Glossary and Selected References
Chain of Command: Dictates a hierarchy of who is in charge of whom, and of whom permission must be asked.
Character: Attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual, group or nation leading to principled moral excellence.
Coaching: Short-term relationship lasting until the individual acquires the skills and behaviours sought out. Coaches observe the individual doing a specific task and provide objective feedback and encouragement.
Command: The authority vested in an individual of the armed forces for the direction, coordination and control of military forces.
Competence: The ability to do something well.
Culture: A shared and relatively stable pattern of behaviours, values and assumptions that a group has learned over time as an effective means of maintaining internal social stability and adapting to its environment, and that are transmitted to new members as the correct ways to perceive, think and act in relation to these issues.
Diversity: Possessing diverse or different qualities and perspectives. In the CAF context, it means the respect for and appreciation of differences in thought, ethnicity, language, sex, gender, age, national origin, ability, sexual orientation, education, and religion. See Inclusion.
Equity: Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome. Equity recognizes the need to adjust structures, policies, practices and access to opportunities for particular individuals or groups of people to facilitate their full participation or full benefit from opportunities and entitlements.
Ethics: Ethics is the search for, or study of, the justification for moral beliefs; how do we know what is right or good.
Ethos: The fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs or practices of a group or society. It is the foundation upon which the legitimacy, effectiveness and trust of the Canadian Armed Forces depend. The military ethos comprises principles, values, and expectations that reflect core Canadian values, the imperatives of military professionalism, and the requirements of operations.
Gender: Refers to the roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a given society may construct or consider appropriate for men and women.
Inclusion: The process whereby diverse personnel actively collaborate and work well together, recognizing that everyone is different. Ideally, it means embracing the different experiences and competencies that each individual brings to the CAF to optimize their contribution to mission success. This is fostered in a safe work environment where every individual is valued and develops a sense of belonging.
Inter-culturalism: Involves moving beyond mere passive acceptance of a multicultural fact of multiple cultures effectively existing in a society and instead promotes dialogue and interaction between cultures. It is based on the recognition of both differences and similarities between cultures.
Leader: A person who leads or commands a group, either based on formal authority or personal influence. For the purpose of this publication the term “leaders” refers to the potential for all CAF personnel to exercise leadership regardless of their rank level or their level of formal authority. In essence, all CAF personnel are either leaders, or potential leaders.
Leadership: The process of directly or indirectly influencing others, by means of formal authority or personal attributes, to act in accordance with one’s intent or a shared purpose.
Mentoring: Normally a long-term professional relationship based on a mutual agreement. Mentoring is an integral part of leadership. Mentors provide guidance in terms of leadership, career, professional and personal development.
Morals: Morals are the beliefs held by a person or community about what is right or good in conduct. Morals can be handed down by tradition; they need not come from a study of ethics, but when parties disagree about morals, ethics become necessary.
Order: A communication, written, oral or by signal, which conveys instructions from a superior to a subordinate.
Principles: A fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour, or for a chain of reasoning.
Professional Expectations: Standards of conduct and behaviour that CAF personnel are expected to adhere to as members of the Profession of Arms in the spirit of the CAF Ethos.
Professional Military Education: Education that provides an understanding of the military profession’s body of knowledge and enhances cognitive capacities essential to the profession’s expertise across the full spectrum of defence and security missions.
Professionalism: The conduct and performance expected of a professional.
Sex: Refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men, women and intersex persons. A person’s sex is most often designated by a medical assessment at the moment of birth. This is also referred to as birth-assigned sex.
Socialization: The process of learning to behave in a way that is acceptable to society. The formal and informal processes of teaching and persuading others to accept the core beliefs, values, behavioural norms and roles of a particular culture.
Trust: The willingness to accept the decisions or influence of another person based on a belief in that person’s reliability. Any of several characteristics may be important to establishing reliability, including technical competence, loyalty, integrity, motive, courage, and similar qualities.
Values: Norms or standards of desirable behaviour that give direction to and set limits on individual and collective behaviour. For Canadian military professionals, conduct values include the civic, legal, ethical and military values embodied in the military ethos.
Virtue: A moral quality regarded as good or desirable in a person. A particular form of moral excellence. Virtues are conditioned, then become second nature through practical repetition. Virtues are harder to adjust perhaps than values.
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