The Profession of Arms

Monday January 10, 2011

What is it?

The Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA) have directed a review starting in January 2011 of the Profession of Arms after a decade of persistent conflict. Beginning with a Unified Quest 2011 seminar on The Profession of Arms Jan. 11-13, the year-long Army-wide assessment will be led by the commanding general TRADOC and will review Soldiers' and leaders' understanding of what it means to be professionals - expert members of the Profession of Arms -- and encourage a recommitment to a culture of service, and the responsibilities and behaviors as articulated in the Army ethic.

The assessment will also examine policies, programs and doctrine and reinforce and revise if needed to sustain the profession over the next decade and beyond. Throughout 2011, we will refine our understanding of the Army as a Profession of Arms; what it means to be a professional Soldier; and assess how we as individual professionals, and as a profession, are meeting these aspirations. Get engaged in this discussion!

What has the Army done?

TRADOC produced an Army White Paper, pamphlet, and videos to provide a catalyst for discussion among Army professionals, both as individuals, and as a revered and effective military institution. Products for professional development sessions and blogs, forums, Twitter and Facebook are at Center for the Army Profession and Ethic (CAPE) or CAPE AKO website for the Profession of Arms Campaign.

What's planned for the future?

Overseen by TRADOC, quarterly Army-wide Profession of Arms forums will discuss feedback received during the review and several conferences will focus on the Profession to encourage dialogue within the force.

An interim assessment for the SecArmy and CSA in June includes a series of studies, surveys, focus groups, historical analysis of the profession, and grass-roots dialogue to assess key attributes such as the Army's expertise, service, trust, values, and human and leader development. Assessments will occur across the Active, Reserve, and National Guard forces, and across Soldier, non-commissioned officer, officer, warrant officer, and civilian cohorts. A dialogue will be conducted across the force to inspire and engage Army professionals through professional development discussions. A final report on the dialogue, an assessment update, and recommendations to reinforce the Profession of Arms will be provided to the SecArmy and CSA in December 2011.

Why is this important to the Army?

To adapt to the demands of continuous operations in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and new strategic realities in the 21st century, the Army has been in transition. The Army needs to reflect on the strengths which have sustained it in this period, and consider how well we self-police ourselves on the battlefield and in garrison, the extent of our ability to care for Soldiers and their families, and the broad development of Army professionals. A competent Army wins battles; a strong professional Army with a well-developed ethic endures to win the nation's wars. Continuous examination of the profession, our culture, and our ethic is what effective learning professions do and will enable the Army to succeed during the next decade of persistent conflict and beyond.


Center for the Army Profession and Ethic (CAPE)

Log-in required for following links:

CAPE AKO website for the Profession of Arms Campaign

Terms of Reference

Profession of Arms Pamphlet

White Paper

Profession of Arms videos on AKO





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2010-2013: 60th Anniversary of the Korean War

2011: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War


Jan. 8: The U.S. Army All American-Bowl

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