On November 11, 2015, the National Security Ethics Group brought Leonard Wong to Indiana University. Dr. Wong is a researcher at the U.S. Army War College whose work focuses on the human and organizational dimensions of the military. During his visit, Dr. Wong offered a public lecture entitled “Societal Trust in the Military,” which addressed the key points that shape the Army’s relationship with the public, in the context of a history of Army organization. Students, faculty, staff and members of the general public attended this lecture. Dr. Wong also met with Hutton Honors students for a conversation about Ethics, Leadership, and National Security, followed by a workshop with IU faculty and the leaders of IU’s ROTC training program to talk about his recent report, “Lying to Ourselves: Dishonesty in the Army Profession.”
Dr. Wong is a retired Army officer who has taught leadership at West Point and served as an analyst for the Chief of Staff of the Army. His research has led him to many nations, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Vietnam. He has testified before Congress and his work has been highlighted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New Yorker, CNN, NPR, PBS, and 60 Minutes. A professional engineer, Dr. Wong holds a B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy and both an M.S. and Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. Wong’s research shows that untruthfulness is surprisingly common in the U.S. military, an enormous identity conflict for an organization whose members pride themselves on integrity. Unfortunately this sense of integrity prevents the profession from addressing—or even acknowledging—the duplicity and deceit throughout the formation. This report is available free through the Army War College and was recently presented to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.