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Returning to an Apolitical Officer Corps

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Technical Report

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Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States

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This is the oath that every United States military officer takes upon their commissioning. After that commissioning, these officers are tasked to operate in some of the most complex, ambiguous environments mankind faces, but, at the most fundamental level, these men and women are simply empowered by the American people to defend the American Constitution. Of all the challenges these officers face, the relationship between their military institution and its civilian masters is often the most daunting. At its core, this civil-military relationship is defined by a paradox how does a society reconcile building a military strong enough to do anything elected leaders ask, but ensuring it remains compliant enough to do only what they ask The simple answer is that this balance is maintained by a self-regulating, professional officer corps subordinated to the countrys civilian leadership and trusted by the general public.

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