Dissemination of Ethics  

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Lawrence Ethics Essay Award
Funded by Class of 1981

Each semester, the Stockdale Center organizes a competition to select the outstanding ethics essay written in the Academy's core ethics course for third class midshipmen, NE203, Ethics and Moral Reasoning for the Naval Leader. We give the 4-6 finalists' papers (usually 8-10 pages in length) to outside readers to review, asking them to provide a rank-order and brief comments. The rankings determine a winner for each academic term. The winner and all the finalist are honored at a dinner funded by the Class of 1981.

Annual Moral Courage Lecture
Funded by Class of 1964

The Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership hosts an annual Moral Courage Lecture during the fall semester for all third class midshipmen. The lecture complements NE203. In the past, the Moral Courage Lecture featured Mr. Hugh Thompson and Mr. Larry Colburn. Mr. Thompson and Mr. Colburn were recognized as the unsung heroes who confronted those who perpetrated the My Lai massacre during the Vietnamese War. With Mr. Thompson's death in 2006, the Stockdale Center has diversified its search for speakers among military personnel from recent conflicts who have a compelling story to share. The moral courage lecture is also open to the entire Naval Academy community and the general public. Transcripts and videos of past lectures can be accessed on our publications page.

Spring Stutt Lecture
Funded by Mr. William C. Stutt

Endowed in honor of Mr. William C. Stutt and his wife Carolyn Stutt, the Stutt Lecture is delivered annually in the Spring semester to midshipmen third class enrolled in the Academy's required core course NE203. Lecturers in this series are distinguished civilian scholars from leading colleges and universities who present and discuss contemporary dilemmas in military ethics.

This year's Stutt Lecturer was presented by Dr. Brad Allenby, Director, Center for Earth Systems Engineering and Management, School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment in Civil Engineering Arizona State University

On March 27, 2013 Dr. Allenby discussed the challenges facing today's Junior Officers as they enter a world of rapidly accelerating technological innovation in the biological and other sciences. The future will present opportunities and risks for decision makers as they incorporate those technologies in the military services endowing warriors with attributes once deemed the dreams of science fiction. Transcripts and videos of past lectures can be accessed on our publications page.

Ethics for the Junior Officer
Funded by Class of 1964 and 1984

Since 1999, the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership has organized an annual event, sponsored by the Class of 1964 and the Class of 1984. Members of the classes of '64 and '84 travel from around the world to spend time with midshipmen, discussing their experiences and ethical challenges in the fleet or in the business world. In addition, each member of the graduating class is personally presented with a copy of the book Ethics for the Junior Officer, produced by the Stockdale Center. The 2009 and following editions will be in Portable Document Format (PDF) and will be made available on the Stockdale Center website. In addition, recipients and other interested readers will be able to submit cases for consideration and inclusion in subsequent editions.

On the evenings of April 15-17, 2008 the Classes of 1964 and 1984 presented their class gift, the book Ethics for the Junior Officer, to each member of the Class of 2008; efforts for the distribution were coordinated by the Stockdale Center. Each ceremony was conducted inside the Naval Academy's Memorial Hall and lasted approximately one hour. The evening began with addresses to the midshipmen by Colonel Arthur Athens, USMC (Ret.), Director of the Stockdale Center, and Captain Dave Tuma, USN (Ret.), President of the Class of 1964; the gentlemen covered the history behind the book, its significance and value to all junior officers in the fleet, and encouraged the midshipmen to become familiar with the book prior to graduation in order to be better equipped for the issues they would soon face following their commissioning. Overall, the books were very well received by the midshipmen, and various members of the Classes of '64 and '84 were able to share some of their experiences with midshipmen on a more personal level.

USD exchange
Funded by Class of 1964

The Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership sponsors an annual exchange program with the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) unit at the University of San Diego (USD). During the fall semester, two to four USNA midshipmen and a Stockdale Center staff member travel from the Naval Academy to San Diego to participate in the Stockdale Leadership and Ethics Symposium at USD. This three-day event enables midshipmen to gain an appreciation for the activities of an NROTC unit, compare ethics and leadership instruction between an NROTC unit and USNA, and actively participate in a well-established and well-recognized symposium. Past speakers at the Stockdale Symposium have included Dr. Albert Pierce, Admiral Leon A. Edney, Colonel H. R. McMaster, Mr. Joe Galloway, Admiral Stanley R. Arthur, Senator James Webb and Mr. Richard L. Armitage. In reciprocation with USD, the Stockdale Center hosts two to four USD midshipmen and an NROTC staff member in Annapolis, typically during the USNA Leadership Conference held each winter at USNA.

Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation program
Funded by the Class of 1964

The Auschwitz Jewish Center, a Polish-based organization committed to the study of the Holocaust and the life that preceded it, along with the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, works with each of the U.S. Service Academies to bring outstanding midshipmen and cadets to Poland each summer. The chosen four to five Academy representatives spend three weeks meeting with scholars, high-level government officials, students from Eastern Europe, and citizens of Poland. They also engage in intensive workshops designed to educate and immerse them in Polish culture, both before and after WWII.

The purpose of the Service Academy Program is to display in vivid terms what can happen in the absence of free, open, and democratic governing institutions. Through learning in detail about the Holocaust and events leading up to it, the Academy representatives understand what can happen when evil is given free reign, when democratic ideals are not defended, and when ordinary citizens choose compliance over action. Highlights include: trips to Warsaw, Krakow, Auschwitz, and Galicia; private receptions at various embassies; meetings with Polish and U.S. military personnel; lectures from leading scholars and Holocaust survivors about the rise of the Third Reich and the world's response to the Holocaust; and in-depth discussions of current events in the light of these historical events. The trip gives Academy representatives a chance to interact not only with cadets from USMA and USAFA, but with students from Eastern Europe, who are hungry for contacts with young people in the United States.

Past participants report that the trip is a life changing experience. Many of them maintain contact with friends they make on the trip. Midshipmen have also used what they learn by sharing their experiences with other midshipmen in various settings and acting as guides for Plebe Summer trips to the American Museum of the Holocaust in Washington D.C. These trips are sponsored annually by the Levy Center.

Visit the Auschwitz Jewish Center American Service Academies Program Page

Faculty/Staff Ethics Roundtables
Funded by Class of 1964

During spring semester, the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership hosted two roundtables led by distinguished visiting scholars. The 20 March roundtable was led by Dr. John Kelsay, Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Religion at Florida State University and one of the nation's experts on Islamic perspectives on the ethics of war. Drawing on his latest book, Arguing the Just War in Islam, Dr. Kelsay discussed the sources of Islamic law, the evolution of the Islamic just war tradition, and Muslim critiques of bin Laden's interpretation of the just war criteria of right authority and discrimination. The 1 April session was led by Dr. Michael J. Perry, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law at Emory Law School and an expert on the relationship of morality to law. His latest book, Toward a Theory of Human Rights: Religion, Law, Courts, was published in 2006 by Cambridge University Press. The roundtable debate focused on two issues: the metaphysical foundations of human rights, and the respective merits of secular and religious defenses of these foundations.

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