The Army Profession

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Characterizing the Army as a profession is a widely debated issue. Some attest that the military employs a small cadre of professionals, yet this does not qualify the entire vocation as a profession. Others are not so kind and paint a picture of mindless robots simply following orders. The debate rages because it is fundamentally difficult to find an absolute definition for a profession. This troublesome task is further exasperated because the trust of the public ultimately certifies a profession. Nevertheless, the principle characteristic that remains constant to all professions is that they possess a guiding ethic that controls the effective application of their expertise.1 The Army constitutes a profession because it possesses an…show more content…
Junior enlisted Soldiers simply do not meet the qualification of a profession—they don’t have time. Only senior NCOs, Warrant Officers, and Officers receive “prolonged training.” Although, a universal criterion to qualify a particular vocation as a profession is difficult to quantify, the possession of a guiding ethic is common to all professional definitions. The Army is a profession because throughout its ranks it has continued to operate within the ethical framework it has set forth for itself. The Army, as a profession, demonstrates not only that it possesses ethical cannon, but is committed to operating by it. The Army Values, the Soldier’s Creed and the Warrior Ethos are the natural outpouring of these ethical cannon. The Army, then, can be considered a Profession of Arms, but only senior Soldiers, having received advanced training and having gone through the formal education processes of the Army, can be considered professionals. Regardless of these facts, it remains unique to a profession that they cannot simply declare themselves a profession.7 The public reserves the right to determine so. Americans will only continue to regard the Army as a profession based on our effective and ethical application of landpower.8 Despite many ethical failings, the American people recognize that the Army possesses the courage to hold its members ethically accountable and therefore
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