Army War College Report Finds The Military Unintentionally Encourages Dishonesty

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Photo by Sgt. Michael K. Selvage

The military may be inadvertently encouraging its servicemen and women to lie in order to meet mission requirements. A recent study from professors at the Army War College found that senior military leaders may have become “ethically numb” as they struggle to meet overwhelming demands under threat of ruining their reputations if they fail to meet their objectives.


The study noted that “words and phrases such as ‘hand waving, fudging, massaging, or checking the box’ would surface to sugarcoat the hard reality that, in order to satisfy compliance with the surfeit of directed requirements from above, officers resort to evasion and deception. … in the routine performance of their duties as leaders and commanders, U.S. Army officers lie.”

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