Ian Langford - Service values

Running time
2 min 19 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


The military is one of those institutions that its success is defined by its morals, its ethics and its values and so establishing a baseline of what its values are as a service is the first step in setting expectations around individual obligation in terms of behaviours and norms. And so, having, you know, service, courage, respect, integrity, and excellence as a set of defined values at the organisational level is the first step to being able to set behaviours when it comes to the obligations of all members that where the uniform.

And then as we bring people in the service, through the delivery of professional military education through learning off the experience of others, and through, again, that process of iterative learning, we expose our people to a series of rule sets, essentially, to help them be able to make decisions in a way that reflects our values but also is morally and ethically defensible.

And then, of course, when you put context on top of all of that, it recognises, I think, as we ask our people to do very difficult things, in often complex and dangerous circumstances, that we give them a set of principles and protocols to help inform their decision making at that point. And the aim and the expectation is, at least through the prism of values informed by their own morals.

And with an understanding of ethics we can get it right more often than not. And I think, as an institution, the Army does its best to enable our people with that sort of knowledge and with the ability to apply it in what are very unique, often dangerous, confusing and chaotic circumstances, all the while recognising the nature of humanity, in that mistakes can be made and that's okay, but it's got to be in the context of trying to do the right thing all the time. And I think that's what we subscribe to in terms of service.

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