Assessing Ethical Reasoning among Junior British Army Officers Using the Army Intermediate Concept Measure (AICM)

Journal of Military Ethics 20 (1):2-20 (2021)
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Army Officers face increased moral pressure in modern warfare, where character judgement and ethical judgement are vital. This article reports the results of a study of 242 junior British Army officers using the Army Intermediate Concept Measure, comprising a series of professionally oriented moral dilemmas developed for the UK context. Results are suggestive of appropriate application of Army values to the dilemmas and of ethical reasoning aligning with Army excellence. The sample does slightly less well, however, for justification than for action reasoning, and there are differences following initial training for infantry and artillery officers versus other branches of service. Dilemmas involving anti-torture methods and not covering up soldiers' failings generated best results compared to those requiring balance between compassion and mission, and negotiating personal relationships with military needs. Gender differences favouring women were less than those observed for other professional groups using similar measures. This research further develops a much-needed measure of ethical reasoning among junior Army officers, with potential for use among other ranks. This approach is advocated for other professional groups.



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