Moral Standards



TITLE: Moral Standards





TERMINAL LEARNING OBJECTIVE:  Assist in identifying the value of Moral Standards as part of America’s Army Core Values."




1. Communicate to soldiers the importance of embracing the value of Moral Standards.


2. Challenge soldiers to define and adopt a life style of positive Moral Standards.


3. See positive moral standards as necessary for individual fulfillment and unit cohesion.


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


STANDARD:  Participate in an interactive discussion through sharing of information of enabling learning objectives.


REFERENCES:  AR 600-100, AR 165-1, DA PAM 165-15, FM 22-100.


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 You may want to call on a class member for input who you observe as either being disruptive or withdrawn from the class.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


{Put the introduction and form the questions in your own words. Use the "words in quotations" as a guide.}


“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"


“Moral Standards may seem to be in "the eye of the beholder" in today’s society. To accept that position is to believe there are no standards which can be applied to any of life’s situations. There would be no crimes, no laws, no courts. Our society would be in chaos. Moral Standards are necessary if we expect our military units to work effectively and efficiently. Military members must adopt the same or similar moral standards in order to be part of a "unit team". It is essential that soldiers adopt moral standards in order to perform at their peak. These standards are needed in personal, family, and military work relationships. Without them there are no other values.”


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


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


“What do you think about a soldier who sells secrets to our enemies?”


{Allow time for responses. Record responses on overhead, chalkboard, or butcher paper. Expect some feeling statements as well as descriptions.}


{You may receive responses which do not conform to the military standards of conduct, however, elicit responses which lead to a basic code of behavior or moral standards.}


“If you think such a soldier is a traitor, how do you come to this conclusion?”


“Let's try to define the value of moral standards. Look at this next slide which gives us some definitions.”


SHOW:  VU10-6 Moral Standards


{Encourage class responses. Record responses on overhead, chalkboard, or butcher paper. Copy all ideas as they are given to you.}


SHOW:  VU10-7 Moral Standards Definition


{Allow the class to create their own working definitions. Record class responses on overhead, chalkboard, or butcher paper.}


Some possible response are:


- Principles of right and wrong in relation to human character.

- Exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior.

- Virtuous

- A sense of right and wrong


“Why do you think this value of moral standards is important?”


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


Some possible responses are:


- Forms a basis of right and wrong

- So laws can be formed

- So people behave correctly

- So there can be order


“How is this value lived out personally and professionally (ethics)?”


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


“Seeing how moral standards are practiced gives us and idea about morality, our own and the society’s.

Can you give some ideas of how personal and public standards differ?”


{Record the group’s responses on the overhead, chalkboard, or butcher paper.}


SHOW:  VU10-8 Choices


“Moral standards involve choices. Often the standard reflects conflict among several good values. Living a life style of Moral Standards always involves "choices" or making a decision. The challenge is to make the best decision/choice. We often will be faced with conflicts; sometimes we will be required to make the right decision/choice when faced with several alternatives. Keeping high moral standards will be an asset to you.”


SHOW:  VU10-9 Where Do Morals Come From?


“In your opinion, what is the official moral code of the Army?”


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


Some possible responses are:


- Family

- Schools

- Peers

- Religious instructions


“How would we change Moral Standards into a Moral Code?”


{Record class responses on overhead, chalkboard, or butcher paper.}


Some possible responses might be:


- Religion

- 10 Commandments or other religiously held beliefs

- Law (UCMJ)

- Regulations


“The world view that a person has will often greatly influence his or her moral standards.”


SHOW:  VU10-10 World Views


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


“Historically, our national code of behavior is taken code of behavior is taken from our Judeo-Christian Heritage. Also,


- Eastern thought

- Secular Humanism

-Ethical Bias


{Explain Judeo-Christian Heritage if necessary.}


“What happens if there are no moral standards? What happens if moral standards are present?”


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


Some possible responses are:


Absent        Present


- Chaos       - Order

- Crime       - Peace

- Hatred      - Comfort

- Fear                   - Good Behavior

- Anarchy        - Happiness

- Confusion    - Joy

- Abuse       - Community

- Sexism

- Racism


“Arthur Ashe, the late great tennis star once said in his book Days of Grace, ‘...I estimate it would take at least a generation...to regain the moral authority,...then we would have, as we still did when I was a child, a sense of the integrity of the family, including mother and father; a sense of value and power of education; a sense of the deep importance of religion and moral instruction; a sense of pride in ourselves as achieving, thinking human beings.’”


“Who or what can help us develop positive and workable Moral Standards?”


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


Some possible responses are:


- Chaplain


- Good History Books

- Family

- Pastors, Priests, Rabbis

- Army Regulations


SHOW:  VU10-11 "Personal Action Plan"


“What do we do now? Please turn to the Personal Action Plan being passed to each of you. Please fill out the top section and then help your unit by tearing off the bottom section, filling it out and turning it in to me.”


