Moral Courage



TITLE: Moral Courage





TERMINAL LEARNING OBJECTIVE:  Task Assist in identifying the value of  moral courage, and how it pertains to the individual soldier and to the Army.




1. Communicate to the soldier the value of  embracing Moral Courage.


2. Challenge the soldier to define and adopt a life of Moral Courage.


3. See self and unit as needing moral courage.


4. Design and use personal improvement action plan.


CONDITION:  Given a classroom setting with overhead projector, chalkboard, and/or easel with butcher paper.


STANDARD:  Participate in an interactive discussion on moral courage and decide upon a personal improvement action plan.


REFERENCES:  FM 22-100 Leadership, DA PAM 165-16 Moral Leadership Values: Stage of the Family Life Cycle.


INSTRUCTIONAL PROCEDURES:  Conference, overhead slides, practical exercises.


TRAINER NOTES:  This class is designed to be a discussion type class. The role of the trainer will be to: 1) impart information from the lesson plan; 2) elicit information and ideas from class participants; 3) affirm the input of the class participants; and 4) call the class members to action, both for themselves and for the unit.


The lesson plan is written in a positive way and needs to be presented in that manner as well. It is an opportunity for you, as the trainer, to help the participants examine their beliefs and begin to develop more healthy values.


This lesson plan may "open the door" for further ministry within your unit. At the end of the session, you might ask those who may have concerns about areas of personal growth or value conflicts in their lives to speak with you privately .


NOTE: The trainer will want to make sure the classroom is set-up with all necessary equipment at least 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the class. Good lighting and ventilation of the classroom are important for a good class.


Some ideas to keep in mind during you presentation of the class are:


- When you ask a question, allow time for discussion.

- Write down all the responses given without making judgments about the input.

- Encourage class participation. You may want to call on a class member for input who you observe as either being disruptive or withdrawn from the class.

- Your slides may be upgraded with color, graphics or unit symbols.


At the end of each lesson plan is a "Personal Action Plan." Use this to measure the effectiveness of the session. The top portion of the page is to be kept by the class participant as a guide for his/her future personal development. The bottom portion of the page should be turned in to you at the end of the class. These should not be signed. You may use this information as you advise the commander on the "climate" of the unit. It can also be used as a "bottom up review" of the unit in regard to the particular value. In this way, the information can be used as a means to support Total Army Quality (TAQ) in the unit.


You will need to reproduce the number of personal action plans to correspond with the number of class participants. this will enable you to have a response from all class participants. After response forms are completed, insure the "climate" information is shared with the chain of command. This will assist in improving the quality of life for soldiers.








+  Review the material contained in this lesson thoroughly. A poorly prepared class is no better than no class at all.


+  Make overhead slides of the paper slides located at the back of this lesson as well as slides VU1-VU5 found at the end of Lesson One.


+  Make sufficient copies of the Personal Action Plan sheet found at the end of this lesson so that all class members will have one.


+  Ensure that the classroom is designated and all needed equipment is set up prior to class time.


+  Be sure that units have sufficient time to schedule the class and that soldiers are available to attend. Conflicting with other requirements of a training schedule will make the lesson ineffective.




SHOW:  VU1 "America's Army Core Values"


{This slide can be shown on the overhead as the class begins to arrive. It is your "title slide" which sets the stage for the material to be presented in the session.}


“Good morning/afternoon. My name is _________. Today’s class is one of a series of classes on America’s Army Core Values.”


SHOW:  VU2 & VU3 "List of Values"


“Some of our Core Values are listed on this slide.”


{It is helpful to briefly go over the list of values as presented on VU2 & VU3. However, each of these values will be presented as a separate lesson.}


“Some Other Core Values are listed on this slide (VU3).”


SHOW:  VU4 "Purpose of Training"


{Allow time for the class to read the slide.}


“The purpose of our training is found on this slide (VU4).”


“Why do you think it is important for us to study values?”  {Allow time for discussion}


Some responses might be:


- Increase of violence in the nation.

- There seems to be less attention given to affirming each other's value systems.

- To help build citizenship.

- To help build personal responsibility within the community.


“Service members of the Army, (NCOs and officers) are evaluated annually on this list of America's Army Core Values in the NCOER and the OER. Many things have been written about all these values and they are all important. The things that shape our individual values are what we have read, what we have heard from parents, pastors, teachers and other significant individuals to us.”


