THE ARMY AS A PROFESSION
04 MARCH 2014
A profession is an occupation that requires specialized training and continued education. The United States Army is a profession. A profession is not merely a job, but a way of life. Those readily accepted as professionals in our society such as doctors, lawyers and theologians serve an important purpose. Merriam Webster defines a profession as, “a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long intensive academic preparation.” Professionals are servant leaders. The Army is a group of servant leaders providing a necessary and important service to the American people. This service is not something the average citizen is willing to do, but understands that it must be done. Our job is to fight, shape and win America’s wars. Judicious use of lethal force is how we accomplish this. The training military leaders receive to accomplish this, is constant and comprehensive. To be a member of the United States (US) Army, one must complete initial training. Then, throughout our career, we are required to continue our professional training via varying levels of professional development. We, as military leaders, do not take this responsibility lightly. By definition and by way of life, we serve in the Profession of Arms.
The attributes of the Army profession are expertise, trust, development, values and service. An Army White Paper: The Profession of Arms lists that “It is important to note that these attributes must be developed at both the organizational (the Profession) and the individual (the Professional) level.i Expertise, either military or civilian, is defined the same. A good leader strives to attain the highest level of occupational knowledge and expertise. The number of lives saved, measures a doctor’s success. Military leaders, it could be argued, measure success the same way. Though we may not save individual lives, we protect a way of life....