ENHANCING ETHICAL PERFORMANCE IN MILITARY FORCES THROUGH EMBEDDED EXCELLENCE

  • Deane Peter Baker UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy

Abstract

In this article, I propose the creation of what I will here call the Joint Ethics Development Initiative (JEDI). The title is, of course, offered partially in jest, but the image of the Jedi warrior of the Star Wars saga is intentional. At the heart of the proposed initiative is the development of a new, rigorous and highly demanding qualification and associated training programme. Graduates (‘JEDI warriors’) will have demonstrated excellence in a range of capabilities necessary for success in today’s complex operational environments, but most centrally they will have demonstrated excellence of character and the capability to make clear, sound and well-reasoned ethical judgments under highly challenging conditions. The proposed qualification should be viewed as playing a similar role as that played by the US Army’s Ranger qualification. It would indicate a special degree of competence and mark the bearer as someone to whom peers, superiors and subordinates can reliably turn for guidance in that area of competence. Just as the Ranger programme allows for the embedding of excellence in small unit leadership and tactics in units across the Army, the JEDI programme would allow for the embedding of excellence in ethical awareness and judgment across the Joint Force.

Author Biography

Deane Peter Baker, UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy
Senior Lecturer in Applied Ethics and a Strategic Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales, Canberra, primarily engaged in teaching ethics to the cadets and midshipmen of the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). He is also a Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Johannesburg
Published
2014-11-07
How to Cite
Baker, D. P. (2014). ENHANCING ETHICAL PERFORMANCE IN MILITARY FORCES THROUGH EMBEDDED EXCELLENCE. Scientia Militaria - South African Journal of Military Studies, 42(2). https://doi.org/10.5787/42-2-1099
Section
Articles