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The US Army War College: Gearing Up for the 21st Century

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Journal article

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There are few issues of greater significance to the long-term readiness of our military forces than the education of military officers to accomplish the vital roles they play in the defense of our nation. The resurgence of interest in the professional development of officers as a result of the DOD Reorganization Act of 1986 is thus a welcome development. Within the provisions of the Reorganization Act, Congress placed particular emphasis on senior officer education. In a related development, the House Armed Services Committee established the Panel On Excellence in Military Education, commonly referred to as the Skelton Panel, which initiated substantive hearings on the professional development of officers. In addition to addressing education in joint and combined matters, the Skelton Panel has analyzed the traditional pedagogical challenges faced by senior military professional development schools. Among these areas of inquiry are curriculum content and structure, educational methodology, faculty qualifications and development, student selection and evaluation, and the relationship of applied research to the academic program. It was during this period of renewed interest in military education that I took over as Commandant of the US Army War College. At that time, General Carl Vuono, who had only recently become the new Chief of Staff of the Army, provided me Terms of Reference which laid out his vision for the College. In these instructions, he charged the US Army War College to be the capstone institution in the formal development of the Armys leaders. Additionally, he instructed the College to become the cradle of military strategy and a source of innovative thought for the entire defense community. Finally, he directed a comprehensive assessment of the College, its institutes, and associated activities, with a view toward accomplishing any needed redirection of the efforts of the College.

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  • Humanities and History
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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