The 2017 Fort Leavenworth Ethics Symposium was conducted April 24-25, 2017 at the Lewis and Clark Center on Fort Leavenworth. This year’s theme was “The Ethics of Future Warfare” – an exploration of the changing and unchanging nature of future warfare.
One unchanging aspect discussed during the symposium was personal “character.” Character is viewed as foundational to a leader’s capacity to successfully navigate the shifting ethical terrain presented by constantly changing technologies and situations. Participants at the symposium had the opportunity to explore the effect of character in leadership and the ethical impact of technologies and their employment on the battlefield.
Day 1 began with remarks from Lt. Gen. Michael Lundy in Eisenhower Hall. Lundy set the stage for the students and guests attending the symposium. After Lundy’s remarks, Dr. James Crupi, president and founder of Strategic Leadership Solutions, Inc., presented “Character: The Foundation of Leadership.” After the Eisenhower Hall session, the panels and breakout sessions began.
This year’s symposium format was a bit different in that rather than signing up for the symposium as an elective course, all CGSOC students were required to attend. This made the job for Chaplain (Major) Jeff McKinney, the ethics instructor for CGSC’s Department of Command and Leadership (DCL) who organizes the symposium, a bit more challenging in that he had to plan to accommodate all the students in the class versus just 150 or so that would have been in the elective course version. As a result, there were three panels, each conducted twice during day one of the symposium, while there were 27 breakout sessions being conducted concurrently. The breakout sessions were each conducted twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon of day one. Students and guest attendees had plenty of choice for which panels and breakouts they wanted to attend. Day one ended with a social hosted by the CGSC Foundation.
The highlight of day two of the symposium was the keynote lecture delivered by Dr. Shannon French, the newly appointed General Hugh Shelton Distinguished Visiting Chair of Ethics. Dr. French spoke about the “Warrior Ethos” and answered questions from the attendees afterward.
During the conclusion of the symposium Chaplain McKinney and Director of DCL Dr. Ted Thomas, along with Foundation CEO Doug Tystad, recognized the panel presenters with Foundation coins and the breakout session presenters received CGSC branded coffee mugs. The key presentations were to the two best papers presented. CGSC student Maj. Francisco Hernandez won the $300 first prize for his paper “A Leader’s Duty in Tragedy and Loss.” CGSC faculty member Dr. Richard Berkebile won the $150 second prize for his paper entitled “Secession and Jus Ad Bellum.”