Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Quote of the day: Time for the Army to reclaim its professional jurisdiction

1st Lt. Anthony Formica writes in the new issue of Military Review that, "the Army has essentially relayed the messages that it prizes warriors over soldiers." I think this is correct, and quite damaging to the service. Formica continues, "and that if it could rid itself of the burdens associated with professional soldiering to better ...

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1st Lt. Anthony Formica writes in the new issue of Military Review that, "the Army has essentially relayed the messages that it prizes warriors over soldiers." I think this is correct, and quite damaging to the service.

Formica continues, "and that if it could rid itself of the burdens associated with professional soldiering to better pursue the samurai ideal, it would do so, thereby abandoning professionally critical jurisdictional ground."

The article kind of rambles around a bit, and then lands on this subject again: "Once significant combat actions have ceased the Army must begin to regenerate masters of the profession's abstract knowledge base to reclaim its lost intellectual jurisdiction."

1st Lt. Anthony Formica writes in the new issue of Military Review that, "the Army has essentially relayed the messages that it prizes warriors over soldiers." I think this is correct, and quite damaging to the service.

Formica continues, "and that if it could rid itself of the burdens associated with professional soldiering to better pursue the samurai ideal, it would do so, thereby abandoning professionally critical jurisdictional ground."

The article kind of rambles around a bit, and then lands on this subject again: "Once significant combat actions have ceased the Army must begin to regenerate masters of the profession’s abstract knowledge base to reclaim its lost intellectual jurisdiction."

I suspect he is probably right. Contractors should not be writing doctrine or teaching officers how to be officers. Doing those tasks is one of the ways that your next generation of leaders is created. (Also, as has been pointed out before, having officers returned from our wars write doctrine means that knowledge from those wars is injected into current doctrine.) 

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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