Pentagon deliberates on improving military ethics

The Pentagon has been considering how to improve senior officers' ethics following a series of scandals that rocked the US military, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has briefed President Barack Obama on their recommendations, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.
According to Little, Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presented two initial findings that Panetta took to the White House earlier this week, reported Xinhua.

The first finding is that while there is appropriate ethics training in place for senior leaders, "we need to start earlier and reinforce that training more frequently in an officer's career", Little said.

"Second, General Dempsey believes we must look at the level and type of support senior leaders receive in the execution of their duties to ensure it is necessary, and to ensure we are being consistent, sensible and efficient," Little said.

Dempsey's intent is to direct consistency of support across the general officer/flag officer cadre and to determine whether it is appropriate, Little said.

"What we're talking about here is the personnel infrastructure surrounding general and flag officers," Little said. There are different types of support that general and flag officers receive. For example, generals in command have an aide-de-camp, which is one level of support. They often have additional staff to help with more routine activities.

Little said the findings are an initial set of recommendations, and part of a long-term effort by Dempsey, who has not reached conclusions on ethics training or support to senior military officers.

US military has been rocked by a series of scandals lately. William Ward, former chief of US Africa Command, was demoted for misuse of government funds. David Petraeus, a retired four-star general who resigned as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director, was found to have an extramarital affair with his female biographer, Paula Broadwell.

John Allen, head of the US forces in Afghanistan, is also being investigated for alleged "inappropriate communications" with a socialite in Tampa, the US state of Florida.