Monday, October 9, 2017
Archer A. Vandegrift writing about Moral Courage
Moral courage involves both the fortitude to do what is right in the face of not just failure, but disgrace, and the willingness to set aside profound personal considerations. Military education emphasizes and rewards "boldness"; taking calculated risks to win. But that same education inculcates limits on acceptable risks.
Junior officers at the beginning of service typically envision physical courage as at or near the pinnacle of martial virtues and are apt to overlook or diminish moral courage. Those who go on to extended careers discover that physical courage is commonplace in American armed forces, but that a depth of moral courage is an indispensable quality for higher command and that it is rarer than physical courage - or boldness.