Apply the Ethical Decision Making Method at Small Unit Level
1. Clearly define the ethical problem. SFC Sharp failed to shred secret documents that he personally marked as shredded. SGT Day is trying to cover for SFC Sharp and is encouraging me to look the other way.
2. Employ applicable laws and regulations. The unit commander and the unit’s standard operating procedure will determine if the documents were mishandled. SFC Sharp recorded the destruction of the book theses pages were from but the commander and proper personnel can determine if misconduct occurred. My responsibility is to report ...view middle of the document...
” According to FM 6-22, I am supposed to train and mentor future leaders. This incident could have put the unit’s security in jeopardy but SGT Day is more concerned with SFC Sharp getting trouble. Looking the other way would be setting a bad example for SGT Day and other Soldiers in my section.
4. Consider other applicable moral principles. Setting a good example is always important. Reporting the documents is the only right choice because it’s not my call to determine if they are vital documents. My chain of command may find that the documents were meaningless and that SFC Sharp didn’t put the unit at risk. The Soldiers in the section will see from the beginning that doing the right thing doesn’t have to be such a major dilemma. I’m not trying to create a tattletale environment in the section. I would address this incident to my new staff. I would encourage discussion on what is reportable and what could be handled at section level.
5. Commit to and implement the best ethical solution. As an Army leader I must uphold the Army values and report this incident to my chain of command. It is not my responsibility to determine if this was an intentional act. By not reporting this incident I may be putting my unit in harm’s way. The chain of command can review the documents and determine if they should have been destroyed.
6. Assess results and modify plan as required. I discovered documents from a booklet labeled secret, wedged between my new desk, and the wall of my new office. I covered the documents with a cover sheet and reviewed the destruction certificates. I and SGT Day determine the documents were supposed to be destroyed two weeks ago. SGT Day is willing to look the other way. There is no doubt the documents are getting reported to my chain of command. My section will have a discussion on proper handling procedures of sensitive items. I will include operation security in my initial counseling to my NCOs. SGT Day will give a class on the unit’s SOP for proper handling and destruction of secret material during the sections next low density training.