Military Ethical Dilemma

Home img Free essays img Ethics img Military Ethical Dilemma
Military Ethical Dilemma Sample Essay


Military activities range all the way from protecting the country against any external aggression to doing voluntary community based projects. They are involved in the later activity when the community is hit by a natural calamity that may cause damage. For instance, the military ought to help in case of a flood occurs, reconstruction of a damaged bridge, and other voluntary activities. Often the military personnel face maximizing the welfare of stakeholders in order to save their lives. This is a real ethical dilemma that has been seen in most troops across the world, hence there is a need to formulate mechanisms that can assist in solving that. Most importantly, using technology can be seen as a positive improvement, but military personnel are faced with a dilemma about whether to use such technology or not, since it might pose major threats to the environment. Therefore, there is a clear conflict between security welfare maximization for the stakeholders and military activities. This research paper analyzes the unethical dilemma that is present in the military field whether the activities by military personnel pose threats to stakeholders or not, and how to solve this dilemma so that military play their role effectively, without inconveniencing other parties.

Need custom written paper? We'll write an essay from scratch according to your instructions! Plagiarism and AI Free Price from only 10.99$/page Call Now Start Chat Order Now

Background Information on Military Ethics

State of the Military in the Early Stages

Military activities in the early times were based on manual technology. Each activity had to be manned and due to this reason ethics were very crucial in the military. However, this technology was never efficient because in case militants went to a war, lots of lives were lost due to the difficulties that were experienced in the fields. Their mode of training was hectic, as they used to practice deploying manual weapons, but as more innovations came by, they adopted the use of guns and other sophisticated weapons. At those early stages, military interaction with the public was good because the militants at that period were humble enough to deal with common citizens even at low levels. The reason why they did that was because they underwent humble training and were taught the need of good interaction with the public. This interaction assists in maintaining security.

Ethical Background of Ethics

 In other words, the military ethics at the early times were maintained. Although the rules were not adhered to the letter, they were highly observed compared to nowadays (Coady & Primoratz, 2010). Militants at that time were taught the need of respecting and performing their duties diligently. This came to change when unethical practices began in the recruitment process and that destroyed the whole cycle of security maintenance, as ethics could be easily breached. It is the diversion from ethical conducts that increased cases of ethical dilemmas within the military sector and people faced confusions whether to act in their interests on for the interests of others.

Current State of Military Ethics

Social Interaction with Stakeholders

It can be deduced that some of the activities that the military personnel engage in pose major threats to stakeholders.  They have been given the mandate to protect these stakeholders, allowing such risks to occur brings in another debate of an ethical dilemma. Today, there are many unethical practices that are being implemented in the military. This creates the unethical dilemma whether to enhance completeness in stakeholder’s welfare or act in their own interest. The military, therefore, needs a big change that will straighten its service delivery. Once corruption comes in the recruitment process, training and all the way to service delivery, unethical practices will never stop being experienced.

Military Situations at Work

 It is unethical for the military to leave military equipment at the place where they trained after they complete training (Kennedy & Williams, 2011). This training equipment includes damaged trucks and either used or unused weapons. This equipment poses a threat to the people living in the area. This risk is greatly experienced by children because they take this equipment as toys, not knowing what they are playing with. Consequently, the items left may lead to health problems or even loss of life. For instance, in case an unused weapon is left, it may explode, threatening lives of the people living in that premises.

Unethical Issue in the Military

Lack of Courtesy

Moreover, it has become evident that militants lack courtesy while socializing with other people. They often use abusive language and generally show lack of respect to other people (Tripodi & Wolfendale, 2011). As a result, the public develops a negative attitude towards them. For example, a military officer can damage citizen’s property without expecting to be questioned. Once questioned, they start a fight. This practice by such officers should be discouraged because it is unethical and worsens the relationship between the public and the military.

Superiority Battles

It can also be unethical for a military officer to quarrel with other security personnel over superiority (Rhodes, 2009). Military officers expect no other security personnel can direct him/ her on what to do, which is a wrong perception, since each of them has different knowledge that can help.  In case a police officer, for example, tries to direct citizens on various legal issues and coincidentally a military officer is among the citizens, the military officer does opposite to what they have been directed to do. This situation creates a wrangle between the two officers. It could be ethical if both parties realized that they perform the same role but at different levels. This role, maintaining security, should unite the officers and help them to perform their duties smoothly. This is a clear unethical conduct of the military personnel. A refusal to follow effective advice from fellow citizens indicates that there is ineffective interaction between the military personnel and other members of the public.

Use of Rough Tactics

Most importantly, it has been indicated that it is also unethical for military officers to undergo harsh training (Kennedy & Williams, 2011). Although tough training is meant to harden them, at times trainers take the advantage of the recruited and mistreat them. This makes the recruited have a negative attitude towards the training. Consequently, they become very violent while performing their duties after graduation.

