The Meaning Of The Word Profession

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Across academia, scholars debate the meaning of the word profession. The term invokes many connotations and expectations, but few can agree on an actual meaning.1 Geoffrey Millerson, a prominent sociologist, defined profession as a “type of higher-grade, non-manual occupation, with both subjectively and objectively recognized occupational status, possessing a well-defined area of study or concern and providing a definite service, after advanced training and education.”2 According to Millerson’s definition, the United States Army is in fact a profession.
Millerson identifies the first component of a profession as “higher-grade, non-manual occupation”. Many academics agree that a key component of a profession is specialized skill based on a body of knowledge.3 Initially, many will contend that the U.S. Army does not pass the first requirement. Soldiers work long and hard often completing tasks requiring physical strength and endurance. At first glance, the composition and mission of the military undermines the definition of a profession.
Obviously, the military relies on a certain amount of physical labor to complete its mission. However, the military is also composed of personnel who manage and direct the employment of assets to strategically, operationally, or tactically defeat the enemy. The knowledge required to employ those capabilities offsets the physical labor necessary to accomplish the task. The army requires officers to be educated and to fulfill
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