{Allow sufficient time for completing the forms. Sufficient copies for each class member were made prior to the session. The original is found at the end of this lesson.}


{Collect Personal Action Plans.}


“Thank you for your interest and work today.”





Making Decisions


Ideas for expansion of this block of instructions. There are several scenarios appended to this lesson plan. Each one could be used in small groups for a 30 minute discussion followed by a preparation to present ideas to the larger group. This way, four to five more hours could be used as student/soldiers struggle with the issues presented.


Further expansion can be made in discussion of the following:


- Individual rights vs. Community standards

- Sexism

- Racism

- Abortion - pros and cons

- Violence

- Conscience Role






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










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










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



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











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








For Expanded Time If Available



SCENARIO ONE - The Girl and the Sailor


A ship sank in a storm. Five survivors scrambled aboard two lifeboats: a sailor, a girl, and an old man in one boat; the girl's fiancé and his best friend in the second boat.


During the storm, the two boats separated. The first boat washed ashore on an island and was wrecked. The girl searched all day in vain for the other boat or for any sign of her fiancé.


The next day, the weather cleared, and still she could not locate her fiancé. In the distance she saw another island. Hoping to find her fiancé, she begged the sailor to repair the boat and row her to the other island. The sailor agreed, on the condition that she sleep with him that night.


Distraught, she went to the old man for advice. "I cannot tell you what is right or wrong for you," he said. "Look into your heart and follow it." Confused but desperate, she agreed to the sailor's condition. The next morning the sailor fixed the boat and rowed her to the other island. Jumping out of the boat, she ran up the beach into the arms of her fiancé. Then she decided to tell him about the previous night. In a rage, he pushed her away and said, "Get away from me! I don't want to see you again!" Weeping, she started to walk slowing down the beach.


Seeing her, the best friend went to her, put his arm around her, and said, "I can tell that you have had a fight. I'll try and patch it up, but, in the meantime, I'll take care of you."



1. Rank the five characters in the story in the order which they appeal to you.





2. What advice would have given if you were the old man?





3. How would you have treated the girl if you were her fiancé?





4. What are the moral implications in the story?







Your Platoon Leader has been your superior for nearly a year. He is a strong leader and an excellent Platoon Leader. He has been tough on you, but fair. You respect him a great deal, though he is not a person you ever feel very close to in any personal sense.


The rumor has come via one of the junior enlisted personnel in your section that the Platoon Leader is dating and probably living with a woman who is not his wife. In fact, you know he has a wife in another state. You have gained the impression they are estranged and divorce might be in the works. You are also aware that the unit commander is very hard-nosed about such matters. He has spoken on it in talks to junior officers and NCO's. You are not sure what to do. You respect him and feel it might be your duty to speak to him about the talk in your section. Yet, you also suspect he would resent interference in his personal life.




1. What do you do?





2. What moral issues are involved?





3. What issues are in conflict?





4. What principles or reasoning would you use to make your decision?


















It is several days later. You had decided to speak with your Platoon Leader about the rumor you heard, but he has been on leave. You have not been able to broach the subject with him. You are having lunch with another soldier from your unit. In the course of the conversation he gives you information that now leads you to believe that the woman your Platoon Leader is seeing is a female soldier who works in your unit.


The information he now gives you meshes with observations you had made that indicated a very familiar manner between the Platoon Leader and the soldier. Previously you had not attached any real significance.




1. Does this information change your previous decision?





2. What additional moral issues does this raise?





3. What moral issues are still in conflict?





4. What is your decision and what principles do you apply?



















You are in 3d Platoon. You have heard rumors that the Platoon Sergeant for 2d Platoon was soliciting and receiving sexual favors and gifts from the soldiers in his platoon. These rumors were never confirmed or proven while you were in the 3d Platoon.


Shortly, you transfer into 2d Platoon. Approximately two weeks after joining the platoon, you are making a routine inspection of the billets late in the evening. While you are walking down the hall you see a female soldier leaving the platoon sergeant's office. Two weeks later you walk by the platoon sergeant's office. You discovered the door unlocked. When you enter the office, you discover four of five bottles of scotch on the desk. You also find an expensive watch in a box, a calculator, and other less expensive items. The trash can contained several different styles of wrapping paper. The Platoon Sergeant had celebrated a birthday that week. The Platoon Sergeant has been recognized, on several occasions, for his success. At the time the unit is rather close-knit to include the commander. The Platoon Sergeant, when confronted, admitted accepting the gifts. He denied that he had requested such items.



1. What do you do?





2. What moral issues are involved?





3. What issues are in conflict?





4. What principles or reasoning would you use to make your decision?





















MORAL: Capable of making the distinction between right and wrong. Living, teaching, and leading in accordance with the principles of right and wrong; good or upright conduct/character.


MORAL STANDARD: Standard of Conduct is in accordance with a moral code.