My leader asked me to lie, how do I dig myself out? | – Leader Development for Army Professionals

My leader asked me to lie, how do I dig myself out?

My Squad Leader and I were in the field driving around in our vehicle. The Squad Leader was driving and lost control of the vehicle. We hit a tree and damaged the vehicle. He looked at me and said, "Look, you need to say you were driving because I don't have my license yet. The 1SG and Commander will give me an Article 15 if they find out I was driving. Don't worry about it, I am the Squad Leader. I can protect you. I will just give you a counseling statement and corrective training and it will be over... no worries, I promise." I felt very uneasy about the whole situation but was worried about what he would do if I said no. When we got back to the unit he told the Platoon Sergeant I had an accident. Now I have to fill out an accident report and I don't want to get in trouble but I am stuck in the middle. What do I do?

Your Sergeant had no right to make this unethical request of you or to place you in this position. I can understand the position you are in but it is not okay to lie.

The right thing to do is to tell the truth. I would recommend that you write your statement in a private location where you can think clearly and then ask to see the Platoon Sergeant, 1SG, and Commander so that you can explain what happened before you turn your statement in. This may be a difficult position for the chain of command because you did not explain this to them when the Squad Leader initially stated that you wrecked the vehicle.

Odds are if you take your time and explain the situation clearly the command will work something out that is fair and just. I would also suggest you request to be transferred to another squad.

This is not an easy situation and while there is only one answer with regard to you telling the truth, there is no easy solution for the chain of command unless you have proof he was driving. With that said, I believe the chain of command will work through the situation and come to a realistic answer.

If this individual asked you to lie he has probably done something in the past that will lead the chain of command to question his integrity or actions. Relax, be professional, and be truthful.

If the command does in some way find you responsible request to see the IG or JAG for further guidance. Be advised: lying on the written accident report could be considered a false official statement or fraud and is potentially punishable under the UCMJ.

Show Full Article
posted on 02/05/2011 under Q&A
Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

Disclaimer: Though all content posted on is reviewed by our qualified subject matter experts, you should not make decisions based solely on the information contained in this post. Use information from multiple sources when making important professional decisions. This is not an official government website.

You might be interested in…


  • Daryle Peltier

    I would ask is this the leader you want to trust to go into combat with? He knows you shouldnt have been driving to begin with and then to try and make it look like your mistake. Army Values are definately in question with him.Also having an accident there will be sworn statements done are you willing to put your INTEGRITY on the line for life because once you lose that you have nothing.Time for your squad ldr to grow up and become Responsible either by his own choice or you forcing his hand…do the right thing even when no one else is watching!

    Leave a Comment

    We will never publish or sell your email address, nor will we ever send you information you have not requested.