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The Four Stages of Moral Development in Military Leaders by Joseph Thomas, Article Review Example

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Article Review

Morality and ethical measures of conduct and behavior is often given less attention in the military training in comparison to the level of attention that combating skills receive. However, in the process of observing the manner by which the military force and the naval force operates, it could be observed how important morality and ethical measures appear to be. This is especially in relation to how the higher officials related both to their colleagues and their subordinates. In consideration to this issue, the article of Joseph Thomas (2010) entitled The Four Stages of Moral Development in Military Leaders provides a strong outline on the most important aspects of morality that the military officials should be known for. According to Thomas, apart from the combating skills that the military men use, they are also expected to show the most respective behavior not only among their colleagues but most importantly towards the people that they serve in the society. According to Thomas there are four phases of moral development that military officers ought to undergo. Relatively, such phases include compliance,moral understanding, moral maturity and moral ambition.

These four aspects of moral standards protect the ethical responsibilities of the military officials as well. Overall, each aspect corresponds to a certain responsibility that a military official should be able to face while and even outside duty. The first phase, which is compliance, corresponds to the need of the officials such as generals to know how to comply or obey orders that are given to them by the higher command. For instance, if a mission is given, then it ought to be followed accordingly. The aspect of moral understanding corresponds with the need to create a personal definition on what a military officer stands for hence following such definition by heart. On the other end, moral maturity instantiates the capacity of the officer to remain at will while also carefully defining his actions and decisions according to the rules and policies of the force. The last phase, which is moral ambition, hopes to establish a sense of value on how the military officers intend to see themselves as part of the force in the future. This specific goal should be set under the desire of becoming more positively influential to others especially to the ones working under their command.

Through discussing the different impacts of the four phases into the lives and the professional capacities of military officers, Thomas was able to point out one important matter and that is to note that military service is not all about fighting the wrong aspects of the society, but instead, it is about promoting a better being among all. Being fighters of what is relatively bad in the face of the law, military officers ought to stand as the models of goodness and proper ethics. As morality becomes the basis of the service that they provide the society with, it is assumed in the study of Thomas that better leadership could be produced. From this point, a better sense of military condition of promoting peace and security in the community could be garnered.

This written article by Thomas could be considered rather common. Nevertheless, the utilization of specific cases that represent exceptional leaders at exceptional critical situations makes it more focused on the morality of the military officers. Understandably, the author carefully correlates morality with the aspect of applying ethical measures of dealing with others and improving one’s behavior. This article carefully shows how the military men, known for their combating skills, should also be known for their good moral standing and their capacity to carry on ethical decisions that are designed to give attention to the responsibilities they have to the stakeholders of their profession.

The proper definition of leadership in this article basically shows what the basis of good leadership should be about. Apart from the common thinking that it should be based from the capacity of one to give orders, this research by Thomas imposes a different approach to the matter. For him, leadership should be about the establishment of one’s capacity to follow orders as an exemplary source of confidence and inspiration for the others working under the command of such leader. Convincingly, Thomas’ writing is strong enough to make a mark on how the military force ought to work their responsibilities properly as leaders. It could also be recognized as practical especially that it tackles the most crucial issues that the military officers are facing at present.

Reference:

Thomas, J. (2010). The Four Stages of Moral Development in Military Leaders. Lakefield Family Foundation Distinguished Military Professor of Leadership. United States Naval Academy.

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