Fostering a Culture of Engagement. (Military Review, September-October 2009)
ARMY COMBINED ARMS CENTER FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
Pagination or Media Count:
WITH LESS THAN one half of one percent of the U.S. population in the Armed Forces, it is not surprising that many Americans know little about their military or the sacrifices military members and their families make for the Nation. The professional military is often viewed as a breed apart, a closed hierarchal organization resembling a monastic order.1 Indeed, some scholars have identified not just a cloister wall, but a growing chasm between the military and American society as a whole.2 Meanwhile, the necessity for operations security and an institutional penchant for controlling information flow do little to bridge gaps or break down walls. Recent incidents ranging from the Jessica Lynch saga to the Abu Ghraib scandal indicate just how vulnerable that flow is to miscalculation and mismanagement. Whatever the reason or rationale, impairments to information dissemination can easily damage the Armys reputation and estrange the American public from one of its most trusted institutions.3 Since neither of these developments bodes well for the future of the U.S. Army, job one in the communications arena should be to keep Americans informed and connected with their Armed Forces. For this and other reasons, the Army must embrace culture of engagement that actively seeks to tear down barriers and build sustainable relationships with the American public.
- Sociology and Law