Military OLQ – Are Senior Officers Losing “Moral High Ground”…?

Moral Ascendancy – The Most Important Military OLQ (Officer Like Quality) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/12/moral-ascendancy-most-important.html

Are Senior Officers Losing Moral High Ground…?

Recently – I heard a few young officers expressing their frank and honest opinions about senior officers.

Their comments were far from flattering – it seemed that senior officers had lost respect in the eyes of their junior officers.

These candid remarks reminded me of a small article I had posted a few years ago on the importance of officers having “Moral Ascendancy”.

So – I am posting the article on “moral ascendancy” once more for you to read…

Military Officer Like Qualities (OLQ) = MORAL ASCENDANCY

Ramblings of a Retired Navy Veteran By Vikram Karve

As a young officer in the Navy – I used to ask myself:

“If I remove my badges of rank  then why should a sailor willingly obey me…?”

The answer I gave to myself was:

“A sailor will obey me – if he “respects” me

And – to respect me – the sailor should feel that I am “better” than the sailor.

Yes – an officer will be respected by his men – only if the men under his command believe – that their officer is “better” than them.

Those days – I could not exactly define what the term “better” meant.

Now – I realize that – the term “better” means “moral ascendancy”.

Yes –  “better” means “moral ascendancy”.

“Moral Ascendancy” means “Moral High Ground” or “Moral Authority”.

(The opposite of “Moral Ascendancy” is “Moral Degradation”)

Being Ethical and Righteous in your conduct gives you “Moral Ascendancy” – whereas being unethical, immoral and corrupt causes “Moral Degradation” – which will earn you the disrespect of your juniors and peers.

“Moral Ascendancy” will win you the respect and confidence of your subordinates and peers.

Your juniors will “Respect” you if you have moral “Moral Ascendancy” over them.

And – Your juniors will willingly “Obey” you if they “Respect” you.

So – as an officer – you must have “moral ascendancy” over your subordinates in order to gain their “respect”.

Thus – “moral ascendancy” in officers – especially senior officers – is an essential prerequisite for discipline in the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Moral Ascendancy is the most important Officer Like Quality (OLQ) for a Defence Officer.

You have to attain moral ascendancy before you demand respect.

Genuine respect does not come from Legal Authority.

Genuine respect comes from “Moral Ascendancy”.

A bad officer will have to use his legal authority (power of rank) to enforce obedience.

A good officer never has to use the power of his rank to command his men.

His men will willingly obey him because of his “moral ascendancy”.

Moral Authority is far superior to Legal Authority.

And – Moral Authority comes from “Moral Ascendancy”.

That is why the most important aspect of selection and training of officers is to ensure that they have “moral ascendancy” over the men they are going to command.

If you talk to young military officers – you will realize that senior officers have lost “moral ascendancy”.

The effect of this is visible in the increasing indiscipline in the defence services – and this loss of “moral ascendancy” – and consequent loss of respect for senior officers can have serious ramifications in war – as it happened in the 1962 India-China War.

Senior officers need to introspect as to why they have lost “moral ascendancy” over their juniors – as a consequence of which – senior officers seem to have lost the “respect” which their high rank ought to command.

VIKRAM KARVE

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All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/12/moral-ascendancy-most-important.html

Extracted and Developed from my article CORRUPTION IN DISCIPLINE OUT Ealier Posted by me Vikram Karve in my blog academic and creative writing journal at 10/05/2014 02:17:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/10/why-corruption-in-military-is-most.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/12/military-officer-like-qualities-olq.html and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/09/are-senior-officers-respected-by-their.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/05/military-musings-have-officers-lost.html and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/is-military-leadership-losing-moral.html

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