A good soldier follows orders, and does not question those orders, even when those orders are immoral or illegal. They "took an oath to serve." My country, right or wrong.
A good soldier always has the excuse that "I was just following orders." That absolves a good soldier for responsibility for his or her actions.
"Just following orders." That's the excuse that was used by the defendants at the Nuremberg trials ... that their oath of allegiance to the State, and to serve as an instrument of that state, absolved them of responsibility for their own actions. They were hanged anyway ... the judgement of the court being that we are all, individually, responsible for our own actions. Not the State, not the Marine Corps, the First Baptist Church, or the Boy Scouts of America.
Moral autonomy is having the freedom and possessing the courage, and the will, to make moral decisions on one's own, individually. It's standing on one's own two feet; and sometimes that requires sacrifice. There is no freedom without the exercise of autonomy. It is not a free nation that prohibits dissent.
Moral autonomy is at the root of what is termed "character." Character is always individual. You don't display character by joining a group. Moral autonomy is the ability to choose the right course of action, by oneself, without any outside pressure or influence.
Our first allegiances, as men and women of characters, should always be to our principles, and to our families, those who depend on us, not to some oath of allegiance to a State. To put allegiance to country above our principles is to act as a tool of an authority that seeks only to enrich and empower itself at our expense; in other words, to act as a slave, rather than a man. It is not merely a choice to act amorally, without conscience, giving over our moral choice to another; it is moral cowardice to refuse to do what we believe is right, using our "oath of allegiance" to excuse that choice.
Oath Keepers and Patriots, May 1941