There has never been a greater need for their early and profound moral shaping and the need to have crystal clarity in our values and principles...
-- Gen John Allen, USMC, '76 

Stockdale Center For Ethical Leadership

The Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership ... named after one of the Academy’s most courageous, honorable and accomplished graduates, Vice Admiral Jim Stockdale, Class of 1947 ... serves to empower leaders to make courageous ethical decisions. The Secretary of the Navy established the Center to not only support the Academy’s moral development mission, but to also be a beacon of ethical leadership thought for the Navy and Marine Corps, the Department of Defense, the federal government and national and international institutions of influence.

The mission of the Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership at the Naval Academy is to empower leaders to make courageous ethical decisions. The Center was established to focus on the character, ethical and leadership development of the future leaders of the Navy and Marine Corps and the nation. 

The Center is truly a margin of excellence activity at USNA, receiving the majority of its funding from private gifts.  These gifts enable the Center to pursue the following priorities:

  • Identify and study the most important emerging military ethical leadership issues.
  • Provide education and consultation for both emerging and experienced leaders.
  • Introduce innovative technologies and concepts to enhance and accelerate the ethical leadership development process.
  • Network leaders for discussion, debate and inspiration in the field of ethical leadership development.
  • Insure all Academy leadership, character and ethics programs and activities are aligned and integrated.

The Center’s vision is to help prepare the future Jim Stockdales ... men and women who will, as Admiral Stockdale once said, “not only exhort others to be good, but elucidate what the good is.”  For that is the true challenge for our future leaders ... not only must they choose right at the moment of ethical decision ... they must ensure those entrusted to their care do the same.  And it is to this challenge that the Stockdale Center is called ... to prepare our future leaders for an uncertain, complex, and volatile world ... a world where tactical decisions have strategic implications.

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