Ethical Considerations for Improving Army Enlisted Professional Education and Evaluation

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After more than ten years of persistent counterinsurgency (COIN) conflict and multiple simultaneous responses to several natural disasters, the United States Army is at a crossroads regarding professional education for its officers and enlisted force. Considering overseas contingency operations in Iraq are due to conclude in December 2011 and by 2014 for Afghanistan, it is plausible that strategic planners are considering the future make-up of what will constitute the Total Army Force to include new educational criteria for what could be a smaller force than was needed for present day operations. While this may be “peace dividend” speculation, there is precedence for the Army to reevaluate its force structure and personal qualification requirements after every major conflict over the last century. . Even though defense budget reductions should redoubt army equipment priorities, training deferrals because of persistent contingency operations have inhibited enlisted professional development despite that counterinsurgency operations require refocused soldiers training to improve their sense of situational understanding and application of observable operational ethics through conceptual enlisted leadership evaluation efforts.

Reversing a Culture of Deferral

The operational requirements of the Army during overseas contingency operations have been extensive. The Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) Model has proven effective in sustaining persistent mission requirements by ensuring units are operationally prepared to deploy. Commanders and Senior Non Commissioned Officers (SNCO) have responded professionally to the ARFORGEN process by building and maintained cohesive units ready to meet the stringent demands of COIN operations. U...

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