News: CAPE: A new look to the Army ethic
Story by Spc. Bethany Huff
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage, are baselines for what soldiers are expected to embody throughout their military lives. The Army constantly updates its doctrine, and has taken a different approach when it comes to the Professional Army Ethic.
In 2007, the Chief of Staff of the Army established the “Army Center of Excellence for the Professional Military Ethic” or “ACPME.” In 2009, the center became a proponent. By becoming a proponent, the center was authorized $2.5 million per year for their Army leader development initiatives. In 2010, the new CSA, Gen. Casey, refocused the centers’ objectives to reflect the center’s expanded Army-wide requirement. Then ACPME was renamed the Center for the Army Profession and Ethic, or “CAPE.”
“CAPE focuses on moral character development, and isn’t a ridged requirement per say,” said Lt. Col. William Speier, The deputy director for CAPE. “The training is to get the soldiers talking about what the Army Ethic is and what it means to be in the Army as a professional soldier.”
The center has four broad objectives which include: assessing; study and refine; create and integrate knowledge; accelerate professional development in individuals, units and Army culture; and support the socialization of the Army profession and ethic across the Army.
To assist in meeting these objectives, CAPE has put together training and products in order to pass their initiatives through the Army. Some of the training and products include a cell phone application for the Android Operating System, lesson plans for other military schools, interactive DVDs and games, the Army Profession and Ethic Trainer Course and the Master Army Profession and Ethic Trainer Course.
Another proponent of CAPE is the Profession of Arms Campaign which is designed to promote dialogue among Army officers, non-commissioned officers, junior enlisted and civilians.
“The dialogue is important. Gen. Dempsey, along with other Army staff leaders, want to hear what the Army is thinking and having that conversation is the starting point,” said Charles Allen, a professor of cultural science at the U.S. Army War College.
After almost 10 years of persistent conflict, these discussions will help gauge the Army’s strengths and weaknesses as a force and what it means to be an Army professional.
“The Army is not broke,” said Speier during one of the focus groups held with some of Fort Bragg’s senior leaders. “As an institution, we are doing an assessment to review where we are as a profession.”
CAPE and its initiatives is not a training program that will be instilled like traditional training. It will continue to re-establish and re-focus the Army’s Ethic and develop what it means to be a soldier as a profession.
Currently CAPE has begun training at the Basic Combat Training levels and has started to train various brigades across the Army.
“Not all of the results from our research and dialogue will be instant,” said Maj. Peter L. Jennings, the research director for CAPE. “We will continue to see the results and changes for many years to come especially as the dialogue begins among the Army.”
The ultimate goal of CAPE is to obtain a better understanding of where the Army is as a profession and what comprises a member of the Profession of Arms. This will help to better prepare the force to fight and win the nation’s wars.
“We’re certainly a different Army than we were in 2001, and we remain an Army in transition,” said Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the Army chief of staff. “We need to review, re-emphasize, and recommit to our profession.”
For further information on CAPE or the Profession of Arms Campaign visit the CAPE website at http://cape.army.mil/index.html or contact via email at CAPE@usma.edu.