BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY

U.S. Special Forces turn to BYU for ethics training

Feb 24, 2021, 5:55 AM
FILE -- National Guard members compete in the annual Region VII Marksmanship Championships at Camp ...
FILE -- National Guard members compete in the annual Region VII Marksmanship Championships at Camp Williams in Bluffdale, Utah,Saturday, June 20, 2009. National Guardsmen and women from Arizona, Nevada and Utah competed in pistol, light machine gun, rifle and sniper shoots. Barton Glasser, Deseret News

PROVO – U.S. Special forces units are turning to BYU for a different kind of ethics training.  Some professors say the world of business ethics and the world of warfare have more similarities than many people would realize. 

Over the past 30 years, BYU Professor of Ethics and Leadership Brad Agle has been asking business leaders what kind of ethical dilemmas they’ve gone through.  After some years, he noticed a few patterns and began to classify what these ethical dilemmas were really about.

Agle said, “[We found] 97% of all ethical dilemmas that people face in organizational life fall into one of 13 general categories.”

Military conflict and the world of business may not seem very similar, but Agle said soldiers in special forces units need to make ethical decisions every day, and those decisions fall into the same kinds of categories that business dilemmas do.

“One is called ‘Standing Up To Power.’  It’s very common where someone in a power relationship with you tells you or ask you to do something you think is unethical,” he said.

Agle and his co-author, Aaron Miller, wrote the book “The 13 Dilemmas” for business executives, but officials with the U.S. Special Operations Command felt it could be applied to situations that units like the Army Rangers, Green Berets and Navy Seals face on a constant basis.  They asked Agle to rewrite the book into a field guide that soldiers could have with them at all times.

“We replaced all the business stories with their actual special operator stories,” Agle said.

The 56-page field guide is now reportedly being used extensively in training for special forces units. 

Agle said, “They published 5,000, originally, and those have been distributed to most of the special operations units.”

Today’s Top Stories

Brigham Young University

video game...
Elizabeth Weiler

BYU students win international award for video game

SALT LAKE CITY — Students apart of the animation program at BYU received international recognition from the Rookie Awards for developing and producing a video game. Additionally, the “Highly Commended” also helped BYU earn the global ranking of fifth top video game design school.  The interactive computer game in question is titled Liminus: The Silent Guard, it […]
2 days ago
BYU...
Mark Jackson

BYU wellness students return from Blue zone with healthy lifestyle tips

Some BYU students are learning how to live healthy and happier lives from a trip to Ikaria, Greece.
12 days ago
The anticipation of hosting the Arkansas Razorbacks will not be the only source of excitement at BY...
Elizabeth Weiler

BYU to host Arkansas with a Fighter Wings flyover

The anticipation of hosting the Arkansas Razorbacks will not be the only source of excitement at BYU's stadium this Saturday. Hill fighter wings will perform a flyer-over. 
2 months ago
A new exhibition is opening soon at the BYU Museum of Art....
Waverly Golden

New exhibition coming to the BYU Museum of Art, depicts 20th century African American History

A new exhibition is opening soon at the BYU Museum of Art on October 15, 2022, featuring over 50 works depicting African American History.
2 months ago
The Book of Mormon Art Catalog offers users a variety of ways to conduct specific searches and to b...
Devin Oldroyd

Book of Mormon digital visual art catalog launches Monday

A digital catalog of visual art inspired by the Book of Mormon became available on Oct. 3. It features more than 2,000 pieces.
2 months ago
The wafer with the etched Book of Mormon on it, made by BYU students...
Samantha Herrera

BYU engineering students put ‘world’s smallest Book of Mormon’ on 4 inch disc

The entirety of the Book of Mormon is now on display on a gold-plated 4-inch disc in the Clyde Building at BYU. It'll last millions of years.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
U.S. Special Forces turn to BYU for ethics training