Essay on Reviewing The Difficult Decision With My Company Officer

Essay on Reviewing The Difficult Decision With My Company Officer

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When reviewing the difficult decision with my Company Officer, he discussed the pressures of passing command inspections, maintaining a professional relationship with your Chief, and preserving personal integrity. Firstly, he noted that ultimate goal of command inspections is to prove the operational readiness of the ship. The inspection will expose any failing parts of the ship and improve operational efficiency once they are fixed. Failing the inspection itself will have negative consequences, but those pale in comparison to punishments for being caught falsely signing the records, or “gundecking”. This point about falsifying the maintenance records also relates to the professional relationship with your chief. My Company Officer said that trusting your chief is crucial, but he emphasized the difference between trust and blind followership. Allowing this “gundecking” creates an atmosphere that tolerates lying and promotes distrust, which is far worse than disagreeing with your chief. Finally, my Company Officer believed that personal integrity should never be compromised due to outside pressures. He also explained that if I did not feel confident about the situation, I could approach the Command Master Chief or a higher ranking officer for his or her opinion. Overall, personal integrity was highlighted as the most important of the three tensions discussed, and the conversation gave me a solid background to consider the tough decision.
One option in this dilemma would be to not allow the Chief to mark off the maintenance jobs, and there are many ethical arguments that can support this decision. First of all, I could view this decision with a Kantian outlook. Kantian ethics emphasize the importance of moral principles, and these...

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...examining the case with all types of moral reasoning and virtue ethics, I feel that the unquestionably correct decision would be to not allow my chief to sign off on the maintenance records. This action would certainly be difficult and require definite moral courage and personal integrity, as I understand I would be punished for failing the inspection. However, I realize that the operational readiness of the ship far outweighs my individual punishment. By reporting the deficiencies in the ship, I can assure that they will be fixed after the inspection. This decision could even save the lives of my Sailors if the defect in the ship was serious enough. Most importantly, not allowing my Chief to change the records would allow me to keep my personal integrity intact. Maintaining my honor will stay with me for all my time in the fleet, as well as for the rest of my life.

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