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Class Assignment

Leadership Qualities and Ethical Dilemmas in We Were Soldiers Once... and Young, by Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway

Library Session (Library Instruction Lab): You will receive background information about researching a particular topic from one of the reference/instruction librarians. If your instructor has not already assigned you to a group, you will be assigned to a group (~ four students each). Each group will choose one of the following topics. The librarian will suggest specific places to find sources which refer to real-life events that happened during the Vietnam era.  You will work in groups to gather the research needed to prepare your presentation. 

Groups will research a particular leadership or ethical aspect from We Were Soldiers Once...and Young. Groups may choose to analyze the leadership qualities of a particular character or choose to analyze a situation from the topics below.

Library session tasks will include:

  • generating effective keywords
  • finding scholarly articles about Vietnam War leadership or ethics
  • finding images and video clips about Vietnam War leadership or ethics
  • comparing different types of resources found in one article database
  • comparing resources accessed from different databases
  • generating accurate citation information

Your course instructor will allocate time in other class sessions to develop and deliver an oral presentation (group) to the class.

Topics: 

1. Identify leadership qualities a character possesses in the book and give examples: having a vision; imparting confidence; having compassion; setting high standards; being flexible; and/or, being prepared.

2. Identify an ethical dilemma a character faces in the book. What is the situation? Why is it an ethical dilemma? How does this character react and what does he/she do? What are the outcomes?

3. Explain how the leadership qualities that a character possesses help him/her get through an ethical dilemma you identify/explain. Name some specific leadership qualities the character displays in the scene. How do those specific qualities help the character overcome the ethical dilemma?

4. Explain the role of spouses in Vietnam. What leadership qualities did they possess to help them endure the separation not only on a personal level, but also on a group level?

5. Discuss the use of helicopters and their ability to change the landscape of modern warfare. Was their use ethical?

6. Discuss the bombing of Vietnam - the ecocide (destruction of agricultural land) of Vietnam.

7. Discuss the human consequences of chemical warfare. Were veterans that were exposed to Agent Orange entitled to compensation? What sorts of birth defects did Vietnamese children develop after exposure to dioxins?

8. Discuss the effects of media (newspapers, radio and television) on perceptions of this war.

9. Discuss the "coming home" of these war veterans. How were Vietnam veterans honored when they returned home after their tours of duty?

10. Discuss the implications and the ethics of drafting men into military service.  

 

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