Merriam-Webster dictionarydefines a profession as a calling requiring specialized knowledge and oftenlong and intensive academic preparation. Army doctrine ADRP-1, identifies two mutually supportive communities ofpractice: The Profession of Arms (Soldiers) and the Army Civilian Corps (ArmyCivilians). It identifies the essentialcharacteristics 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 fundamentalsof a profession are consistent with trust and expertise. Using either definition, the Army has maintainedits status as a profession by maintaining majority trust of the American peopleand continuing mandate a high level of training for each Solider to ensure alevel of expertise is maintained.
Trustis a key cornerstone in the Army profession. In order to be trustworthy, the Army must have trust amongst each individualSolider as well as the trust of the people in which they protect. Despitethe public opinion of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, polls by Gallup and Pew back in June 2016 showed public confidence in themilitary 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 thepublic. (1) Afterthe U.S. government spent trillions of taxpayer dollars on wars in Iraq andAfghanistan, Americans still view the men and women who wear the uniformsfavorably.
Militaryeducation is incredibly important. Educating Soldiers establishes thefoundation for building the levels of expertise that is required in order toestablish and maintain a profession. TheArmy develops leadership skills and traits in its personnel through acontinuing program of professional military education that starts the first dayan individual enters the Army.
Itrecognizes that there is an art and science to leadership that is worthspending time to read, digest, and discuss. Enlisted and officerpersonnel have to go through different educational milestones before they canprogress to the next level in their careers. (3) Select-Train-Educate-Promote,also known as STEP, is a policy that represents the Army’s investment inSoldiers’ professional military education through a deliberate, continuous, andprogressive process. Effective Jan. 1, 2016, the Army will expand thisstandard for promotion eligibility to the following NCO ranks by requiring allSoldiers to complete the appropriate level of formal military education beforebeing determined fully qualified. (4) Thetimeframe in which the Army was originally professionalized is debatable, but throughoutits history the Army has continued to train, develop, and mentor leaders. The educationsystem and standards in which the Army has established continues to buildexperts in the art of land warfare as well as leadership. The Army continue toprove is trust and worth to the American people each and everyday by protectingthe citizen for enemies foreign and domestic.
Continuing the history of instillingtrust in the American people as well as ensure levels of expertise in war andleadership will maintain the Army’s status as a profession.