Everyday we come in contact with some of the greatest military personnel both enlisted and officer. Personnel that will display Physical Courage within a heartbeat, put themselves in harms way by taking a bullet, an IED, defend their teammates, steer an out of control aircraft and not think twice about themselves. We honor them, justifiably so, by pinning a medal to their chest for incredible acts of bravery.
Why is it that personnel find it easier to display acts of Physical Courage versus Moral Courage? We have personnel in all services that come in contact daily with people who are taking short cuts, violating standards, falsifying documents, etc. and rather than report or turn them in we turn the other way because we risk the stigma that comes along with exercising Moral Courage because our peers really don’t like snitches amongst the group? Why is that? If we are quick to honor Physical Courage with a medal, and senior leaders are serious about ridding on our services of the “toxic” leaders, or leaders who are violating our values or ethos, then maybe we should consider a decoration for Moral Courage? When someone says that exercising Physical Courage is easier then Moral Courage, maybe it’s time to continue our military transformation regarding our Moral Compass?