The Army As A Profession
The Army is a great profession were many individuals come together and make the impossible happen. This institution has to overcome more obstacles then most average career paths will take you. The only way these thing have happened and will continue to happen is through discipline, leadership, training and mentorship.
The army is always changing at a fast rate of speed and without these elements the profession of arms will fall apart. After over a decade of war the army is changing again and as members of this profession it’s our duty to strive to be the best not only for the immediate goals but for the long term future of the Army.
There are billboards, signs, commercials all over the country portraying the Army as a great profession. Most civilians from every walk of life see something they can count on, want to be like when they grow up, or protect them when danger is knocking on our door step. The perception the people have of the army affects the future of this grand organization in ways such as who would be the next generation of soldiers that would volunteer to how soldiers are treated by the rest of the people he/she has sacrifices so much for.
The Army is a profession first and foremost. The unique thing about the army is that it takes extra skills to be a professional. Not only do you have to know your job, be tactically proficient, but also continue the path of professional growth through civilian education or training to raise your knowledge in the world around you. It is the responsibility of every leader and soldier to strive for the total soldier concept. With all of the frequent and multiple deployments there have been assed stresses to the soldiers’ families and communities.
Because of the war there are many who feel that the standards within the army have fallen from what they once were. But the question what has happened to this profession and what do we do to correct it. To achieve the total soldier concept, there has to be an understanding of what it is to be a real professional and fulfill the duties they raised their right hand and vowed to do. In order for the army to grow as a profession of arms and keep a positive light on it needs discipline, leadership, training and mentorship. All of these things play a role in the total soldier concept.
As the army changes with the times no longer is the total soldier concept just learning your MOS being good at PT, and qualify with a weapon. Now if you don’t strive to better yourself with education and schools you will not be able to progress with promotion and then you will have to get out the army. In order for the Army to grow as a profession of arms and keep it image positive, there are some key areas every soldier has to work on to achieve the total soldier concept. Discipline, leadership, training, mentorship must stay continuous in the work environment as well as off duty.
Soldiers must also remain resilient when it comes to the mission and be able to adapt. Every soldier no matter what stage in there career should be working to better themselves in these key areas. Discipline is the building block for a soldier. Without it there would be no flow or organization within any unit echelon. Discipline is where the whole army seems to be falling short. General George S. Patton, Jr. stated “Discipline is based on pride in the Profession of Arms, on meticulous attention to details, and on mutual respect and confidence.
Discipline must be a habit so engrained that it is stronger than the excitement of battle or the fear of death. ” If the Army has discipline issues it will in turn have problems as a profession. Discipline has to be ingrained into the new soldiers from day one they join the army, but with all the changes the Army has taken a lot of the authority had been taken away from the instructors to help instill the necessary discipline levels needed in the army. The army is not a normal career. There may be doctors and layers within the ranks but they are all soldiers first.
Soldiers are put in extreme situations that most career paths would not put you through. So it is imperative that the initial training is a through as it can be. Discipline doesn’t stop at initial training in fact the more discipline is needed the longer a soldier is in the army. The military is expected to be tougher, stronger, quick to react, physically fit individuals. But it all starts from the beginning transition from civilian to soldier with the follow through training to be disciplined as a soldier moves forward in his or her career.
As discipline is the building block for a soldier, a soldier’s leadership are the tools used to achieve the building of the blocks. If a soldier doesn’t have a good leader how can that soldier ever develop to his full potential? Leaders train mentor motivate and lead soldiers on a daily basis. They need to be competent in not only there job but in soldiering as well. They need to be avid problem solvers and enginutive on how to accomplish the mission safely and in a timely manner. They should hold an atmosphere of authority around them and there subordinates should be able to trust and respect them.
A lot of the newer leadership has not been around for a garrison army and may or may not be familiar with a lot of the cortices that the Army has strayed away from in the last decade due to the war. With all the constant deployments the main focus was on war time missions some of the total solder concept has been lost. As a result there are many Non-Commissioned Officers that are not as proficient as they should be. Being able to go to war isn’t the only thing an NCO has to be able to be. Training and mentoring is a never ending process.
There is always something new to learn. There is always someone around who can teach a soldier no matter what the rank on a soldier’s chest might me. In this specific profession soldiers wont only be trained on their specific MOS’s or combat skills but on moral and ethical issues as well to improve the soldiers understanding of how to perform the job asked of them and how to present themselves. Again unlike other professions when this uniform is dawned the soldiers stops representing his or her self but now represents the Army and the United States of America.
The Army is slowing down on its deployments so the focus on training has shifted and there are many who need to pay attention and learn so they will continue to be a valuable to the military. The Army is as fluid as a fiver and the soldiers in it need to be as fluid as well. It should be the goal of every soldier to mentor those who are below them to help create a better army, and to find a roll model to mentor them so they can achieve the higher levels they are striving for.
As a hole the Army has succeeded in accomplishing all of its missions and tackled the obstacles it comes up against. So this is just one more obstacle to overcome. Making things less stressful and more relaxed will make things worse for solders in general. Discipline has to be enforced to keep control of the mission and to prepare the Army for any future missions it comes up against. Training how we fight and how to present ourselves is the responsibility of every soldier.
A leader mentors a subordinate and a senior leader mentors the leader so on and so forth so that there is always an endless cycle of learning and bring the Army into a greater profession. The Army is a career many people will never try and those that do are asked to give more than most other professions, but the difference is the soldiers on this profession represent something much greater than their job. They represent America and as a profession every effort has to be taken to keep America from becoming something other then great.