Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 74

Macro-Ethics and Tactical Capt. Ryan Jodoi, an unmanned aerial vehicle pilot, flies an MQ-9 Reaper while Airman 1st Class Patrick Snyder controls a full motion video camera at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan, 13 March 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James L. Harper Jr., AFCENT Combat Camera) Chaplain (Maj.) Robert C. Gresser, U.S. Army Chaplain (Maj.) Robert C. Gresser is an operations chaplain with the U.S. Army-South. He holds a B.A. in bible/ theology from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and a Master of Divinity from the Yale University Divinity School. Chaplain Gresser has deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn. C ommanders and leaders must often make decisions the moral correctness and strategic outcome of which are difficult to calculate. Consider the strategic corporal, a relatively new and inexperienced noncommissioned officer, in contrast to the tactical general, an experienced leader who through technology can control, or even micromanage, events on the battlefield that traditionally were left to leaders much closer to the action. Inherent in both positions, as they have evolved, is great strategic risk. Strategic corporals make tactical decisions that can have far-reaching strategic consequences. On the other hand, high-level leaders, through technology, can directly affect tactical situations without sufficient consideration of the strategic implications of these actions. At any level, as Army leaders we cannot let our strategic acumen atrophy. Instead, we must become more sophisticated in our decision-making processes, especially when it comes to incorporating strategic-level ethics that directly impact mission success or failure. Strategic-level ethics—or macro-ethics—takes into account the structure of ethical decision making as a whole. Macro-ethics, like macroeconomics, looks not at the individual agent but at the overall effect of ethical decisions. In other words, macro-ethics looks beyond relatively black-and-white ethics of specific situations or individual decisions and takes into consideration the overall strategic-level ethical climate. Granted, it is important for individuals to make ethical decisions in their personal situations because little good can come from immoral behavior at any level. However, high-level leaders also need to make morally 2nd Place MacArthur Contest Winner 72 September-October 2014  MILITARY REVIEW