|Multi-National Security Transition Command " Iraq Release |
BAGHDAD " Three officers from the Training Directorate of the Iraqi Army traveled to San Diego, Calif. and West Point, N.Y. for focused discussions on military ethics training and character development, Jan. 29 " Feb. 4.
At the International Society of Military Ethics Symposium in San Diego, the officers engaged presenters from all branches of the U.S. military, as well as Canada and Australia, in discussions on character development programs within their respective services.
A key message of the conference was summed up in a statement made by a Canadian Defense Force chaplain who stated, Ethics instruction is always a leadership issue. The best person to teach ethics is the commander. It is always leadership and ethics, together. "
Brig. Gen. Mohan S. Reyah, Director of the Center for Military Values, Principles, and Leadership Development, explained to the group that Iraqi people are guided by three types of principles: family, societal, and governmental principles. The development of an ethics education program for the Iraqi Army within the identified principles created significant discussion.
During an impromptu dinner address, Iraqi Army Maj. Gen. Abbas Fezaa, chief of the Iraqi National Defense University, told the audience the Iraqi Army now serves the Iraqi people and the country is now more secure than ever.
At the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., the Iraqi delegation worked closely with members of both the Academy and the Army Ethic Centers to gain an understanding of how the U.S. Army approaches character development.
The Simon Center for Professional Military Ethic presented a comprehensive overview of the character development and "officership` programs for the 4,400 member Corps of Cadets. The four traits essential to officership were discussed in detail: Warrior, Leader of Character, Servant of the Nation, and Member of a Profession.
The Iraqi delegation also brainstormed possible approaches to values training in the Iraqi Army with members of the Army Center of Excellence for the Professional Military Ethic. The workshop identified competence and character as two equal requirements in U.S. Army Soldier development, and explored what it means to be a member of a profession of arms. "
Mohan articulated the challenges of developing ethics in Soldiers and leaders who either do not understand military values or do not want to accept them as a result of 35 years of repression under the old Saddam regime.
While at West Point, the delegation learned about the U.S. Army`s Officer Career Progression and met with the only Iraqi cadet at West Point, now is in his third year. The trip culminated with discussions with U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Hagenbeck, the Academy superintendent, and Brig. Gen. Linnington, the commandant of cadets.
As a result of relationships formed during the visit and insights gained from the ethics panels, Fezaa stated he would incorporate ethics more deeply into the Iraqi Army officer education programs and engage the Iraqi Army brigade commanders to ensure that values and principles are delivered to all Soldiers and leaders. "