My personal ethics are shaped by my training and responsibility as a sailor serving in the US Navy coupled with my duties and responsibilities as a Christian. At different times my ethical approach changes but can be mostly characterized as a bridge between a utilitarian, loyalist, Judeo-Christian, and intuitive ethical styles. The utilitarian and loyalist style aligns with my leadership role in the military supporting the motto “mission + men = success” with an emphasis on mission first.
Leaders are often faced with making a decision that affects the group as a whole and must consider how the consequence effect the groups as a whole calling into play the utilitarian style. The Navy also demands my loyalty as we are sworn to obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me. On the other hand my personal/religious approach is governed by the Judeo-Christian style with the Golden Rule at the forefront of my mind. The intuitive style bridges the gap between the two as my gut feelings are a response to my military/life experience and training driven by the Holy Spirit.
This allows me to make split ethical decisions without an extensive thought process. One day I was approached by a sailor who claimed that Leading Chief Petty officer in the food service division was running him down and he was concerned that one day he would not be able to control his emotion. I asked him if there were any others that felt the same way and he stated yes but they don’t want to speak out and just wanted to get the job done and go home. I told him that I would ask some questions and look into before I took any action.
That Friday my Command Master Chief (CMC) he has heard about a possible equal opportunity issue and wanted to know why I have not told him about it. The Chief Petty Officer and I had a great relationship and I would consider him a friend however since he was a rank higher than I we did not cross those boundaries. I had a conversation with him and let him talk up the subject of work and the pressure he was under to perform and offered to come down and assist him and I also talked to the Supply Officer and offered my assistance in order to defuse the situation.
These gestures were politely turned down and I was ordered to by the Supply Officer not to look into it any further. I ensured him that I was looking into the issues at the lowest level possible, that I have temporarily defused the situation and if I saw any evidence to their claims I would let him know immediately. Just like the sailor said everyone had issues and the more I looked into it the more I uncovered. I was faced with a decision try to help the chief and the mission or address the issues of the masses.