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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Stephen Keith
N SCI 412
Seattle Campus

Military Leadership and Ethics

Study of leadership and ethics within a military context using applicable case studies. Examines the Law of Armed Conflict and Code of Conduct; the importance of integrity, moral courage, and ethical behavior to effective leadership; and the interrelationship between authority, responsibility, and accountability. Offered: W.

Class description

This is the second of two Naval Science leadership courses that provide an academic foundation for the personal leadership development of NROTC students who will be commissioned as junior officers in the Navy or Marine Corps. It is based on the premise that leadership is more art than science, and that rigorous study of the subject in an interactive class environment can assist individuals in their lifelong development as leaders. The course is open to the University community and benefits greatly from the contributions of its non-NROTC participants.

“Leadership is an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes or action that reflect their shared purpose.”

“Ethics is, first of all, the discipline of dealing with the fundamental questions of ‘what is good and bad?’ and ‘what is moral duty or obligation?’ Ethics, particularly professional ethics, is also the particular rules or standards of conduct governing the members of an organization.”

The course objective is to help you develop an ethical foundation that will serve you equally well during normal routine and in critical situations as a military officer. A strong ethical background will help you to be true to yourself and to your profession, to ensure the best care of your Sailors and Marines, and to preserve the good faith and confidence of fellow citizens.

After examining fundamental theoretical concepts of Western moral traditions and ethical philosophy, we will explore a variety of topics, including Just War Theory and the Law of Armed Conflict, as well as some of the practical challenges that junior officers face. The texts include classic and modern readings by prominent thinkers from numerous academic disciplines, as well as thoughts from great military leaders. Case study discussions are sequenced throughout the course to illustrate the relevance of key concepts.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Stephen Keith
Date: 06/16/2005