What’s Missing in Today’s Military: Integrity
As I said in part 1 of this series, the problems in our military really began about 10 years ago. During this time, a lot of the long-standing rules in the military were changed, especially regarding the lowered requirements for enlistment.
In addition, new leaders with very little (if any) experience were put in charge of our military. This lack of experience affected their ability to make the necessary wartime decisions, so they relied on others to make them. Inevitably, this negatively affected not just our military, but the United States as a whole.
It was these failures by the people in charge that led to the next problem behind the weakening of military.
A Loss of Integrity
In addition to honor, members of the military should also value and exemplify integrity, which is the quality of being honest, having strong moral principles, and demonstrating moral uprightness.
However, many of the leaders who got put in charge of our military 10 years ago didn’t have this integrity, and they committed some major violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
Just one example of this lack of integrity involved the sexual harassment claims against the major general in charge of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
With those at the top not having integrity, it filtered down through all levels of the Armed Forces, and it is now a major issue that affects the entire military. We should be embarrassed!
I have personally sat through numerous sexual harassment classes conducted by the military, so to me it’s disturbing that there are still so many who violate these boundaries.
It’s a shame that the men and women of the United States military go to war and are brothers and sisters-at-arms, but they still have to worry about being sexually harassed by those without integrity. It’s an ongoing issue that continues to rise, and we need to find a solution.
What Should We Do
The first thing we need to do is regain our integrity.
To start this process, we need to make sure that the people in charge of our military are those with high integrity. Then we should focus on raising the enlistment standards so that the people who enlist and are commissioned into our military also have high integrity.
As part of increasing the standards, we need to stop letting people with criminal records into the military. A criminal history, in my opinion, demonstrates that they have a lack of integrity.
There so many waivers handed out these days that allow people with criminal records to join the military. Sometimes it even seems like there are waivers for the waivers!
Specifically, I think one of the biggest problems is the waivers given to those with a criminal history of drug use. Drugs are a big problem in our military and directly correspond with a lack of integrity.
Not sure what I mean? Here’s one way to look at it: if someone couldn’t get a job with a civilian company, why should we allow them in the military where they can carry a weapon and potentially make major decisions?
Our servicemembers should be able to wear their uniform with pride, especially since so many countries look to our military as an example. Because of this position, we should have the highest integrity of anybody, and restoring it would help our the members of our Armed Forces find pride in their service.