The Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic


    Specificity and Applicability of Non-toleration

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    Kaydet
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    Specificity and Applicability of Non-toleration

    Post by Kaydet on Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:06 pm

    Does the phrase "or tolerate those who do" always mean automatically turning someone in to the formal honor system? Aren't there many ways to keep our battle buddies in line and to "not tolerate" without 'bringing them up on honor'?

    Additionally, the cadet honor code, as I understand it, is a baseline standard to hold us to while we develop our own, higher personal and cultural/organizational standards and develop morally & ethically. Therefore, how should the phrase "those who do" be interpreted? I don't think it would be right to say "those" are only cadets as surely a cadet/soldier/officer shouldn't tolerate a TAC or an instructor who lies, cheats, or steals, yet there is no "honor board" for non-cadets. Therefore "non-toleration" has to mean more than just turning someone in to the formal honor system. If this is the case, in what ways do we address this in our honor system and honor education system?

    Thanks for your time. This is something that I've wondered for a while.

    Respectfully,
    Cadet Luke Bonewitz

    Kaydet
    Guest

    Re: Specificity and Applicability of Non-toleration

    Post by Kaydet on Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:58 am

    No responses?

    Additionally, I think that the majority of cadets would agree that it would not be reasonable to bring someone up for stealing (which it technically is) if you saw them take a jar of peanut butter from the mess hall (not authorized according to the SOP). But we shouldn't (but most all of us do) tolerate that, should we? Ok, well maybe that's not the best example, but my point stands: We should begin thinking of the non-toleration clause as more than simply a "I will turn people in" clause. It's more than that and to say that it isn't shortchanges the spirit behind the code.


    BDE Honor XO

    Posts : 2
    Join date : 2010-09-23

    Re: Specificity and Applicability of Non-toleration

    Post by BDE Honor XO on Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:11 am

    CDT Bonewitz,

    Apologies for the late response.

    I think you have some great points in your interpretation of the toleration clause of the Honor Code. As you may guess, it is certainly the most contentious clause within the Corps. With regards to your point of the purpose of the Honor Code, you are correct that it is designed to serve as a baseline for the moral and ethical behavior of the Corps of Cadets. However, we should strive for more and better performance at all times.

    That being said, the non-toleration clause is more than "I will turn people in" clause. Perhaps the most integral part of the Honor Investigative Process is one of the first steps, which is the Approach for Clarification. While it is not required, it is certainly recommended not only as a professional courtesy, but also to clarify any misunderstandings prior to ensuing further investigation.

    That being said, the Approach for Clarification is symbolic for action towards non-Cadets as well. As you mentioned, there are situations where non-Cadets, whether they be Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, or civilians may be involved in a situation that may or may not violate what would be the Honor Code for the Corps. However, simply because they are not Cadets does not mean you cannot conduct, simply, an approach for clarification either. In a professional manner and setting, I would contend that such an action would actually encourage further professional development not only for the witness and the individual. Regardless of rank, we should hold ourselves to a high standard and encourage others to do the same.

    My interpretation of that clause as a part of the Honor Code is that when an individual witnesses an act occur, be it lying, cheating, or stealing, the only unacceptable action is inaction. As I mentioned earlier, it is incumbent upon the witness to pursue some kind of discourse. If that witness is satisfied with the result of that discussion and feels as though the individual has either clarified the issue or admitted to the issue and decides to turn himself in, then the process ends there. However, if the witness is not satisfied by the response of the individual, then in that case, the Honor Code exists the preferred method to resolve the matter from that point further.

    If you feel as though I have not sufficiently addressed the matter or if you would like to discuss the matter further please continue to post or do not hesitate to contact me at sahm.cho@usma.edu or 845-515-1814.

    Very Respectfully,

    CDT CPT Sahm D. Cho
    Brigade Honor Executive Officer
    United States Corps of Cadets

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