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Are We Meeting the Intent of the Skelton and Cheney Panels as It Relates to Joint Proficiency Training for Our Strategic Leaders in the 21st Century?

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Strategy research project

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Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has directed a transformation of the Armed Services. He has stated that a transformation requires a changed mindset as much as it requires innovation and technology. Since the end of World War II, when the National Security Act of 1947 created the Secretary and Department of Defense and established the Joint Staff, the services have been obligated to train more joint-minded officers. Thus the establishment of several schools to provide this Joint Professional Military Education JPME was created. The Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 established the selection, education, assignment, and promotion criteria for a Joint Officer Personnel Policy. The Skelton Panel of 1988 conducted the first Congressional review afterwards of the Professional Military Education System and recommended several areas for needed improvement. Additionally, the 1997 Cheney Panel determined that the joint instruction should begin earlier in the JPME process at the point of pre-commissioning and that the curriculum should be deepened and expanded at each consecutive level. The panel also determined that the Senior Service College should focus joint operations and multinational warfare. This paper seeks to determine if the senior level colleges, as they exist today, are meeting the recommendations of the Skelton and Cheney panels. The first section of this paper will identify the colleges charged to educate the senior leaders and examine the composition of the student body and its faculty followed by an examination of the curriculum of each school. And finally, the paper will also look into possible areas where efficiencies can be gained, specifically as associated with costs savings and potential duplication reduction efforts. Are these colleges truly focusing on the joint aspect sufficiently enough to shape and modify individual service biases

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  • Humanities and History
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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