In his recent Army Greenbook article titled “The Second Decade,” the Army Chief of Staff addresses the topic of the Army Profession of Arms, and the merits of examining the impact of a decade of persistent conflict on the profession. (See ). The same topic was discussed in one of the Institute of Land Warfare (ILW) panels during the annual AUSA Meeting and Exposition. And earlier this year, the Commanding General of TRADOC dedicated an entire blog discussion to the Army profession. (See ). Why an increasing emphasis on this topic and related discussion?

In short, periodic self-reflections and efforts to improve are what healthy professions or organizations do from time to time. In light of the influences , challenges, and even stresses that our Army has operated amidst for nearly a decade, coupled with the fact that ours is indeed an Army in transition, a valid need exists to “review, reemphasize and recommit to our profession” as the Commanding General of TRADOC recently stated. The persistent conflict has impacted both positively and negatively on the state of the Army Profession of Arms. This conflict has exposed strengths that have sustained us, while at the same time it has uncovered tensions and points of friction in our Army culture and DOTMLPF-P.

On 27 Oct 2010, the Army Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Army signed a Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Review of the Army Profession in an Era of Persistent Conflict. This TOR sets the stage for a future comprehensive review to examine the state of our profession after nearly a decade of war. The review will be comprehensive, and will include a survey of the entire force, analysis of relevant trends and indicators of individual and unit behavior, sustainment of an Army-wide dialog and discussion . . . all of which lead to a review of existing policies and programs that apply to the Army as an institution. A detailed concept plan for this is currently being developed.

The Army Chief of Staff acknowledges the importance of this to our profession’s future: “ . . . it is essential that we take a hard look at ourselves and ensure the we fully understand what we have been through, how we have changed and how we must adapt to succeed in an era of persistent conflict. I encourage all leaders to think about how to accomplish this. It is essential to the continued effectiveness of our profession and to ensure that our young leaders are prepared for success in the decade.”