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For the Special section in this issue, the editors of “Ethics and Armed Forces” have presented experts from various countries with a six-item list of questions on the subject of military ethics and ethics education in their respective armed forces. These pages do not claim to be representative, but are intended to provide further illustrative material for the question of a common European approach in this area.

What is your and your country’s understanding of military ethics? What does it essentially deal with, and what is its main task? 

My personal view of military ethics refers to the scientific study that understands and evaluates professional military behavior in times of peace, crisis, and war.

Military ethics is a term that encompasses fundamental concepts such as the ‘warrior ethos’, honor and professionalism and clearly symbolizes the uniqueness of the military profession.

Military ethics is essential when dealing with critical situations not covered by provisions of law. In this sense, military applied ethics can provide solutions to ethical dilemmas and can be valuable to overcome legal voids.

In Greece there is a long tradition on philosophical studies, given that the origins of ethical philosophy belong to the country, but there is not yet a distinguished systematic discipline of military ethics, induced in Greek Universities.

In any case, the notion ‘warrior ethos’ has its origins to ancient Greece’s war customs and unwritten rules of warfare as well to the reasoning of philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle.

Is there a public debate in your country on related issues? If yes, on which ones?

In Greece, it could be said that military ethics as area of debate in a way is covered or studied in parallel to other philosophical or political issues such as ethics and integrity at the workplace or in the framework of university studies of International Humanitarian Law.

Do you see any commonalities between the EU member states and other European countries in the understanding and/or concrete questions of military ethics? If so, what are they?

It could be said that there is a consistent European view regarding what is considered as ethical behavior or ethical leadership in military organizations. Common terms used in declaration documents and codes, such as justice, respect for human dignity, impartiality and integrity are indicative of a common understanding.

Has the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine led to a significant change in that sense?

In my point of view the most worrying fact is the Russian rhetoric that uses a distorted concept of sovereignty, attempting to introduce the notion of ‘fluidity’ of international law in order to fulfill its foreign policy goals and at the same time appear as a law-abiding and moral actor in the international system.

The problem of ‘case’ or ‘egocentric’ ethics of individual actors is what calls for a collective understanding and response towards what is considered ethical in international relations.

To what extent and for whom are ethics and military ethics part of military training and education? Who gives the classes?

The values and principles of organizational military culture in Greece are part of the Professional Code of Conduct of the Hellenic Armed Forces and are also included in manuals on implementing rules of International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

IHL is an integral part of military training and curriculum and in recent years gender awareness is included as part of enhancing gender equality in the military, implementing the UN WPS Agenda and relative EU and NATO training provisions.

In military academies, classes are given by military personnel or civilian experts.

In your opinion, what are the most important questions or the most pressing problems of today that military ethics should address?

Given that education is crucial for shaping human character, the current bet on systematic education in military academies should be shaping a moral character and a collective perception capable of putting consistency and accountability as primary goals for the military profession.


Evaggelia Kiosi

Col Evaggelia Kiosi, Μilitary Legal Advisor, Integrity Advisor, Hellenic National Defense General Staff

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All articles in this issue

Military Ethics and Military Ethics Education: In Search of a “European Approach”
Lonneke Peperkamp, Kevin van Loon, Deane-Peter Baker, David Evered
Just peace despite war? In defense of a criticized concept
Markus Thurau
Russian Invasion of Ukraine. Not a Bit of the Old Ultraviolence
Arseniy Kumankov
Military Ethics Education – Bridging the Gap or Deepening the Chasm?
Dragan Stanar
The Retransformation of Soldiers’ Identities
Patrick Hofstetter
The Army is No Place for a Warrior
Christopher Ankersen
“Try to get more emotion into the classroom”
Deanna Messervey


Roger Mielke Janne Aalto Michaël Dewyn Patrick Mileham Stefan Gugerel
Evaggelia Kiosi
Mihály Boda Richard Schoonhoven