Moral Introduction

A Message to Commanders 


The Chief of Chaplain’s Office has provided this manual for Moral Leadership Training, with its 12 lesson plans, to help the commander in his/her role as a leader.


Numerous commanders and NCOs at various levels of leadership have requested their Ministry Teams (MTs) provide training in values and moral leadership to their soldiers. Historically, military leaders have recognized the impact character, values and morals have had on a soldier’s performance. For example, during the signing of the Japanese surrender at the end of WWII, General Douglas McArthur stated: 


         "...Men, since the beginning of time have sought peace. ...Military alliances, balances of power, Leagues of Nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. We have had our last chance. If we do not now devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door.    The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all material and cultural developments of the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh."


Today, the Army continues to be aware that readiness is not only dependent upon the physical condition of our soldiers, but also upon a life that is lived in concert with positive values and morals.


The intention of the enclosed manual and lesson plans is to assist commanders in providing training that will enhance the moral development of their soldiers. The suggested topics presented in the twelve lesson plans parallel the leadership characteristics addressed on the Officer Evaluation Report (OER) and Non-commissioned Officer Evaluation Report (NCOER).


We should emphasize that this manual is a beginning. The 12 lesson plans are not intended to be the final answer to the current need. It is a given that further development and refining is required. The purpose of this initial volume is to initiate a program that will both assist commanders with training. Commanders, MTs, and the other trainers should offer their suggestions for improvements, fresh insights and approaches to the topics, and creative lesson plans.


Our continuing aim is to develop a Moral Leadership Training Program that will be standardized, user friendly, and a tool whereby readiness will be enhanced. You, the commander, is the person who can make this happen. It is for this reason we ask for your feedback on the usefulness of this manual. Thank you for your help and patience as we implement this program.





This manual for the Moral Leadership Training Program provides 12 lesson plans designed to assist the facilitator, in the training of America's Army Core Values. The subjects of the one (1) hour expandable lessons parallel the leadership characteristics addressed on the Officer Evaluation Report (OER) and Non-Commissioned Officer Evaluation Report (NCOER), (VU2-3). These "values" have served our nation, the Army, and our way of life for over two (2) centuries.


AR 165-1, Chapter 12, addresses the Moral Leadership Training Program of the Army. It states in Chapter 12-4, "the Chaplain is the Commander's Staff Officer responsible for conducting the Moral Leadership Training Program".


Many of our national and military leaders perceive that our traditional value system is in a state of decline. I encourage every FORSCOM Unit Ministry Team (UMT) member, Commander and NCO to read George Barna's latest book/report, The Invisible Generation: Baby Busters, A Barna Report. This study provides an excellent overview and analysis of the "Baby Buster" generation. (Baby Busters are identified as individuals born between 1965-1983.) In his report, Barna states: "As the children of the Boomers (birth years: 1946-64) the Baby Bust group has experienced a totally different type of life than any prior generation. Currently 9 to 27 years of age, they have largely been overlooked in public discussion because of the exaggerated attention lavished upon the Boomers."


To put the need for moral leadership training into perspective, I again quote George Barna's report: "One of the undeniable truths about America in the Nineties is that the homogeneity which once characterized us is rapidly dissolving. The ability to predict people's behavior or attitudes based upon ethnic, generational, or historical precedent has been shattered in the last three decades due to the spirit of independence, the new economic realities, the influx of immigrants (both legal and illegal) and the widespread acceptance of what were once viewed as aberrant lifestyles and philosophies."


We have designed this manual to assist the commander in training his/her soldiers. As well as, to help the UMT in fulfilling their vital mission as assigned by AR 165-1, ch 12. This manual is in a "loose leaf" binder to accommodate the trainer’s need for additional material he/she may wish to insert or delete. The trainer will need to review the material, obtain an overhead projector, reproduce the slides and Personal Action Plan (PAP) found at the end of each lesson.


The Personal Action Plan (PAP) is provided to assist the trainer in giving feedback to the Commander and the chaplain technical chain. It also can be used to measure unit/individual morale and to challenge the soldier to adopt a lifestyle that will be productive for him/her and their unit.


As you develop your Moral Leadership Training Program, I trust you will find the enclosed lesson plans to be helpful.







Ministry Team Manual for Moral Leadership Training


Introduction Why Moral Leadership Training?


