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Old 08-14-2009   #1
i pwnd ur ooda loop
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Default Question 4: The dichotomy of University and the military

There is a strange and long held symbiosis between the higher education institutions of America and the United States Military. Between ROTC, augmentation of mid-career officers, specialized training tours to University and then the span of professional military graduate education institutions there is a substantive symbiosis. That of course is primarily officers. The more often than not enlisted personnel on their own dime attending university do not have the same career assistance or are afforded the same counseling on how or why education will help them.

As a simplistic example a young enlisted guy wanted to know more about how operating systems work in one of my classes because his education in "school" was not satisfactory for his needs within his unit.

I will be the first one to admit and scold the world that asking academia to spin up/down or change academic programs on a whim simply won't happen. I would not be so eager to suggest the same to TRADOC as changing an educational juggernaut is not to be taken lightly. Spinning up a new program in academia can take two years or more by the time everything is in place. In technology programs that means you are ready to train the first generation of technology about the time the second generation of technology is being replaced.

The simple example of the young soldier/student is an example of what I've seen that could be seen as missing. I am not so vulgar or arrogant to say that the military or society has not seen missing educational skills from my students too. A mirror is not a window but I can see the reflection of my own programs faults while looking at the PME systems.

How can the military and academia if not align trade information and needs assessments without formalizing or forcing change?

How can TRADOC represent to the outside world expectations and needs for education transference or skills assessments that can be integrated in university programs?

How in the future can the ivory wall of academia and the khaki halls of military commands communicate to create smarter, safer, saner, capable, soldiers of the future at all levels?
Sam Liles
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