CF Training for Moral and Ethical Decision Making in an Operational Context


  1. Thomson, M.H.
  2. Lee, K.L.K.
  3. Adams, B.D.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Humansystems Inc, Guelph ONT (CAN)
A half-day focus group discussion exploring current Canadian Forces (CF) training for moral and ethical decision making (MEDM) in an operational context was convened at CFB Kingston, Kingston, ON with six active Commissioned and Non-Commissioned Canadian Forces Officers who each had operational experiences involving moral and ethical challenges. Participants emphasized the importance of robust MEDM training for CF operational effectiveness. They identified five indirect means of training MEDM, which include promoting and instilling CF ethos and identity; learning from CF members’ operational experience and providing strong mentorship; evaluating and promoting individuals who consistently demonstrate high ethical conduct; systematizing MEDM knowledge transfer, and providing good post-MEDM support, including after action reviews, stress debriefings, and post-mission decompression opportunities. Participants also discussed specific requirements for training MEDM. For example, participants emphasized training MEDM is required at all rank levels and that it needs to occur regularly, as optimal MEDM cannot be promoted in a “two-day” course once every year. Lastly, participants also endorsed several direct means of training MEDM in an operational context. These included classroom case study training; live scenario-based training; and computer simulations.

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Moral and ethical decision making in operations, training recommendations;MEDM;Training recommendations;Mentorship;Knowledge transfer;Decompression opportunities;Operational training;Training
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2006-216 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
16 Aug 2006
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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