The Army Values: Our Common Denominator
October 16, 2013
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa Japan - Forty plus soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery, participated in a Moral Fitness Luncheon to enhance their understanding and appreciation of the Army Value of Honor and employ that knowledge here, Sept. 25.
This luncheon was hosted by Capt. Mark A. Johnston, chaplain for 1-1 ADA who initiated this program at Fort Benning, Ga., in 2009 and continues the tradition during his deployment to Iraq and throughout his tour on Okinawa. Today, this iteration was on the value of honor whereby he divided it into seven sessions. To date approximately 340 soldiers have participated in the one hour session which equates to 55 percent of the soldiers assigned to the unit. Most of the soldiers listened with intensity as Johnson tied his remarks back into practical applications.
"In the vision statement of the commander of 1-1ADA it states; "The Army Values: Our Common Denominator."
The outcome I hope for is to gain an understanding and application of the Army Values in the lives of soldiers. All soldiers can quote to me what the Army Values are. That is not enough. I hope this program will provide them the tools they need to apply these values in real world situations and give them the ability to make moral and ethical decisions when these values conflict either with each other or with the beliefs with which the soldier has been raised. Also, AR 165-1 Chaplain Activities in the U.S. Army states that "moral leadership training is a commander's tool to address the moral, social, ethical, and spiritual questions that affect the climate of the command and the lives of all personnel assigned to that command," explained Johnston.
"Moral leadership training is designed to assist the commander in undergirding leadership tasks in order to enhance moral standards and resilience, strengthen character, promote American identity, and lead with credibility," he added.
Woven throughout the class is the common denominator referred to as honor. "To be a person of honor from my point of view is to have a faith, a belief in something greater than you. From my perspective, that is my faith in God. I certainly will not tell you that it is only through faith in God that a person can be honorable but I do believe that honor requires faith in something greater than yourself. Something that will outlive you and that there will come a day when the hearts, the motives and the actions, of all people will be judged. Whether that is by God, as I believe, or karma, or fate, or if it will be by the custodians of our history as the United States of America when they look back upon our actions will they find them to have been honorable? To believe that there will be a reckoning one day is what brings about a sense of honor," said Johnston.