When Dr. Pauline Shanks Kaurin, the Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Pacific Lutheran University, took to Twitter in preparation for her Philosophy 224 Military Ethics class we saw a little bit of magic. She asked the following:
- Is the military a profession?
- What does that mean to you?
- What are the ethical responsibilities of military members, if any?
Her tweet sparked a lively conversation that quickly filled The Bridge’s timeline. A cohort of tweeters—veterans, civilians, students and professors—joined the conversation. As we checked in throughout the day we saw the very thing so often lamented as missing in America—a cogent and congenial conversation about the ethics of the military profession that spanned the civilian-military divide.
In a way, Dr. Shanks Kaurin was asking a similar question to the one offered by Ray Kimball just last week when he posed the “#Profession in One Tweet” challenge. Can we define what it is we do as a profession?
As good professors so often do, her initial query of three simple questions spawned a series of follow-on questions. Does Samuel Huntington’s oft-cited definition of a military profession in The Soldier and the State still ring true in the 21st century? Does training and continuing education play a role in defining a profession? Is a universal code of ethics required?
To kick off the new year, The Strategy Bridge is opening our first #Series of 2015 with a call for posts. We’re challenging you to address one, two, or all three of Dr. Shanks Kaurin’s questions. Submit your contributions to us here and we’ll post them under #Profession beginning on Monday, 12 January.
THE #PROFESSION SERIES:
- The Intersection of #Profession and Ethics: Redefining the Modern Military
- Why You’re Not #Professionals
- The Military #Profession: Lawyers, Ethics and the Profession of Arms
- The Army as a #Profession of Arms
- The Army #Profession: From Macro to Micro: How Individual Effort is More Important than Sweeping Initiatives
- #Professionals Know When to Break the Rules
- #Profession Versus Culture: Resiliency and The Gap
- As #Professional as Circumstance Allows
- Questioning Military #Professionalism
- #Professional Warfighters: A Historical Perspective on the so-called “Profession of Arms”
- Ethical Requirements of the #Profession: Obligations of the Professional, the Profession, and the Client
- #Professional Education and the 21st-Century Military
- The Gun Doctor & #Professional Military Character
- Views on the #Profession from the Professional: Some thoughts by Dr. Don Snider
- Thoughts on Our #Profession
- The Rise and Fall of U.S. Naval #Professionalism
- The Military is Not the Sole #Profession on the Battlefield
- #Profession and ‘New Model Army
- Confessions of a Struggling #Professional
Tyrell Mayfield is a U.S. Air Force Political Affairs Strategist and a member of the CJCS AFPAK Hands Program. Ty’s interests include strategy, languages, and the intersection of social media and conflict spaces. He serves as the Communications Director for The Strategy Bridge and is writing a book about Kabul. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the USAF, the DoD, or the U.S. Government.
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