Can You Buy Professionalism?
Army ROTC cadets attending the Leader Development and Assessment Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord mark their maps at a check point during a land navigation exercise (Photo: DoD)  



Colonel C. Thomas Climer
US Army

The views expressed in the document are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Army War College, the U.S. Department of the Army, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.



In order to maintain status as a profession, any group of people practicing a specific line of work must ensure they continue to meet the requirements associated with the definition of a profession. In recent years, the U.S. Army has instituted policies and practices that cause some to worry about the detrimental effect they will have on the professionalism of the U.S. Army Officer Corps.

There are three policies in particular that cause concern. These policies are:
--the decision to outsource Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) instruction,
--the decision to outsource Intermediate Level Education (ILE) curriculum development and instruction, and
--the decision to outsource doctrine writing.

This AY-10 USAWC Resident student paper addresses the definition of a profession and discusses how officership fits within the model of a profession. It examines trends and issues in the U.S. Army that led to the decision to outsource ROTC instruction, ILE instruction and doctrine writing and explains why each of the decisions potentially undermines the profession.

The author concludes that the decisions to outsource ROTC Instruction, ILE instruction and doctrine writing place the Army on a path toward loss of control over its other professional jurisdictions, and makes recommendations for corrective action.

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This page last updated on 2 November 2010.

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