University of San Diego Leadership Institute Brings Conversation on Military Ethics to the West

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 10, 2008 - When is war right and just? That question continues to linger in the minds of many, particularly military leaders during a time when this country is in the midst of a war. It will be the topic of discussion during the 2008 International Symposium on Military Ethics to be held at USD’s Mother Rosalie Hill Hall from Jan 24-25.

The event, hosted by USD’s Leadership Institute, has been held annually by The International Society on Military Ethics since 1979. This is the first time the conference will be held on the West Coast. The goal of the conference is to provide a forum for the discussion and exchange of ideas relating to professional military ethics, as well as foster analysis of military issues of ethical significance, according to the organization’s Web site.

This year’s keynote speaker is Retired Air Force Col. Charles R. Myers, professor emeritus at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Other speakers include Retired Navy Capt. Robert Schoultz, director of USD’s Global Leadership Studies program, and Dr. Tom Grassey, Naval War College Stockdale professor of ethics. Previous conference topics have included: Professional Military Ethics, Teaching the Teachers of Ethics, Ethics for Commanders, Ethical Issues Associated with Terrorism as a Mode of Warfare, and The Core Values Movement in the Military, among others.

Keeping ethics in the forefront of the minds of top decision-makers and providing ethical assurance for service members on the front lines is key, according to Dr. George Reed, retired Army colonel and a USD associate professor. Reed said while it’s highly important that military officers are trained and understand there are ramifications for their actions, all levels of service members are affected by the decisions they make.

“Ethics is important for all levels of military service, because of the faith and confidence that’s placed in them and the destructive capabilities that are at their fingertips,” he said.

Some of Reed’s USD graduate students are active-duty military members. He said they are usually receptive of a discussion on war and ethics because they have seen the dilemma that service members face. For him, that’s why it’s important to instill ethics in them.

“You don’t want them to look back on their actions with anything other than honor and pride,” Reed said. “It’s the responsibility of military leaders that none of their soldiers or service members look back on their service with shame.”

For more information on the symposium, go to, or contact the School of Leadership and Education Sciences Leadership Institute at (619) 260-7790.

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego is a Catholic institution of higher learning chartered in 1949; the school enrolls approximately 7,500 students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service. The inauguration of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies brings the university’s total number of schools and colleges to six. Other academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Business Administration, Law, Leadership and Education Sciences, and Nursing and Health Science.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.