SHOW:  VU5 "Values, Ethics, Morals"


{Ordinarily, courage is viewed as a characteristic primarily for military personnel, firefighters, emergency medical teams, and other similar occupations. However, Moral Courage has more to do with internal strength of character than the willingness to face trauma such as war and other disasters. Military personnel will require moral courage for facing the battle field, but they will also require it to stand firm on their personal convictions. Moral Courage is strength of character which is the foundation upon which moral decisions and plans of action are made. This has as much to do with one’s personal life as with military life. The strength of today’s Army will require leadership which is defined by Moral Courage.}


“The primary focus of today's class will be on the value of Moral Courage.”


“Would someone tell me why you believe the Army would be placing emphasis on providing classes on Values at this time?”


“Perhaps it would be good for us to see how these values, ethics and morals are defined. This slide shows these definitions.”


“Are there any questions so far?”  {Field any questions the class members may have at this point.}


{Ask the class to hold questions about specific values until later in the class.}


SHOW:  VU5-6 "What is Moral Courage?"


“Webster defines: MORAL: Capable of making the distinction between right & wrong in conduct; good or right in conduct or character.”


“MORAL COURAGE: Making the decision to do that which you know is right/correct under all circumstances and in all situations – even when it is not easy or popular.”


“Moral Courage is a valuable subject to discuss and consider for each person in today's Army. Doing the right thing in a difficult situation is not always easy.”


“This material is designed to assist you to know what is right and demonstrate it.”


“Each person was created a moral being. We each have the capacity to know good from bad, and right from wrong.”


SHOW:  VU5-7 "Definition of Courage."


“Right versus wrong is fastened to cause and effect  so that they manage the rewards we want and the punishments we avoid.”


“What would be YOUR definition of Courage? Could anyone in the class give us an example of  a courageous person?”


{Write responses on overhead, chalkboard, or butcher paper.}


Some possible responses:


- Taking a dare

- Bravery

- Valor

- Boldness

- Fearlessness

- Spirit

- Heroism

- Grit

- Gallantry

- Backbone

- Guts


SHOW:  VU5-8 "Avoid Traps."


“Avoid the trap of prejudging someone or something because of a difference, such as: right handed vs. left handed; color of skin; race; religious differences. Avoid the trap of making your experience as the right interpretation and only interpretation.”


{Allow class time for responses concerning "Traps to Avoid". Write responses on overhead, chalkboard, or butcher paper.}


SHOW:  VU5-9 "What We Do!"


“Moral courage is the value that allows our self worth to be explained by what we do and understand why we do it. Do we do what we do because it is the right thing to do? (And not just because I want to feel good or want to avoid pain.)”


{Allow time for discussion. Record responses on overhead, chalkboard, or butcher paper.}


SHOW:  VU5-10 "A Clear Conscience is dependent upon treating others with respect, fairness, and dignity and upon living according to our personal convictions; upon pulling our load."


“You can sleep peacefully knowing that you have treated people in a right and fair manner because you have done the right thing.”


SHOW:  VU5-11 "Four Questions?"


“Having the moral compass within yourself, you will know and do things right. This moral courage will help to answer four of life's difficult questions. Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? Who is going with me?

Just as a compass when held correctly will always point North, a soldier whose moral courage is nurtured and tested will be a powerful influence for what is right and fair.”


SHOW:  VU5-12 "Personal Action Plan"


{Copies of the Personal Action Plan are located at the end of this lesson. Sufficient copies were made prior to the

beginning of training.}


{Hand out Personal Action Plan.}


“Now it's time for your own evaluation. There are two parts: the top portion is for you. Please take time right now to complete the two statements in the top part.”


 {Give them time to fill it out.}


“Now consider the bottom portion. Please write your comments and do not sign your name. When completed, tear off the bottom portion and pass it to me.”


{Collect Personal Action Plans.}







Regarding the value of MORAL COURAGE, I am doing well in the following ways:










Regarding the value of MORAL COURAGE, I would like to improve my life in the following ways:









------------------------------------(Tear this half off and give to instructor)-----------------------



Regarding the value of MORAL COURAGE, my unit is doing well in the following ways:











Regarding the value of MORAL COURAGE, my unit would improve if:













 MORAL: Capable of making the distinction between right and wrong in conduct; good or right in conduct or character.


MORAL COURAGE: Making the decision to do that which is right/correct under all circumstances and in all situations -- even when it is not easy or popular.





The attitude or response of facing and dealing with any thing

recognized as dangerous, difficult, or painful, instead of withdrawing from it.



VU5-8:  AVOID TRAPS - Don’t take the easy way out!



VU5-9:  WHAT WE DO!!



VU5-10: A clear conscience is dependent upon treating others

with RESPECT, FAIRNESS, and DIGNITY, upon living according

to our personal convictions, and upon pulling our load.



VU5-11:   F O U R   Q U E S T I O N S :


1. Who am I?

2. Why am I here?

3. Where am I going?

4. Who is going with me?