Thursday, November 20, 2008


First you find yourself overlooking small infractions that you would have corrected on the spot in the past.

Soon you are a participant in these infractions. "After all," you say, "Everybody's doing it."

All too soon you find yourself trapped. You no longer can stand on a favorite principle because you have strayed from it.

Finding no way out, you begin to rationalize, and then you are hooked.

The important fact is, the men who travel the path outlined above have misused the very basic quality and characteristic expected of a professional military man, or any other professional man for that matter.

They have compromised their integrity.

Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, NAVAL LEADERSHIP - Voices of Experience


C.H. said...

Doing some research on this subject I was delighted to find this blog, which I promptly bookmarked. I know I am responding to very old post, but since it was for me a top Google search result I decided to add my two cents for my shipmates.

Hoping to get to the original source of this quote, I checked out the book "Naval Leadership: Voices of Experience" from my library. Although Adm Burke did write these words in a letter to Professor Karel Montor, entitled "Integrity", Adm Burke attributed the quote to, "a plaque hanging in the office of the Chief of Staff, Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico Virginia".

Anonymous said...

Admiral Burke also included that quote, with the same attribution, in an article entitled "Integrity" in the "Proceedings of the Naval Institute" journal, in their Leadership Forum. I copied the quote from that article. IIRC, the article appeared there in the 1980's.