Different Codes of Conduct

April 8, 2007

I know I’m not the first to have drawn attention to this — right-wing sites in the US have been doing it a lot, over the last few days — but the difference between the US and the UK military Codes of Conduct is fascinating.

Contrast this —

I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.

— with this:

Avoid any behaviour which damages trust and respect between you and others in your team and unit, such as deceit or social misconduct. In particular, you must not commit any form of harassment, bullying or discrimination, whether on grounds of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or any other behaviour which could undermine good order and military discipline.

There’s nothing conceptually wrong with the second statement, I guess, but it’s hardly likely to send soldiers off to war with fire in their bellies. It’s standard public service-speak, better suited to clerks and accountants.


(Hat tip: Freeborn John.)

Update: Melanie Phillips is on fire fire FIRE! (Have to say I agree with most of it.)


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