Discerning content for Bad Hombres and Nasty Women

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

James Mattis on Ethics

If you've spent any time on this humble website, you pretty much know where my political affiliations lie. I have a very low opinion of Donald Trump; his policies, certainly his character, and his choices are all for the most part, reprehensible. 

With one exception.

As I wrote back in December, I went to college with James Mattis, the current Secretary of Defense. He's an honorable guy, and I'm fairly certain he is one of the few sane voices in this Administration.

Last Friday, he sent a memo to all DoD staff reminding them what it means to hold the public trust. It’s not the first ethics memo from a Secretary of Defense, but it is written with the square-jawed integrity that is absolutely signature Mattis.

He wrote:


August 4, 2017

Re: Ethical Standards for All Hands

Those entrusted by our nation with carrying out violence, those entrusted with the lives of our troops, and those entrusted with enormous sums of taxpayer money must set an honorable example in all we do.

I expect every member of the Department to play the ethical midfield. I need you to be aggressive and show initiative without running the ethical sidelines, where even one missstep will have you out of bounds.

To ensure each of us is ready to do what is right, without hesitation, when ethical dilemmas arise, we must train and prepare ourselves and our subordinates. Our prior reflection and our choice to live by an ethical code will reinforce what we stand for, so we remain morally strong especially in the face of adversity.

Through our example and through coaching of all hands, we will ensure ethical standards are maintained. Never forget our willingness to take the oath of office and to accept the associated responsibilities means that even citizens who have never met us trust us to do the right thing, never abusing our position nor looking the other way when we see something wrong.

I am proud to serve alongside you.

James Mattis

(Thanks, Bob!)

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