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The military profession needs to be redefined by examination of its expertise and jurisdictions of practice, whereas previously the focus was on securing its professional identity. Twenty years ago, the original Future of the Army Profession research project responded to growing concerns among officers that the Army was no longer a profession in light of the post–Cold War drawdown and the onset of global operations including Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, the profession faces recurrent challenges raised by the changing character of war, the renewal of great-power competition, crises surrounding issues of sexual harassment and assault, the effects of a major global pandemic and associated social and political unrest, and the growing societal distrust toward professions in general. Richard Lacquement and Thomas Galvin propose that the questions of professional identity, while still important, are now less salient than those about the professions’ jurisdictions of practice and domains of expert knowledge. Clarifying them will help better prepare US military professionals to exercise discretionary judgment effectively. They also propose a new Future of the US Military Profession research effort that addresses these jurisdictions across service, joint, and defense enterprises to clarify the divisions of professional work and responsibilities. This is a must-read for any steward of the military profession.



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Framing the Future of the US Military Profession, Richard A. Lacquement Jr., Thomas P. Galvin, The Future of the Army Profession, The System of Professions: An Essay on the Division of Expert Labor, AirLand Battle doctrine, Joint Publication 1, Andrew Abbott, Barack Obama, Deborah Avant, Don M. Snider, Douglas V. Johnson II, Étienne Wenger, Gayle L. Watkins, H. R. McMaster, Harry Summers, Heidi A. Urben, James Blackwell, James Burk, Jeffrey Peterson, Leonard Wong, Lloyd J. Matthews, Mark G. Kappelmann, Marybeth P. Ulrich, Morris Janowitz, Norman F. Dixon, Richard A. Lacqement Jr., Robert Ralston, Ronald R. Krebs, Samuel Huntington, Stanley Fish, Thomas L. McNaugher, Thomas P. Galvin, World War II, Afghanistan War, Cold War, Iraq War, Korean War, Libya Revolt of 2011, Syrian Civil War, Persian Gulf War, Vietnam War, Anti-intellectualism, Antiprofessionalism, Army professional development, Bureaucratization, Careerism, Character of war, Civilian politicization of the military, Civil-military relations, Client differentiation, Cognitive distancing, Cohort system, Commodification, Communities of practice, COVID-19, Cyber domain, Cybersecurity, Cyberspace, Defense enterprise layer, Defense enterprise organizations, Deprofessionalism, Diversity, Domain-specific expertise, Inclusion, Intergroup dynamics, Interprofessional competition, Interstate strategic competition, Intraprofessional stratification, Joint military profession, jurisdictions of practice, Laicization, Militarization of foreign policy, Military capabilities, Military expertise, Military jurisdictional claims, Military profession, expert knowledge, Military professionalism, Military-social relationship, National security, Organizational culture, Partisan bias, Politicization, Politicization of armed forces, Profession of arms, Professional military education, Professional work, Professionalism, Professionalism process, Reexamination of professional roles, Sexual harassment, Sociological framework, Strategic effectiveness, Task differentiation, Unconscious bias, Unprofessionalism, US military profession, US military, Army, US Army, US Navy, Navy, US Marine Corps, Marine Corps, US Air Force, Air Force, US Space Force, Space Force, Combatant Commands, US Special Operations Command, Department of Defense, Department of State

Framing the Future of the US Military Profession