The Army 's Education Of Field Grade Officers

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A major focal point in the US Army’s education of field grade officers is the ability to understand the phenomenon of war, its relationship to society, and its ever-changing character. While the notion of strategic culture fails to be deterministic, there is no doubt that it plays an important role in both why and how a society wages war. For the strategist, the notion of strategic culture provides a critical input to the planning process by shedding light on the intent and future decisions of both state and individual actors; the value of an object and effort to expend in its pursuit; and the overall organization and employment of military force. The discussion begins by providing the theoretical foundations that led to the notion of strategic culture before turning to its practical use, and limitations. During the 1920s, Max Scheler coined the term “sociology of knowledge”. He emphasized that knowledge comes from experience and history. This knowledge appears to the individual as the natural way of looking at the world. In 1966, Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann expanded upon this concept with the “social construction of reality.” They argued that the constant interaction between man and society gives meaning to what individuals understand as truth. This objective truth, learned and internalized over time, affects one’s thoughts, perceptions, and actions. Moving forward to 1981, Colin Gray argued that a nation’s culture is formed over time by geography, history, beliefs,

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