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Trust: Implications for the Army Profession

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Journal article

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TRUST IS AT the heart of the Army Profession. As the Army transitions from an era of substantial operational deployments to an era characterized by training and preparing the force for the next series of conflicts, it will face several threats to trust. An environment of reduced force structure and fiscal austerity will accompany the transition. How the Army profession fares in the coming decade will be based on the trust the institution engenders among its members uniformed and civilian and with the American people. The Department of the Army-directed Profession of Arms PoA campaign reemphasized trust as an essential characteristic of the Army Profession along with military expertise, honorable service, esprit de corps, and stewardship of the profession. The PoA campaign had its official kickoff in January 2011 under the leadership of Gen. Martin Dempsey, commander of Training and Doctrine Command TRADOC, and was later renamed the Army Profession AP Campaign. When Dempsey subsequently became the 37th chief of staff of the Army, his initial guidance to the force stressed Trust, Discipline, and Fitness as the three areas that he would discuss with commanders during visits around the Army. His successor, Gen. Ray Odierno, in his Initial Thoughts and Marching Orders communications, appropriately called trust the bedrock of our honored Profession. Trust is manifested in two interrelated but distinct realms. The campaign focused much of its effort on trust internal to the Army Profession. The other domain is external public trust, which is the trust held between the Army profession and the American people. The maintenance of internal trust among members of the profession, and between members and institution, is critical to the effectiveness of the Army. Maintenance of trust between the Army profession and the American people is critical to its legitimacy within our democratic society.

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  • Sociology and Law
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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