Table of Contents Where to Find Help


Training Directions Critical Instructions for Using the Material


Regulations AR 165-1; DA PAM 165-16


Commander/OPD Uses for and by Commander for Officer Professional Development or Desk-side Briefing


NCO/PD Uses by NCOs for Professional Development


Lesson Plans 1-12 12 Lesson Plans on "America’s Army Core Values"


Bibliography and Videos References and Videos for Expanded Classes





NOTE: 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.











a. The Moral Leadership Training Program of the Army addresses the full spectrum of moral concerns of the profession of arms and the conduct of war. Moral leadership training focuses on those virtues and values that were present in the shaping of America and are still present in the contemporary military setting. This training recognizes the inherent dignity of all people, the value of the state, and the virtues of good citizenship.


b. The chaplain, as the adviser to the commander in the areas of morals and morale as affected by religion, is the principal staff officer for this program. However, the range of topics to be addressed requires that commanders consider the appropriateness of the topic in assigning the task of conducting command training classes. The program is designed to be flexible in its implementation and topics selection.


c. When commanders implement the training program, it becomes a command class. The training cycles, deployments, location, situation, and other missions of the unit are to be considered in selecting the moral leadership training topics. Implementing an effective program requires coordination between unit commanders, subordinate commanders, training officers, the chaplain, and instructors selected to present moral leadership classes.




Moral leadership training is a commander's tool to address the moral, social, ethical, and spiritual questions that affect the climate of the command and the lives of all personnel assigned to that command. The body of military law, statutes, regulations, traditions, and customs is designed to guide the actions of soldiers and DA civilians. Military leaders and commanders at all levels are charged to uphold the law, to establish the military social climate, and to seek to promote the best alternatives of choice for their soldiers. Standards are established at every level of command. The values of loyalty, honesty, obedience, professionalism, and responsibility become part of a belief structure of individuals and of the corporate whole. Moral leadership training is designed to assist the commander in leadership tasks, which include articulating possibilities, sharing identity, and disclosing oneself for credibility.




The moral leadership training program has the following objectives:


a. To establish a command program of moral leadership training.

b. To enhance soldierly virtues and values within the members of the command.

c. To instill the values of responsible citizenship and service to country.

d. To develop section and unit cohesion by developing common moral and ethical standards.

e. To provide moral leadership material for the command.




Moral leadership training is the commander's program for fostering and strengthening the moral leadership climate of the command.


a. The chaplain is the commander's staff officer responsible for conducting the moral leadership program.

b. The Training Officer will ensure the moral leadership classes are integrated into the unit training schedule.

c.  The commander's staff will participate in planning, resourcing, and coordinating efforts to present the moral leadership instruction in accordance with their primary staff functional responsibility.




Topics appropriate for moral leadership training include, but are not limited to--


a. The moral dimensions of decision-making.

b. Personal responsibility.

c. Personal integrity.

d. Family relationships and responsibilities.

e. Drug/alcohol abuse and personal morality.

f. Trust and morality in team development.

g. Human relationships and moral responsibility.

h. Moral dimensions of actions in combat/crisis.

i. America's moral/religious heritage.

j. Safety and its moral implications.

k. Suicide prevention.

l. Social, organizational, and individual values.

m. Reaction to combat--fatigue, fear, fighting, and surviving.

n. Loss, separation, disappointment, illness, and death.

o. AIDS, as a medical, social, and moral problem.




a. Commanders at local levels will approve subjects to be taught.

b. Recommended training materials related to the topics (para 12-5) will be developed and distributed through chaplain technical channels by the USACSSA, under the guidance of the CCH.

c. Preparation and use of original materials by individual chaplains, in coordination with local commanders and their staff officers, is encouraged.




The training objective may be attained using a variety of instructional methods:


a. Formal classroom training/instruction.

b. Panel discussions/symposia.

c. Multimedia presentations.

d. Experiential learning groups.

e. Self-paced training.



A Message to Non-Commissioned Officer’s


Non-Commissioned Officers have always been, and will continue to be, the primary trainers of soldiers. In addition, they are the Army’s first line of leadership, working directly with our soldiers. Consequently, the Chief of Chaplain has provided this manual to assist NCOs as they fulfill their roles as trainers and leaders.


During the last several years, a significant number of NCOs have recognized the need for moral leadership training and communicated this need to their unit commanders and chaplains. In fact, some even have requested members of their Ministry Team to provide training on values and moral leadership.


It is our hope that this draft will be the first step in filling this identified need. As an NCO, you can assist your commander, your Ministry Team, the Chief of Chaplains, and most importantly your soldiers, by using this manual in two ways: (1) As a training support package to train your subordinate troops in moral leadership and (2) To provide, through the chaplains’ technical chain, suggestions for improvement to this program and manual.


Our hope is that this manual will be helpful to you. Additionally, we ask that you provide lessons learned and suggestions for improvement to your Ministry Team. Thank you in advance for your assistance.