By Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Bradley West
Frontline, the lunchtime discussions on leadership and faith, serves as a monthly forum to explore faith as it relates to leaders and various aspects of leadership.
Normally held on the second Wednesday of the month, the January session will meet on the 21st, rather than the 14th.
Frontline meets in the Ka-Pow Room of the Post Chapel, Building 265 on Picatinny, from 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
The topic of faith has taken on new relevance as the Army seeks to instill a professional ethic in all Soldiers in response to sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other moral failings within the ranks.
Army leaders have identified character as a foundational component of the Army professional ethic with morality serving as an essential element of character.
People have long recognized a person’s faith, defined as their religious beliefs, as a determining factor of personal morality. Organized religion has historically served as a source for a society’s morality and subsequent societal structure.
The changing religious landscape of the United States, and subsequently, its Army creates a fascinating testing ground for the role of faith in determining principles of leadership and the desired character of leaders.
Frontline discussions have covered a broad spectrum of themes revolving around leadership and faith over the past year since its inception in 2013.
We have examined various leadership principles from the Bible, linking them with modern military leadership practices. We have also discussed alternative religious beliefs and their impact on leadership and decision making. Specific leaders have served as topics of discussion as we examined German Pastor Dietrich Bonhoffer and his opposition to the Nazis. We also examined qualities of leadership of President Ronald Reagan and leadership lessons from Robert McNamara’s film The Fog of War.
Recently we discussed General Douglas MacArthur’s inspiring speech “Duty, Honor, Country” as it presented themes that deeply resonate with human beings.
Our meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 21 will continue an earlier discussion regarding differing narratives of the United States’ founders’ faith and its impact on our society and culture. The topic will focus on the American invention of religious freedom and its implications for an increasingly secular culture.
These are not boring Power Point lectures but opportunities for debate and discussion of topics relevant to challenges the Army faces today. Everyone is welcome to participate and lunch is provided. Did I mention that we provide lunch for free? Please join us Jan. 21 at 11:45 a.m.