At West Point, the honor code states that a “cadet will not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those that do.” I left West Point in 1977 and have adhered to that code my entire adult life. When I arrived at Fort Hood Texas for my first duty assignment, I vividly remember folks telling me that the honor code didn’t apply to the “real Army” and that I would need to relax my standards. I didn’t do that, and I am glad that I didn’t.
I am seeing a troubling trend across our nation where senior leaders are indeed lying and cheating, and are getting caught. I would have thought there would be an uproar in the media, but that has not happened. There seems to have developed a societal tolerance for unethical behavior. Folks are clearly lying, but their activity is being accepted.
We are on a slippery slope if we continue this behavior. We should hold leaders at all levels to the highest standards of integrity. There is no grey area when it comes to honor.