“There is no such thing as a minor lapse of integrity.” – Tom
For more than four decades during the 1800’s, Major General Thomas Sidney Jesup served as The Quartermaster General of the Army. Known as the “Father of the Quartermaster Corps,” he was also a man of unshakable character and integrity. The event that shaped his character occurred in 1811. As a young lieutenant, he was appointed brigade Quartermaster on the Mississippi frontier, under the command of Brigadier General James Wilkinson. General Wilkinson had a somewhat unsavory reputation. And it was perhaps inevitable that the principled young lieutenant would eventually clash with his rather unscrupulous commander. While stationed at a cantonment in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Lieutenant Jesup got permission from Secretary of War William Eustis to come to Washington to settle his Quartermaster accounts. However, by the time he actually arrived in the nation’s capital months later, Jesup was informed by a War Department accountant that he would be personally charged for an item that rightly should have been charged to General Wilkinson. The sum in question only amounted to $79.00. Still Jesup was incensed. Why should a junior officer be forced to pay for a senior officer’s wasteful excesses? It should not matter if the latter happened to be his commanding general. Knowing this to be unfair, he referred the matter directly to the Secretary of War. General Eustis must have been impressed with Jesup’s integrity and he sided with the young whistle blower.
Integrity is a characteristic that many of us value in ourselves, and it’s one we look for consistently in others; what does it really mean to have integrity?
Here are some thoughts on what it is;
1. Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished.
3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition.