By Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Seppala, senior religious affairs noncommissioned officer-in-charge, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense CommandApril 25, 2017
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - Morality is a highly objective concept that has its roots in a variety of sources. Many people derive their sense of morality from their religious convictions; some tend to draw on their cultural roots, while others find their morality from a plethora of different sources. The truth is that morality can come from almost anywhere and is something that is unique to each individual.
As you can imagine, having so many sources of morality leads to many different views on what is right and wrong. Of course, some moral issues are universally accepted for the most part. Murder, rape, theft, etc. are all examples of things that most people agree are morally reprehensible. However, it is not the issues we agree on that divide us, it is the topics, which we do not agree on that cause people to protest and riot on the streets of the United States.
Issues like abortion, gay marriage, capital punishment, transgender bathroom choice, or even less controversial issues such as alcohol use, pornography, divorce, and premarital sex can all have a dividing effect on society. Although not as prevalent or vocal, this societal divide does extend into the military, particularly when policy runs contrary to the moral system of some of the Soldiers and leaders of our units.
Unlike our civilian counterparts, those of us in uniform are not allowed the ability to speak out against policies that we find run contrary to our moral beliefs. The question then becomes - how can we reconcile our morality against a policy that violates our sense of right and wrong?
The answer lies in the Golden Rule: "Treat others as you would like to be treated." It is ok for Soldiers and leaders to hold onto their belief systems, the Army wants leaders with conviction, after all a person with a grasp of right and wrong is far better than one who has no moral compass to follow. Just do not let your views of morality prevent you from treating everyone with the respect and dignity that they deserve as fellow Soldiers and human beings.
If you ever find yourself struggling with a moral dilemma in either your work or personal life, you are always encouraged to find a member of the chaplain corps. The chaplain corps is able to offer you a safe, confidential environment where you can discuss your thoughts and work through your problems without fear of judgement or reprisal. Chaplains and religious affairs specialists are assigned to every battalion and higher-level unit in the Army and are ready to stand by you as you face all of life's pitfalls.