The first thing learned in the Army is to adjust the declination of our moral compass. While in actual compass course we are expected to be precise, "close enough" will do on the moral course.
We learn to lie, cheat and claw our way to the top by any means necessary. The savages rise to the top, while the non-cannibals drop out of the competition. If one will lie for the Army then why not for ourselves? That is the question one faces after first losing our moral "cherry", especially while working in a system that values, consistency, order and repetition (predictability). Everyone is "One Each", so if he lies, then we all lie.
As with Infantrymen, once blooded, killing is often less difficult the next time. Special Forces are admiringly called "Sneaky Petes", but that duplicitous skill once inculcated does not turn off at the doorstop. Anyway, what are "truths" and what are "lies" when working in the fields of violence? Has anything truthful or life-enhancing resulted from killing human beings?
It seems primitive to hawk honor codes while sitting on enough nuclear weapons to destroy humanity many times over. Can we see beyond the speeches, the clutter of our everyday lives and banal beliefs? Do we realize that our priorities, our assumptions of reality and our lives are based upon folly, whim and uncontrolled emotion?
Leadership is not about greatness but rather disregard for humanity and the ability to manipulate underlings to do things that go beyond the bounds of reason. In for a penny, in for a pound.
We soldiers are raised in a liberal democratic, humanistic society, and are then expected to perform functions that are 180 degrees to these closely-held beliefs.