Being of high moral character is absolutely critical to your ability to lead. Think about it for a second. Do you want to follow someone you don't trust? You know the type — a person who punctuates every sentence with the type of language you can't use in front of your mom as they demean everyone around them. In the same group of those void of character is a ranking officer who is less than discreet with his or her infidelity to marriage. Someone who can't be faithful to their family would certainly have a problem motivating subordinates to be faithful to their job. People do not respect someone of low character, no matter how popular they think they are. It undermines the credibility of one who could otherwise be an effective leader.
If you are in a position to lead, or if you plan on being in such a position sometime in your career, then act like it. Character produces respect. Respect produces trust. Trust motivates followers. Without character, true leadership is impossible.