Authors
Jessica Wolfendale
Marquette University
Abstract
Academics working on military ethics and serving military personnel rarely have opportunities to talk to each other in ways that can inform and illuminate their respective experiences and approaches to the ethics of war. The workshop from which this paper evolved was a rare opportunity to remedy this problem. Our conversations about First Lieutenant (1LT) Portis’s experiences in combat provided a unique chance to explore questions about the relationship between oversight, accountability, and the idea of moral risk in military operations. In this paper, we outline a particular experience of 1LT Portis’s that formed the basis of our discussions, before elucidating the ethical issues this experience raised. In particular, we see 1LT Portis’s experience as, first, illustrative of the problem of moral risk – when military personnel are placed in situations of moral temptation. The problem of moral risk, we propose, is best understood through the framework of the military’s duty of care. Second, we see his experience as highlighting tensions within the dominant moralized warrior model of the military profession. What we call a toxic warrior identity — a distorted form of the moralized warrior identity — can negatively affect the attitudes of military personnel toward rules, policies, procedures, and accountability mechanisms, particularly in relation to non-combat related roles and duties and when leaders must choose between competing bureaucratic demands. We see 1LT Portis’s experience as illustrative of these tensions, yet his experiences also highlight important concerns about the impact of increasing bureaucratic demands on military functioning. In the conclusion, we address the need to balance concerns about toxic warrior identity with legitimate criticisms of overly demanding bureaucracy and suggest avenues for further research on this issue.
Keywords military ethics  warrior identity  moral injury  military training  military culture
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Cubicle Warrior: The Marionette of Digitalized Warfare. [REVIEW]Rinie van Est - 2010 - Ethics and Information Technology 12 (3):289-296.
War Without Virtue?Robert Sparrow - 2013 - In Bradley Jay Strawser (ed.), Killing By Remote Control. Oxford University Press. pp. 84-105.
Integrity, Moral Courage and Innere Führung.Peter Olsthoorn - 2016 - Ethics and Armed Forces 3 (1):32-36.
The Just Warrior Ethos: A Response to Colonel Riza.Joseph O. Chapa & David J. Blair - 2016 - Journal of Military Ethics 15 (3):170-186.
Meditations on Moral Autonomy and the Military.Timothy Lawrence Challans - 2002 - Dissertation, The Johns Hopkins University

Analytics

Added to PP index
2021-02-16

Total views
227 ( #42,132 of 2,438,869 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
227 ( #2,278 of 2,438,869 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes