Merriam-Webster dictionarydefines a profession as a calling requiring specialized knowledge and oftenlong and intensive academic preparation. Army Doctrine Reference Publication (ADRP) 1 identifies essentialcharacteristics that defines the Army as a profession: Trust, HonorableService, Military Expertise, Stewardship, and Esprit de Corps.
Although the explanation of the word “profession” can mean different things todifferent groups of people, the basic fundamentals of a profession areconsistent with trust and expertise. Usingeither explanation, the Army has maintained its status as a profession bymaintaining majority trust of the American people and establishing training programs,ensuring high levels of expertise. Trustis a key cornerstone in the Army profession. In order to be trustworthy, the Army must ensure trust amongst eachindividual Solider 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 backin June 2016 showed public confidence in the military is holding above 75 percent.
(5) According to the Pew, overthree-quarters (79%) of Americans are confident in the military to act in thebest interests of the public. (1) Afterthe government spent trillions of dollars on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Americanpeople still view the Army Soldiers favorably.Militaryeducation is incredibly important.
Educating Soldiers lays foundation for building the levels of expertise that isrequired in order to establish and maintain a profession. The Army develops leadership skills and traits inits Soldiers 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 scienceto leadership that is worth spending time the time to develop. Enlisted andofficer personnel have to go through different educational milestones beforethey 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 inSoldiers’ professional military education. On Jan.
1, 2016, the Army expandedthis standard for promotion eligibility to the NCO ranks by requiring allSoldiers to complete the appropriate level of formal military education before theyare considered fully qualified. (4) Theseeducational standards were already in place amongst the officer ranks. Thetime frame in which the Army was originally professionalized is debatable, butthroughout its history the Army has continued to train, develop, and mentorleaders. The education system and standards in which the Army hasestablished continues to build experts in the art of land warfare as well asleadership. The leaders and Soldiers of the Army continue to prove is trustand worth to the American people each and everyday by protecting the citizenfor enemies foreign and domestic. Continuing the history of instilling trustin the American people as well as ensuring levels of expertise in war andleadership will maintain the Army’s status as a profession.