Army Standards and Ethical Dilemmas Essay

Words: 1787
Pages: 8

Army Standards and Ethical Dilemmas
MSG Garrison, John O., 19Z
United States Army Sergeants Major Academy
Class 62
SGM Kelvin Hinkle
December 8, 2011
The inconsistent application of Army standards leads to unethical decisions on a daily basis. Despite an emphasis on Army values at all levels, military leaders open themselves up to make unethical decisions when they don’t adhere to set standards. Despite the Army having clear standards on height/weight, APFT, the tattoo policy, and reporting requirements, leaders often take it upon themselves to ignore the standard or create their own. Leaders have the responsibility to maintain and enforce standards which are driven by regulations. If military leaders
…show more content…
Commanders were unwilling to adhere to standards in order to retain more Soldiers. This is a classic example of inconsistent application of standards that led to the unethical decision of retaining Soldiers that could not meet the Army standards for height and weight.
Tattoo Policy
Another area of inconsistent application of an Army standard is the Army’s policy on tattoos. For years, the Army’s policy on tattoos prohibited those in the Army or those seeking to enter the Army from having tattoos that were visible below their wrists or visible above the neckline while in uniform. In order to meet recruiting requirements, this policy was lifted and those entering the Army were allowed to have tattoos that were visible above the neckline and below the wrist. Now that the Army is drawing down, the standard is reverting back to the old policy of no tattoos visible above the neckline and below the wrist. If a Soldier with such tattoos desires to stay in the Army, that Soldier will have to pay to have the tattoo removed.
Personally, I agree with the policy of no visible tattoos and think such tattoos present an unprofessional appearance. However, I don’t think the Army should have changed the standard to allow such tattoos in the first place, regardless of the recruiting requirements. What has resulted from this policy change or unethical decision is that a significant number of