Small Wars Journal

Professional Military Ethics Monograph Series

Professional Military Ethics Monograph Series by Paul Paolozzi, US Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute

In this monograph, the fifth in the series on the Army’s Professional Military Ethic, Colonel Paul Paolozzi challenges the Stewards of the Army Pro­fession by addressing the well-known fact that such earned trust can only be based on relationships and communications of candor.

Paolozzi’s head-on ap­proach addresses what he coins the “candor chasm,” the space between what we say we value and what is actually said or written. He argues that the topic of candor is largely absent in Army literature, muted in professional dialogue, and individually valued but organizationally uncommon. He posits that, as a profession, the Army cannot have it both ways.

Ei­ther candor is valued, heralded, rewarded, and en­couraged, or it remains peripheral. If the latter, it is to the detriment of new leaders who learn that forth­right communication is not valued, a lesson that is as damaging to individual character as it is institution­ally to the Army…

Read on.