Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 71

U.S. Army photo by Command Sgt. Maj. Concordio Borja Jr., Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah IMPORTANCE OF FOLLOWERSHIP Staff Sgt. Justin Southwick (center right) gives a convoy mission brief to members of Alpha Battery, 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment before a key leader engagement meeting between members of Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah and the Director of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock in Farah City, Afghanistan, 25 June 2013. is it ethical to comply with or enforce rules if they impede the accomplishment of the organization’s purpose, the organization’s values, or basic human decency.”15 Followers must have th e courage to oppose the boss when events require dissent for the good of the organization. Chaleff also emphasizes that organizations that have courageous followers will have no need for whistle blowers because the followers do their duty to prevent leaders from making unethical decisions.16 One of the key statements Chaleff makes is that, “proximity and courage are the critical variables in the prevention of the abuse of power.”17 Dissent in Followership The challenge for followers is approaching their superiors, looking them in the eye, and telling them that they disagree with a decision. The Army has some superiors who do not appreciate, acknowledge, MILITARY REVIEW  September-October 2014 or want to have anyone challenge their authority. They perceive questions on their decision making as sharpshooting instead of analyzed dissent. However, morality and ethics require good followers to provide opinions, recommendations, and judgments to their superiors, using critical and effective reasoning.18 Lt. Col. Mark Cantrell (U.S. Marine Corps) wrote an article about military dissent in which he says followers should make sure they have their facts straight, and they are certain the boss is wrong, before they call attention to the issue and bring the correct information and guidance to the boss for his or her own good and future perspective.19 Military forces work under a distinct chain of command for daily operations, and the military culture promotes working with one’s boss before going over the boss’ head in that chain. Loyal dissent is expected to follow an ethical guideline to maintain an effective chain of command. Going around one’s command 69