Defence Studies Department
Introduction to the King’s Centre for Military Ethics
There is a growing acknowledgment that military ethics and a genuine, deep appreciation of human rights issues is a crucial component of the education of every service member, wherever they may serve. There is a clear linkage between ethical behaviour within armed forces and their conduct on operations. Fostering ethical awareness and moral decision-making in military personnel is a proven way of reducing unnecessary harm and suffering in conflict situations. It would seem obvious that there is substantial benefit for everyone in making them available as widely as possible. That is why the King’s Centre for Military Ethics was established in 2015, to conduct research into the best ways of delivering effective professional military ethics education, and to develop material and tools to support those seeking to do it.
Military Ethics Education Playing Cards
Starting with the assumption that playing cards are a ubiquitous, everyday part of life, the idea is to use them as a vehicle for raising ethical awareness. Fifty-four questions from across the broad area of military ethics have been carefully developed, based on professional military ethics education curricula, in conjunction with research and testing on military focus groups, and in consultation with specialist lawyers. The cards are available to military units and can be used to prompt informal discussion and debate, normalising the discussion of ethical challenges faced in military environments.
Questions are generally open ended and encourage people to think about key issues that may arise in a military setting. For example:
• Should a soldier challenge an order if they consider it to be illegal?
Each card has a QR web link to the King’s Centre for Military Ethics webpages where there are additional prompts, questions and information for each question, along with reading and articles. Groups of questions can be thematically linked so impromptu or pre-planned supported discussions can quickly be developed using the open-access material.
Possible ways to use the military ethics playing cards, include:
• Assign a card/question to a member of your team each week and get them to lead an informal discussion
The cards are currently available in Arabic, Spanish, Serbian, and French. They can also be produced in Turkish. If you are interested in purchasing the translated cards, or would like to discuss ordering in larger numbers, please contact the Director of the King’s Centre for Military Ethics directly: [email protected]
Scan the QR code below to go to the Military Ethics Playing Cards webpage
We will endeavour to ship your cards within 10 working days, except where a new print run is required (in which case you will be informed of the delay). For large orders, please contact us before paying your order.
Please note: The initial delivery cost you will see after adding to basket will be based on the UK, until you enter a delivery address.