War is one of the most delicate matters that are run by governments all over the globe. The argument for this fact is that the distinction between the appropriate and inappropriate ethics in war is blurred. This this line between what is the best practice for the soldiers is well defined by the commanders whose aim is to sustain a healthy and ethical command environment. An ethical command environment dictates how well the soldiers execute their orders.
The commanders have to exercise their duties with great care and due diligence to ensure that their officers are always in line. Therefore, the commanders are mandated with the task of creating and sustaining an ethical environment. They achieve this through a number of avenues that work well when applied together but not in isolation. First, the commanders must emphasise to their officers on the importance of the rules and ethics that govern the army structure as a whole, as well as the specific battalions. Rules and ethics are crucial in defining the behavior of the officers at every action in their line of duty.
Secondly, the commanders must define the commands clearly and precisely. The duties given to the officers must be clear. The officers’ conduct must be in line with the orders expectations. Sassaman took orders to heart. However, Sassaman mostly exceeded the order requirements. In the Fall of the Warrior King, Sassaman said, “We are going to inflict extreme violence.” This indicates that the officer exercised his duties beyond the mandated orders. This was propagated by bias of the commander, Maj. Gen. Raymond Odierno, who favored Sassaman.
Additionally, the commander should establish appropriate and effective communication to ensure the orders are well stipulated and understood by the officers and the officers can handle their subjects. Fall of the Warrior King (Pg. 2), the officers were unable to communicate well with Marwan and Zaydoon. A translator was needed. This is properly enforced appropriately if the commander establishes a clear chain of command in the field. The officers who were under the orders of Sgt. Carl Ironeyes, waved Marwan and Zaydoon to go, but the orders were thwarted by other orders to capture the Iraqis. The orders came through Lt. Jack Saville, which showed the lack of appropriate chain of command (Fall of the Warrior King Pg. 3).
Therefore, despite the efforts by commanders to maintain an ethical command climate, there are various factors that contribute significantly to an unethical command climate. Bias stands first in this pecking order. Commanders are likely to favour some officers than others. Fall of the Warrior King (Pg. 2) Maj. Gen. Raymond Odierno adored Sassaman because Sassaman had the zeal with which his men hunted down guerrillas. This would likely cause disharmony among the officers of the same rank as Sassaman. Consequently, it would be difficult to give orders.
Furthermore, unclear chains of command would cause dissatisfaction among the various officers under a commander. Since Sgt. Carl Ironeyes was at a higher rank than Lt. Jack Saville, the order to recapture the Iraqis might have weakened Sgt. Carl Ironeyes ability to command his junior officers. This is attributed to the fact that the officers saw an opportunity where the Sgt. orders can be easily revoked. Moreover, inadequate training would cause havoc in the commanding environment. This is mainly attributed to the fact that the officers are not conversant with the rules, ethics, and the need to follow orders (Fall of the Warrior King Pg. 5).
Fall of the Warrior King,. L207: Ethics In War: Fall Of The Warrior King. 1st ed. US Army Command and General Staff School: Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course (AOC): N.p. Print.