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Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership
Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership

A series that addresses the Brigade Honor Concept at the United States Naval Academy

“Character development is an ongoing process and midshipmen must make the choice to live honorably each day and earn the trust that comes with a commission in the Navy or Marine Corps."   
Vice Admiral Sean Buck, Superintendent, United States Naval Academy

 

The Naval Academy’s Honor Concept is a guiding light for how Midshipmen should conduct themselves. It is a personal moral compass embraced by the Brigade as essential ideals that set the foundation to living honorably as both a Midshipman and officer in the Navy and Marine Corps. The Honor Concept formalizes the requirement for Midshipmen to demonstrate integrity while refusing to lie, cheat or steal. It simply expects midshipmen to "stand for that which is right".
The Naval Academy has an "Honor Concept" because Midshipmen embrace the challenge of owning the moral standard and helping their peers act as persons of integrity. There is no toleration clause as there would be in an "Honor Code". This is purposeful because the onus for change is not with the Honor Concept, but the responsibility lies with the Brigade of Midshipmen to live up to its principles.

 

Midshipmen are persons of integrity: They stand for that which is right.

They tell the truth and ensure the truth is known. They do not lie.

They embrace fairness in all actions. They ensure that work submitted as their own is their own, and that assistance received from any source is authorized and properly documented. They do not cheat.

They respect the property of others and ensure that others are able to benefit from the use of their own property. They do not steal. 

 

This six-part series is for and by Midshipmen. It is a tool to better understand the principles of the Honor Concept of the Brigade of Midshipmen.

For best results, it should be listened to sequentially, and then discussed with Companymates, Classmates, and interested friends.



1- The Brigade Honor Concept (7:31) MIDN 1/C Teresa Collins   Play Episode

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MIDN Collins is the Brigade Honor Advisor. We discuss how the Brigade Honor Program is midshipmen run, and the roles and responsibilities of Brigade Honor team. This involves the honor advisory staff, the honor investigations team, and the honor congress. She details the significance of the Honor Concept relative to an Honor Code. We then discuss what happens when someone is "put in the system". Finally, we discuss how the Brigade Honor program and the Honor Concept apply to the choices that Midshipmen make each day for themselves and for each other.

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2 - Honor and Authenticity (8:42) MIDN 1/C Jackie Booker   Play Episode

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MIDN Booker is the AC Y22 (Academic Year) Fall Brigade Commander. We discuss how honor relates to leadership. How does authenticity relate to honor, and is honor natural or is it something that can be developed? And if so, how do you "develop" honor? If honor/trust is lost, can it ever be restored again? And finally, what honor means to MIDN Booker.

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3 - The Honor Process (9:13) CDR Jana Vavasseur   Play Episode

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CDR Jana Vavaseur is the Brigade Honor Officer. We discuss the mission of the Naval Academy and we understand where Honor fits into it's goal "To develop Midshipmen morally, mentally and physically". Basically, how does the Honor Program add to that mission? What are the facts and some of the numbers related to honor, and honor violations? We discuss do we recruit honorable high school graduates, or do we develop honorable Midshipmen? Finally, we discuss the concept of Brittle Fracture, and that how that idea relates to Honor violations.

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4 - Remediation and Coaching (14:31) CAPT Rick Rubel, USN (ret.)   Play Episode

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CAPT Rick Rubel, USN, (ret.) was the officer tasked to develop the Honor Remediation Process at the Naval Academy. In this episode, we discuss the honor remediation program and processes. Why do we have remediation, and how does this fit the moral development program for Midshipmen? What are the keys to success and factors of failure? Finally we discuss how do we prevent this from becoming a "second chance" program? He also discusses the newest program involving mentorship, with the midshipmen driven effort taking a proactive approach to developing honorable character habits. CAPT Rubel has also been a Distinguished Military Professor of Ethics and has served as the Course Director of the Core Ethics Course for 17 years.

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5 - The Fleet Connection (10:15) CDR Andrew Ledford   Play Episode

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CDR Ledford is the Chair of Leadership, Ethics, and Law. In this episode, he discusses the status of Midshipmen in the naval tradition. There's the importance of the concept of "profession", and a Midshipman's place within that profession. What's the significance of the "Khaki" uniform, and its link to the Brigade Honor Concept and the Professional Naval Officer? Finally, we emphasize that committing to the Honor Concept starts on I-Day.

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6 - Honor, Ethics, and Integrity (9:35) CAPT Roger Herbert, USN (ret.)   Play Episode

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CAPT Herbert, USN (ret.) was a Distinguished Military Professor of Ethics, and the NE203 Course Director (Ethics and Moral Reasoning for the Naval Leader). We discuss, can a person be an ethical person and be honorable at the same time? How does integrity fit in with ethical behavior and being honorable? We ask, is there honor among thieves?

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