The United States Army, and our Steel Battalion Army ROTC Cadets spanning 11 schools are a reflection of the American Society. Our Army's Senior leaders fully recognize the frustrations of racial divisions, injustice, institutional racism, and police brutality. Our Cadre Team and Cadets have already engaged in these very difficult discussions, healing, and action. Below is a message from our Army's senior leaders on the subject and extract below.
"Our ability to defend this country from all enemies, foreign and domestic, is founded upon a sacred trust with the American people. Racial division erodes that trust. Though we all aspire to live by the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage, the Army has sometimes fallen short. Because just as we reflect the best of America, we reflect its imperfections as well. We need to work harder to earn the trust of mothers and fathers who hesitate to hand their sons and daughters into our care. How we respond to the anger that has ignited will chart the course of that trust.
Every Soldier and Department of the Army Civilian swears an oath to support and defend the Constitution. That includes the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. We will continue to support and defend those rights, and we will continue to protect Americans, whether from enemies of the United States overseas, from COVID-19 at home, or from violence in our communities that threatens to drown out the voices begging us to listen. To Army leaders of all ranks, listen to your people, but don't wait for them to come to you. Go to them. Ask the uncomfortable questions. Lead with compassion and humility, and create an environment in which people feel comfortable expressing grievances. Let us be the first to set the example. We are listening. And we will continue to put people first as long as we are leading the Army. Because people are our greatest strength."
The U.S. Army has a long history of putting social justice and people first. As a unique department on campus, and intersection of student bodies, we hope to leverage all the resources and comments put forth. More specifically, it will not just be about training, conversations, and internal policies - our aim is to role model the ideals of our nation and the behaviors consistent with trusted professionals of character.
Because of our strong values based culture - morality, ethics, and character developed have already been integral parts of our curriculum. However, we will continue to solicit intervention in our Diversity/Equal Opportunity Training in conjunction with the University and Army, Bystander Intervention Training, Gender Violence, and work with our Cadet Mentors as an important outlet for these discussions and action. No doubt, they will share some great actionable steps forward, like internal efforts for Climate Surveys and engagement for our New Cadet Orientations. We also will emphasize consequences counter to the good order and discipline of our profession, community, and the American people.
Most important to our team, is our continued integration into the fabric of Lehigh and community partners- and being active participants in all the programed events, and leaders within our teams to ensure we shared in the responsibility both on campus, with our Cadets, our community, and our institutions.