Courage is one of the qualities that are immediately associated with serving in the military and, therefore, are seen as the definitive characteristic of the troops. Personal courage is specifically singled out as the quality that every soldier is expected to posses and display whenever the need to face a threat arrives. However, the development of personal courage is a rather painstaking process that requires substantial training and perseverance. By introducing soldiers to the idea of prioritizing responsibility and meeting key objective, one can foster the creation of personal courage as the vehicle for overcoming fear.
The phenomenon of personal courage might seem to be quite easy to define, yet the presence of subjective opinions concerning its meaning may obscure the definition slightly. In the military context, the notion of personal courage is typically referred to as the ability to endure physical challenges and remain calm and collected in the situations that involve risks to personal safety (Farmer, 2017). Moreover, personal courage suggests accepting responsibility in the situations that may result in severe damages to a soldier, while selecting the strategy that will lead to the least negative outcome (Farmer, 2017). Therefore, the concept of personal courage in the army context stretches beyond dismissing the presence of a threat and, instead, suggests the ability to make a reasonable decision in the face of a danger (Farmer, 2017). Therefore, the notion of personal courage remains one of the central values of a military servant.
Remarkably, the concept of personal courage is not limited to its physical aspects. In addition to the specified specimen of personal courage, the moral one also represents a crucial constituent of the subject matter. Representing a vital addition to the physical component, the moral one allows an individual to overcome the fears and insecurities associated with other threats apart from bodily harm. For example, the fear of failure can be seen as the representation of the obstacle that moral courage can help to address when facing a difficult situation. Since the presence of a psychological barrier to decision-making is just as threatening to making the right choice as the emergence of a physical danger, it needs to be managed properly. At this point, moral courage needs to be used as the tool for recognizing one’s feelings concerning a specific threat, reconciling with fear, and developing a reasonable solution for the situation under analysis.
Therefore, the presence of personal courage allows not only for the management of key responsibilities in the military environment but also the promotion of personal progress. Namely, the ability to cope with inherent fears and reconcile with one’s weaknesses is a crucial skill that one must deploy when facing a situation that implies an imminent threat. The urgency of making the right decision becomes even more prominent when the involved risks include not only the probability of a personal damage but also the threat to others. Therefore, summoning courage must be deemed as a crucial skill of a soldier.
Shaping soldiers’ attitude toward their role in the army and promoting the concepts of duty, honor, and compliance, one can help them to build personal courage as the means of facing fears. Specifically, the development of personal courage will help soldiers to prevent fear from clouting their judgment when making decisions in the context of an obvious threat. Thus, soldiers will b able not only to meet their key responsibilities as troops but also to grow personally and develop the qualities and characteristics that will mold their personalities toward being ethical, dependable, decisive, and responsible.
Farmer, R. M. (2017). How can the United States Army leverage the strengths of three disparate generations to fight and win the nation’s wars? The Ethics of Future Warfare, 37, pp. 1-8.