Instilling Practical Wisdom in Young Leaders

Category: Grad News

This episode features a conversation with LTC Tom Dull, Executive Officer at the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic.

This episode features a conversation between Dr. Scott Parsons, Character Education Integrator for the Military Program at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and LTC Tom Dull, Executive Officer at the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic.

Dr. Scott Parsons assists universities and institutions in developing leaders of character by designing curriculum, integration techniques, and assessment tools with a focus on character education. As a leader, teacher, and coach, he designs character education programs based on Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics to facilitate a flourishing life for students, faculty, and staff. As a retired Army officer with over 21 years of military experience, Dr. Parsons spent roughly half of his military career in Intelligence and the other half in academia serving as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Ethics.

LTC Tom Dull commissioned into the US Infantry in 2005 and has served at Fort Campbell, KY, Fort Bragg, NC and Fort Riley, KS. He has served as a Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, Troop and Company Commander, Aide-de-camp, and Battalion and Brigade Executive Officer. LTC Dull has deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Unified Response, Freedom Sentinel, and Atlantic Resolve. LTC Dull’s military education is expansive and includes the United States Army Officer Candidate School, Infantry Officer Basic Course, Airborne Course, Ranger School, Air Assault Course, and the United States Naval War College.

In this episode of the West Point Association of Graduates ‘Character Cut,’ LTC Dull talks about his background as a student of virtue ethics, responding to mission command and discipline initiatives, how the United States Military’s values vary from other nations’, and the importance of character education for young leaders in the academy. Dr. Parsons and LTC Dull also talk about Parsons’ use of practical wisdom during combat in Iraq.

Episode Timestamps

(01:09) LTC Dull’s background as a student of virtue ethics
(05:32) How practical wisdom influences soldiers
(09:34) Virtue ethics in military situations
(13:58) Dr. Parsons on employing practical wisdom in Iraq
(16:50) Mission command and discipline initiative
(18:27) LTC Dull’s whiteboard explained
(21:02) LTC Dull on Army doctrine
(24:06) The importance of character education for young leaders in the academy

“There’s gonna be times where maybe, perhaps, some of these officers, soldiers are kind of alone and generally unafraid, but they’re solving problems at the tactical level. And, some of those will be ones where their character will come into question. And so we really want them to kind of come through the other side with their character in tact, right? We want them as they represent not only themselves, the organization they’re part of, but the American military that they fought with character, they fought with honor. And they’ve come back with it. And I think practicing early on, especially here, what we see at the military academy, what we could possibly see in some other initial entry training units, like I think would be such a phenomenal kind of experience.”

— LTC Tom Dull

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