defines a profession as a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often
long and intensive academic preparation.
Army doctrine ADRP-1, identifies two mutually supportive communities of
practice: The Profession of Arms (Soldiers) and the Army Civilian Corps (Army
Civilians). It identifies the essential
characteristics that define the Army as a profession: Trust, Honorable Service,
Military Expertise, Stewardship, and Esprit de Corps. As you can see from the two definitions,
the explanation of the word “profession”
can mean different things to different groups of people, but the basic fundamentals
of a profession are consistent with trust and expertise. Using either definition, the Army has maintained
its status as a profession by maintaining majority trust of the American people
and establishing a high level of training for each Solider to ensure levels of
expertise are maintained.
is a key cornerstone in the Army profession.
In order to be trustworthy, the Army must have trust amongst each individual
Solider as well as the trust of the people in which they protect. Despite
the public opinion of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, polls by Gallup and Pew back in June 2016 showed public confidence in the
military holding above 75 percent. (5) According to the Pew, over three-quarters (79%)
of Americans are confident in the military to act in the best interests of the
public. (1) After
the government spent trillions of dollars on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American
people still view the Army Soldiers favorably.
education is incredibly important. Educating Soldiers establishes the
foundation for building the levels of expertise that is required in order to
establish and maintain a profession. The
Army develops leadership skills and traits in its personnel through a
continuing program of professional military education (PME) that starts the
first day an individual enters the Army. It recognizes that there is an art and science
to leadership that is worth spending time to read, digest, and discuss.
Enlisted and officer personnel have to go through different educational milestones
before they can progress to the next level in their careers. (3) Select-Train-Educate-Promote,
also known as STEP, is a policy that represents the Army’s commitment in
Soldiers’ professional military education. On Jan. 1, 2016, the Army expanded
this standard for promotion eligibility to the NCO ranks by requiring all
Soldiers to complete the appropriate level of formal military education before
being determined fully qualified. These educational standards were
already in place amongst the officer ranks. (4)
timeframe in which the Army was originally professionalized is debatable, but throughout
its history the Army has continued to train, develop, and mentor leaders. The education
system and standards in which the Army has established continues to build
experts in the art of land warfare as well as leadership. The Army continue to
prove is trust and worth to the American people each and everyday by protecting
the citizen for enemies foreign and domestic. Continuing the history of instilling
trust in the American people as well as ensuring levels of expertise in war and
leadership will maintain the Army’s status as a profession.