By Sandy Gibson, ATECApril 4, 2013
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (April 4, 2013) -- Members of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command attended an Army Profession seminar conducted by the Center for the Army Profession and Ethic, or CAPE, here at the Recreation Center March 26.
In January, the Army launched an education and training program called "America's Army -- Our Profession" and has planned 40 seminars at various installations across the Army. The Army Profession seminars were developed to provide an overview of the Army Profession doctrine, demonstrate educational and training resources, and facilitate discussions about the new doctrine and the essence of being an Army professional.
The APG Army Profession seminar was presented by Col. Jeffrey Peterson, CAPE director, and Sgt. Maj. David Stewart, CAPE senior enlisted advisor. The seminar was divided into two sessions: a morning session for supervisors and leaders and an afternoon session for the remainder of the workforce.
Peterson started off by emphasizing the seminars were designed as interactive exercises based on group discussions and participation.
"This is not a typical PowerPoint presentation," said Peterson. "We really like to have people participate, to give their responses, and to give their thoughts because the best way to make this stuff happen is to have a good dialogue."
To facilitate these discussions, attendees were grouped at tables and asked a series of questions related to the Army Profession and what it meant to be a professional; discipline and why it's difficult to achieve and maintain; and the five essential characteristics of the Army Profession: trust, military expertise, honorable service, , esprit de corps and stewardship of the profession.
In addition to the group discussions, Stewart discussed why the Army Profession campaign was so important and why it is important to talk about professionalism.
"The Army Profession includes everybody, whether you're an Army civilian or a Soldier," said Stewart.
After more than a decade of war, the Army realized it needed to reassess the state of the Army Profession as well as define what makes the Army a profession. During this study, one finding indicated a lack of a common understanding of what defined a profession and being a professional within that profession.
"There were a lot of people who had ideas about it," said Peterson. "You could ask a hundred people and get a hundred different answers on what that meant."
The two-hour long seminar furthered attendees' knowledge of CAPE, many who were unaware the organization existed. It also promoted the abundance of training materials, videos and handouts found on the CAPE website available for download (http://cape.army.mil). Attendees left with a greater understanding of the Army Profession as a whole, the importance of reaffirming the Army's values, and a renewed interest in working toward becoming an Army professional.
"Being a professional means that I have an obligation to be trained and prepared in my line of work so I am able to contribute fully to the successful operation of the Army," said Dal Nett, chief of the Safety Division, U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command.
Senior leaders and staff alike praised CAPE for its efforts in educating the workforce on the Army Profession.
"The Center for Army Profession and Ethic did a masterful job at presenting the Army as the exceptional organization that it is," said David Jimenez, director for the U.S. Army Evaluation Center. "The Army is made up of outstanding professionals from all walks of life, with a defined mission, practiced by Soldiers and civilians in the defense of our nation."
Peterson encouraged senior leaders to develop their own in-house seminars using CAPE's online resources. ATEC will take a top-down approach in delivering the Army Profession seminar and has already started educating its staff directors on the Army Profession.
"As leaders we have often reached the pinnacle, but that doesn't mean we stop developing ourselves and our younger workforce," said Command Sgt. Maj. Allen Fritzsching, ATEC's top senior enlisted leader. During an Army Profession briefing April 3, Fritzsching engaged staff directors and encouraged them to mentor less experienced employees and help them understand they are "part of something bigger than themselves."
The Army established the Army Center of Excellence for the Professional Military Ethic in 2008 to reinforce the Army Profession and its ethic. Located at West Point, N.Y., the ACPME was re-designated as the Center for the Army Profession and Ethic in August 2010. To learn more about what CAPE can offer, visit the website at http:// cape.army.mil.