Negative Attitude to Public and Family

They develop a sense of mistreatment to the public and their families once they start fulfilling their duties. Therefore, that poses a major risk in the line of duty because they can act in the most uncaring way, when faced with difficult situations. In addition, they can deviate from their roles of security provision for stakeholders. However, that might not be their will, but the impact of the harsh conditions that they faced during their training sessions. That is a clear ethical dilemma that should be handled with caution, since blaming the military personnel may not solve it. However, creating awareness and insights in the military can assist in solving the problem.

Corruption within the Military

Corruption in the military has also been extended in their jobs (Cook, 2004). They receive bribes at border checks and, as a result, they allow entry of illegal and counterfeit goods in the country. They can also be bribed to allow illegal entry of aliens into a country, who might be terrorists, therefore, putting a country’s security at risk. Such conducts unethical and it should be closely monitored and eradicated completely. Corruption has been the main problem in military ethics. It arises at the initial stage of personnel recruitment (Cook, 2004). One must pay the price to be recruited or have a godfather in the military that can assist in recruiting. Corruption makes the military into a cartel that not only mistreats the citizens but also does not follow work protocols. As a result, security is left at risk of decreasing.

Political Influence

In the past, politicians have also viewed the military as a tool they can use to gain power (Baarda & Verweij, 2006). This is unethical because the military’s main role is diverted from external security to catering for personal issues. This is mostly evident in cases of coups. The military, when they become violent, are a great threat because they misuse their roles and deploy their sophisticated weapons to perform a task forcefully. However, politicians use the military, knowing that he/she will have to pay back. Occasionally, the military become a main shareholder of the government, whereby they dictate what should be done. This leads to a fall in the economy of a country because the military uses harsh methods of administering.

Misuse of Young Military Personnel

Another unethical practice that is evident in the military is misuse of young military officers by the older officers (Rhodes, 2009). Young officers are only allocated in areas of work that impose excessive hardships. For example, only young militants are sent to the battlefield to fight, while older militants remain in managerial positions. If older militants are sent to the battlefield, they are granted back lines while younger ones remain in the front line. It could be more ethical if these positions were granted equally to young and older military officers. However, that is not the case, while stakeholders are exposed to risks of misuse of young personnel within the military, who may not have the experience of their older colleagues.

Illegal Practices

Moreover, it has become clear that in cases when the militants are assigned to an operation, they take advantage of it and start looting property of the residents (Coady & Primoratz, 2008). This is unethical because rather than the militants offer security to people’s property, they benefit from it. They can even at times assault females at times. This is an immoral act, since females are exploited. The militants should adhere not only to their military ethics but also to human rights.

Maintaining and Instilling Ethics in the Military Department

Sensitization of the Parties Involved on Ethics

Sensitization of ethics is highly required in the military (Robinson, De & Carrick, 2008). This ensures that every role player in the military is aware of what is right for him/her to do. Additionally, it will help in reduction of unethical practices in the military. Therefore, the role players in the military will feel they have the duty to maintain ethics.

Oversight of Military Activities

In addition, oversight of military activities should also be initiated (Schulzke, 2013). This will help in fighting corruption and other unethical practices in the military. This forces military officers to continue working diligently and ensures that they perform their duties effectively. Personal interests are eradicated and public interests remain the main concern.

Necessary Reforms

Necessary reforms are also needed in the military. That changes the ordinary way of performing tasks in the military (Toner, 2013). Reforms will refresh military departments and will eradicate unethical practices that could be there.

Creation of a Military Anti-Corruption Unit

 Corruption causes them to be underpaid and not granted necessary allowances. Once they are granted high pay, they are motivated and remain focused on their jobs. As a result of these unethical practices, necessary measures should be taken to ensure that military practices are carried out effectively. The military should regain their ethics that they had during the early times through creation of anti-corruption committees that will help to stop corrupt practices within the military (Coady & Primoratz, 2008). This would help in solving unethical dilemmas in the military field.

One can look into the unethical conduct at a different angle rather than lay the blame with military officers. That is to mean that military unethical behaviors pose the question whether they lead to risks on the part of stakeholders or due to the conditions that they face in their line of duty. Furthermore, the government should also adhere create awareness of ethics by offering military officers favorable working conditions (Tripodi & Wolfendale, 2011). Military officers are at times posed to harsh working environment.

Get a Price Quote

Order essay with this Title

First Order Discount 15% For New Client


Moreover, a committee should be created to ensure reconciliation between every shareholder and military officer (Ficarrotta, 2013). The reconciliation should aim at healing any wounds that the military might have left in the past. This requires each stakeholder to have a reconciling intention and accept to forget the past and have a fresh start.


In conclusion, ethics remain the core pillars in the effective service delivery of the military. Any unethical practice should be eliminated and highly discouraged. The military`s main role in a country is to protect a country from any external aggression. This involves carrying out inspections at the country’s border checkpoints, dealing with any terrorist attack in the country, and fighting any country that poses a threat. The military should carry out their duties in an effective way. However, unethical practices do prevent the military from performing their roles effectively. The reasons for such unethical practices should be determined before blaming the military, since it is sometimes the situations that trigger such behaviors. They are confused whether to act in the line of duty to protect stakeholders or act in their own interests. Such ethical dilemmas have been discussed in this paper and solutions have been provided.