What does it mean for the Army to be a Profession of Arms?
To begin with, I would like to state that the Army differs greatly from other professions. Being directed at killing, Army professionals should use the weapon for achieving their goals. Occupying positions in civil professions, people are usually motivated by salary, additional days off, etc. The Profession of Arms pays attention to more challenging aspects. The Profession of Arms serves under the US Constitution on behalf of American citizens, and it is also aimed at applying its combat power for protecting its territory.
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The Profession of Arms implements several specific characteristics that deserve attention. First of all, this profession is unique. The profession of Arms is more than a profession. Actually, it is a culture. Second, the Profession of Arms employs only experts. It is impossible to meet amateurs as the leaders in this profession as having an aim to win battles for the sake of the nation; the Profession of Arms employs only people who possess the best theoretic and practical knowledge.
Third, the Profession of Arms serves under the Constitution and for the citizens of the USA, as it has already been mentioned. Fourth, the mission of the Profession of Arms is to protect the land of the country and do not give an opportunity for the enemies to reach them. The main attributes of the Profession of Arms are expertise, trust, development, values, and services. However, it is important to remember that these key attributes should be correlated to the key attributes of professionals soldiers.
What does it mean to be a professional Soldier?
To be a professional soldier means to be a highly skilled person who can be trusted. Moreover, to be a professional soldier means to possess leadership skills, have a strong character, and do all the duties applied by profession. A professional soldier is defined as a person who has expert knowledge in leading war operations, who has a desire to work for the benefit of the country, and who is certified in the Profession of Arms.
A professional soldier is a person who is devoted to the USA, who is able to serve under the command and implement high ethical standards. The characteristics of a professional soldier are closely interconnected with the Profession of Arms. Thus, referring to the definition of the Profession of Arms, the main characteristics of the professional soldier are as follows, this person should be able to understand the culture of this particular profession, and he/she should be an expert in the Profession of Arms and be certified in it.
A professional soldier should be ready to serve under civilian authority and be able to protect the citizens of his/her country, its land, and constitution. Each professional soldier should train hard, every day, without interruptions. A strong will and hard character are the main personal characteristics required for this profession. A person should be devoted to his country and to the people a professional soldier serves.
After nine years of war, how are we as individual professionals and as a profession meeting these aspirations?
Looking at the profession and soldiers from the perspective of several years of war, it may be stated that remaining in the status of war is means much experience and development. It is obvious that the Government of the USA supported the profession and its soldiers. The changes in the legislation directed at country security and the changes in the professional solutions helped the professionals and the profession in general, reach the goals they set.
Thus, I can state that the war the USA is involved in has offered much experience to the profession and professional. However, from my personal point of view, the bureaucracy may prevent the Profession of Arms and a professional soldier from reaching the desired purposes. The aspirations the profession and the professionals want to achieve may be ruined under the problems bureaucracy may cause. I suppose that the culture and the priorities should be reevaluated with the purpose of remaining one of the strongest nations in the world with a powerful and active army. One of the main disadvantages of the Profession or Army is its desire to be different. I am convinced that the US army should stop the desire to be different. It should think about the way how it should be different.
The Army’s Professional Culture
The section under discussion dwells upon the culture which exists in the American army. The notion of culture does not mean just the style of behavior; it is the collection of ethical norms and behavioral issues that define the Profession of Arms and a professional soldier in general. Army’s professional culture is understood in three main levels,
- artifacts, the surface level of the culture,
- beliefs and values,
- basic underlying assumptions, the deepest level of the culture.
Focusing on the deepest level of the army’s culture, the following cultural dimensions are recognized, professional identity, community, and hierarchy.