a. Taking care of the environment protects human health and safety and guards natural
resources. For example, when fuel spills on the ground, it soaks into the soil, poisons plants, and
eventually enters streams and lakes that supply drinking water.
b. Caring for the environment also supports the Army mission. Costly environmental
cleanups detract from Army readiness. During war, many wise tactical, medical, and operations
security (OPSEC) practices are also good environmental practices. Handling fuels safely,
maintaining vehicles, disposing of solid waste and hazardous waste (HW), and managing and
turning in ammunition properly are sound environmental and tactical considerations that carry
over from training into combat operations.
c. Practices that damage the environment waste time and do not lead to success in combat.
One example occurred during the Gulf War when Iraqi soldiers set fire to Kuwaiti oil fields and
poured millions of gallons of crude oil into the Persian Gulf. The Iraqi Army deliberately
damaged environmental resources and wasted valuable time and effort on activities that did not
stop the Allies' advance. Remember, environmental stewardship does not prevent the Army from
fighting and winning wars, but rather supports the Army mission.
1-2. Environmental Ethic.
a. FM 22-100 defines ethics as principles or standards that guide soldiers and professionals
to do the moral or the right thing. The environmental ethic is that we will take care of the
environment because it is the right thing to do.
b. The Army's environmental ethic is the operating principle and value governing soldiers,
units, and the Army. Damage to land, water, and air are reduced by considering the effects of
training, operations, and logistical activities on the environment and managing hazardous
material (HM) and HW properly. Soldiers put this ethic into practice by--
Complying with installation environmental policies, unit standing operating
procedures (SOPs), Army regulations (ARs), and environmental laws and
Preventing environmental damage and pollution by making sound decisions that
will not harm the environment.
Advising the chain of command when unit actions do not comply with
Supporting the Army recycling program.
Reporting HM and HW spills immediately.
Making sound environmental decisions in the absence of a supervisor or proper