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Chairman’s Corner: America’s Military -- A Profession of Arms

By Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2012 – The Profession of Arms has been an important subject to me since I led the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command a few years ago. As Chairman, it remains one of my focus areas. Understanding who we are and what we do as volunteers and experts who defend our nation is something we must do as a joint force.

We have an opportunity to assess how 10 years of conflict have affected us as we conduct transitions in our current wars, face resource constraints and get leaner as a force. Based firmly on our history and values, we must be stewards of our profession. We must institutionalize what we’ve learned.

We must continue to think, adapt, and promote those attributes and behaviors necessary to our military profession to defend the nation and provide options to our leaders in a competitive security environment.

So today, I released “America’s Military – A Profession of Arms.” It addresses: values, the military profession, and trust -— both internal to the military and between the military and the American people. It includes thoughts on leadership, Mission Command, strength from diversity, and the way ahead -— advancing the Profession of Arms.

With that said, I want to stress that leadership is the foundation of the Profession of Arms. Our profession depends on our ability to develop future leaders. They will build and maintain trust, inspire others, teach and mentor, and uphold and enforce our ethical and moral standards. These leaders will see us through this time of notable transitions.

It is entirely appropriate to release this white paper on the 67th anniversary of the American flag raising on Mount Suribachi during the Battle for Iwo Jima. The iconic moment in our history speaks to our profession. It’s a reminder of the military’s role in defending our nation and its ideals, and a reminder of what we can accomplish together. I hope you read the paper and continue this conversation online and within your units.


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Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey

Related Sites:
America’s Military – A Profession of Arms
Chairman’s Corner Blog
The Chairman on Facebook
The Chairman on Twitter


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