Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of National Security Affairs at Marine Corps University’s Command and Staff College. Prior to joining the faculty in 2009, she taught at The Georgetown Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University and the School of International Service at American University. Dr. Johnson has spoken on topics related to military ethics across the services in the United States and at service schools abroad. She has published numerous articles and book chapters and is currently writing a book on emerging trends in military ethics. Her most recent work, “The Wizard of Oz Goes to War: Unmanned Systems in Counterinsurgency” is forthcoming in Strawser (ed.) Killing by Remote Control: The Ethics of an Unmanned Military. The announcement of this class is cross-posted on Blogs of War with her permission. If you’re interested in military ethics you will also want to read her recent Blogs of War interview.

Military Ethics Twitter Course

We’re getting ready to start our electives period at the Command and Staff College, where I have the good fortune of teaching 17 Majors, Lieutenant Commanders, and GS-14s about military ethics. The course runs 10 sessions over five weeks, and as I’ve been preparing I had one of those ‘flash of the obvious’ moments:

I love teaching. I love military ethics. I love twitter.

Would it be possible to combine the three? I honestly don’t know, but I figure we might as well take a crack at it.

Here’s what I propose:

1.  You can see a readings list at Twitter Military Ethics Course. Very graciously, @khanserai has created a googledocs that has the readings for the first couple of weeks. For the others, you’re smart; you can find them. If you have better ideas for readings, videos, etc., lemme know and I’ll update. Nothing like crowd sourcing learning!

2.  I intend to loosely mirror the same pace as my seminar course, which means we’ll cover 2 topics per week. Unlike seminar, we’re not constrained by a two-hour window. We’ll have roughly 3 days to develop our thoughts (in 140 character chunks!).

3.  All are welcome. Come and go as you please.

4.  I’ll post a brief backgrounder on this blog at the start of each topic to kick things off. Then I’ll tweet specific learning points and questions with the hashtag #METC. All you need to do is follow along and ask me questions or give your thoughts on the questions I ask. Just make sure to use the hashtag #METC so everyone catches it. I’ll do my best to storify conversation threads as we go.

5.  Since I’ve never done this before, I expect there will be a pretty sharp learning curve. Apologies in advance for whatever I mess up; please let me know how I can help make it more productive for you! Always remember: you get what you pay for.

6.  There will be an honor grad. There will be an honor grad prize. That is all I have decided so far.

Any questions? Hit me up at @johnsonr. Here are the general windows for each topic:

Class 1: Introduction to Professional Military Ethics (January 21-23, 2013)

Class 2: Moral Dilemmas (January 24-26, 2013)

Class 3: Motivating Moral Behavior (January 28-30, 2013)

Class 4: Setting the Command Climate (January 31-February 2, 2013)

Class 5: Moral Development (February 4-6, 2013)

Class 6: Targeted Killings (February 7-9, 2013)

Class 7: Emerging Issues – Unmanned Systems (February 11-13, 2013)

Class 8: The Stoic Warrior (February 14-16, 2013)

Class 9: Responding to the Command Climate (February 18-20, 2013)

Class 10: Ethical Fitness (February 21-23, 2013)

February 25, 2013 GRADUATION!!!


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