Profession Of Arms Essay

1083 words - 5 pages

The Army has been in existence since 1775 when Congress authorized the creation of 10 rifle companies (Army Birthdays 2011). The standing federal Army was created in 1803 followed by a series of reforms to the Army professional education system (Dempsy 2014). I will argue that the Army is a Profession of Arms by showing a system of continued learning, training, and growth; the code of ethics held by the Army; and the level of autonomy afforded Army leaders and their Soldiers.
Oxford defines a profession as "a paid occupation that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification” (Oxford Dictionaries 2014). Soldiers who join the Army undergo an admittedly short initial training ...view middle of the document...

DoD Regulation 5500.07-R provides a source of ethical standards and guidance for all employees of the Department of Defense. It supplies financial and employment disclosure systems and provides a means to enforce ethical behavior (Defense 1993). The UCMJ provides similar instruction and enforcement guidance but with more punitive and legal power. Opponents of the Army as a Profession of Arms might point to the possibility of Congress removing UCMJ Jurisdiction in cases of Sexual Harassment, Assault and Rape Prevention (SHARP) as evidence that the Army is unable to police itself. This would be unfortunate but would only represent a small slice of unethical behavior that the Army is making large efforts to combat. The Army is committed to handling these cases through UCMJ punishment. Self policing allows professionals to gain the trust of their clients, granting them autonomy.
Professionals are afforded a large amount of autonomy while performing their duties. Leaders and their Soldiers at all echelons of the Army are granted this same autonomy. That these leaders and Soldiers have such deadly capabilities that they must use responsibility with little oversight makes this trust more significant (Dempsy 2014). Lewis and Warriner devised criterion to create a continuum of professions. This criterion sought to rate professions through eight variables from job, through occupation to profession. The variables included years of schooling and amount of autonomy. Low score was 16 with jobs such as maid and bartender while the maximum was 80 with professions such as physician and psychologist (Lewis and Warriner 1971). Using the criterion, I found the scores for both a Soldier with 2-3 years of service and an officer with 4-5. The Soldier scored 39 while the Officer scored 60. How often on patrol or on tower duty is a low ranking Soldier asked to make an ethical decision versus a doctor or lawyer? I would argue that the former is faced with this much more than more traditional professionals and considering how they rank on the continuum created by Lewis and Warriner, this is very significant.
Since 1775 the Army has had a vital role in the defense of our Nation. The trust of the American People is what...

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