Emergence of the Joint Officer
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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Both the form and substance of professional military education PME have been subjected to basic and revolutionary reforms in recent years. The farsighted Goldwater-Nichols Act, though hotly debated and strongly resisted at the time of its passage, mandated and catalyzed this change. Initially the law had little appeal to the military departments. Today each service accepts, indeed embraces, these reforms because their contribution to the effectiveness of joint warfare outweighs the new burdens which they have admittedly placed on the services. PME reforms were the result of two profound and complementary thrusts found in title IV of Goldwater- Nichols that dealt with officer personnel policy. The first, which addressed form or process, created joint specialty officers JSOs and imposed criteria for their selection, education, utilization, and promotion. The second, one of substance, revamped the content of military science as it applies to the education of JSOs through its focus on emerging joint doctrine. Recalling that the military is defined, as well as delimited, by its expertise in military science and that this expertise is an intrinsic part of the self-concept of the officer corps and its relationship to the state, it is easy to see the prescient mutual significance of these two new thrusts in PME. Together, they have produced joint officers of a kind rarely before found in our military institutions and culture.
- Humanities and History
- Military Forces and Organizations