Author: COL Matthew Moten
In the Fall of 2013, the author of this monograph, Army Colonel Matthew Moten, chose to retire amid reports of his reprimand for misconduct and removal as head of the U.S. Military Academy’s History Department, following an investigation of allegations made against him. Published in 2010, this monograph presents the results of Colonel Moten’s critical analysis of an issue important to the Army: deepening our understanding of what the Professional Military Ethic means to the profession today. The monograph remains a solid contribution to the dialogue among professionals the Army leadership sought to ignite. In particular, readers should note well Moten’s closing paragraphs:
“Before the Army accepts such a statement of its professional ethic, much debate is in order. Should we use hard phrases such as “total accountability” and “unlimited liability?” What are officers’ core responsibilities as leaders and how far do they extend?
How concisely should we explicate our adherence to the principle of civilian control? Should we espouse nonpartisanship as part of our ethic? The debate required to answer such questions will provide impetus for an Army-wide discussion about the profession, its ethical values, and the role that it should play as a servant of American society in the future. Let it begin.”
We, at the U.S. Army War College believe the conversation on the Army’s professional ethic must continue, and still find value in Moten’s 2010 work, notwithstanding the situation that led to his relief.