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Ethical Dilemma 1


Ethical Dilemma
Steven Griffiths
Donal Hardin

Ethical Dilemma 2

The Good, The Bad, The Decision
Life presents all sorts of challenges and dilemmas, sometimes you have to decide if you are
turning left as opposed to right, and at other times you have to decide whether you are going to steal the
candy bar or leave it be. No matter the decision you have to make you are always left with the do it or
dont do it mentality. My life has been riddled with a variety of ethical dilemmas, some have been
trivial, and others have been serious. During my time in the U.S. Army I was a Non-Commissioned
Officer (NCO) and as leaders there were certain things that were expected of me, even though not all of
those things I agreed with personally. I had a soldier who went to visit his family in Texas over a 4 day
weekend, we have a radius of 250 miles that we are allowed to travel without needing extra paperwork,
this individual travelled roughly 300 miles to Dallas, I knew where we was going and I didnt care, but
when he called me and told me he ran into our First Sergeant in Dallas, I knew that things would get bad.
I thought that I could explain to my leadership that he didnt know exactly how far he had travelled, but
then I would be lying, I also thought about rationalizing the fact that we had just returned from a
deployment and he wanted to see his family really bad. No matter how many alternatives I could come up
with, I still had a responsibility as a leader to do the right thing, but should I take the initiative and tell
right away or wait until I am confronted to come clean. After about a day of heavy thinking I decided to
do the right thing (as a leader) and inform my chain of command that this individual did in fact travel
outside the acceptable radius from post, and he did so knowingly. I had made this decision because it was
the right thing to do, I couldnt lie to my leaders about what had happened because then my character is
brought into question of the incident, and also I know that my leaders would have done the same thing to
me if the roles were reversed. According to "Ethical Decision Making Process" (2000) Responsible
practice requires that you: base your actions on informed, sound, and responsible judgment, consult with
colleagues or seek supervision, keep your knowledge and skills current, engage in a continual process of
self-examination, remain open, In making ethical decisions, as much as possible and when appropriate.
(para. 1) In the end, the decision I made turned out to be the right one, my soldier ended up calling me
and told me he was going to inform our Platoon Sergeant where he was, and that although he knew it was
Ethical Dilemma 3

wrong to go outside the allowed area he did it and would accept any punishment that came his way. I told
him that was the right thing to do in this case, and that I would stand behind him (as an NCO) and support
his decision. Ethics is not the same as feelings. Feelings provide important information for our ethical
choices. Some people have highly developed habits that make them feel bad when they do something
wrong, but many people feel good even though they are doing something wrong. And often our feelings
will tell us it is uncomfortable to do the right thing if it is hard. Ethics is not religion. Many people are not
religious, but ethics applies to everyone. Most religions do advocate high ethical standards but sometimes
do not address all the types of problems we face.

Ethical Decision Making Process. (2000). Retrieved from
A Framework for Thinking Ethically. (2010). Retrieved from