Throughout my experiences, service members of the Army are mostly motivated by the proficiency of craft and the outcome of self-discipline. Should the Army be considered a profession based on its code of ethics, professional development and culture? The Army’s Oath of Office, Army Values and Soldiers Creed promote the Army’s “code of ethics”. Men and women entering the Army swear to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…” (U. S Army Center of Military History, 2014).
The Oath of Office is the foundation for men and women entering into the Army. The seven core Army Values are a benchmark of standards soldiers must uphold whether on or off duty. Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage describe what it cost to be an American soldier. Service members are required to learn, recite and live the Oath of Office, Army Values and Soldiers Creed upon assuming the risk and responsibility of an American Soldier. Is the Army considered a profession to those who view it as a springboard into a civilian career?
Many American’s serve our nations military for an initial enlistment. Some argue that every American should serve a minimal term. During an initial enlistment do soldiers fully indulge into the Army’s culture and professional development? How does this affect the Army as a profession? The Army White Paper specifies the Army as being a “Profession of Arms” in which the “Professional Soldier is an expert”. (Dempsey, 2010, p. 4). Is it possible for the Profession of Arms to occur without the Professional Soldier?
Is it possible to become an expert within the profession of the Army without professional development? Professional development is the heartbeat of the Army. Senior leadership devote themselves to developing subordinate leaders and conveying expertise at the operational level. Published doctrines, regulations and policy letters are created from within and are used to relay knowledge of how the Army operates. Professional development is key to Army promotions. Army leaders measure the professionalism of subordinates and promote on the potential for increased responsibility.
Army leaders uphold a strong code of ethics and promote its culture through professional development. Leadership is paramount to our Army profession. The Army’s greatest assets are the men and women wearing the uniform motivated by the proficiency of craft and the outcome of self-discipline. Service members accept the Army’s culture by assuming the risks and responsibilities associated with being a soldier. I believe it is virtually impossible to serve in the Army without being fully immersed. The professional soldier makes the Army a profession.