WEST POINT, N.Y. — The Army is a rock that has formed under pressure, changed with the times and the impact of war. Yet, it continues to live by the values, traditions and ethic it was built on.
These attributes are embedded into the minds of each of its professionals at the beginning of their career.
In January, the Center for the Army Profession and Ethic launched the Profession of Arms Campaign as a way to assist soldiers and other Department of the Army personnel by refueling the core fundamentals ingrained in them since their first day of military service.
“The overall objective of the campaign is for soldiers and leaders to refine their understanding of what it means to be professional-expert members of the Profession of Arms,” said Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the Army chief of staff.
The Profession of Arms is not a new topic. This has been part of Army doctrine for ages. Army doctrine is often updated to facilitate the ever-changing environments and scenarios soldiers encounter, but the Army Ethic remains strong.
The campaign focuses on the foundation of the Army’s Ethic and how important critical decision making is related to Army doctrine.
Dempsey explains, “As an Army in transition, it is appropriate that we examine ourselves as a Profession of Arms, and ensure that we understand and are living up to the principles that define us.”
This campaign does not focus on just one grade, rank or title. The Profession of Arms Campaign is reaching out to all Soldiers and anyone affiliated with the service including civilians and Army contractors, said Wanda Majors, the chief of Instructional Programs and Products Division at CAPE.
“We don’t have an audience or a skill level more important than the other,” said Majors.
CAPE, through their Programs and Products Division, developed an interactive video game “Moral Combat,” which allows individuals to make ethical decisions based on different scenarios they encounter throughout the game. This game can be found on the CAPE’s webpage.
Some of the other products CAPE has produced are interactive DVD’s, lesson plans, cell-phone applications for the Android operating system, pamphlet’s and so on. These are aides used to help reinforce the Army Ethic every where the Army is operating.
The center also conducts a two-day Army Profession and Ethic Trainer course and a five-day Master Army Profession and Ethic Trainer Course. APET and MAPET courses, aka train-the-trainer courses, are used to provide leaders with necessary tools to keep the dialogue on Army Ethic and ethical decision making a priority throughout their career.
This campaign is “like a big after action review,” said Majors. We are looking for things to sustain and improve how ethical decisions are made on and off the battlefield after ten years of persistent conflict.
As part of the campaign, CAPE has sent out a survey to soldiers as a way to encourage dialogue and get feedback. The survey is located on the CAPE website.
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.