish over your wants over your spouse’s needs—resiliency is affected.
When you choose to stay up to build your kill/death ratio up on Call of Duty when you’ve got PT at 0630—resiliency is affected.
From the smallest degree of right or wrong to the largest—resiliency is a moral issue.
And since resiliency is a moral issue—you as a leader needs to engage and teach morality.
You teach morality by first setting the example.
Soldiers are watching you. Just as you are watching the leader who lead you. They are watching—not only for the bad have you done, but the good that you do. They want to do the right thing—but they need someone to step out and show them how it is done. Do the right thing.
You also teach morality through teaching the Army Values. Not just having these value memorized, but by going through each one, explaining why each is important. This is best done at the lowest level. Taking your crew through a “value of the week”. Taking down time for hip pocket training. Make it apart of your culture.
You can also teach morality by asking for help. In all of the units you have very qualified and dependable Chaplains, ready to speak about moral issues. They are ready to help you develop training packages so you can teach your Soldiers. We stand ready to help you.