To respond to a rapidly changing strategic environment and an ever-growing array of demands, the U.S. military must develop and maintain a high degree of adaptability within its officer corps. Indeed, America relies on its armed forces to perform a wider variety of functions than any other nation in history, and existing methods of training and education may not be sufficient to cultivate the officer corps America will need in the future.
In addition to demonstrating a high degree of proficiency in conventional military operations, officers should also develop broader skill sets and knowledge to cope with a more complicated and rapidly evolving international environment. On February 18, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) will release a major report at an event on how the United States can revitalize its military officer corps to meet current national security challenges, and those that lie ahead.
General James N. Mattis, USMC Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command
Vice Admiral Ann E. Rondeau, USN President, National Defense University
Lieutenant General David Barno, USA (Ret.) Director, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at National Defense University
Major General Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., USAF Deputy Judge Advocate General, U.S. Air Force Headquarters
Dr. John Nagl President, Center for a New American Security
This report provides an analysis of the nature of U.S. military officership in a new strategic environment and provides recomendations for how the United States can keep its edge in the officer corps amidst an ever-increasing array of challenges.
General Barno, a highly decorated military officer with over 30 years of service, has served in a variety of command and staff positions in the United States and around the world, to include command at every level. He served many of his early years in special operations forces with Army Ranger battalions, to include combat in both the Grenada and Panama invasions. In 2003, he was selected to establish a new three-star operational headquarters in Afghanistan and take command of the 20,000 U.S. and Coalition Forces in Operation Enduring Freedom. For 19 months in this position, he was responsible for the overall military leadership of this complex political-military mission, devising a highly innovative counterinsurgency strategy in close partnership with the U.S. embassy and coalition allies.
Maj. Gen. Charles J. Dunlap Jr. is Deputy Judge Advocate General, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. General Dunlap assists The Judge Advocate General in the professional oversight of more than 2,200 judge advocates, 350 civilian attorneys, 1,400 enlisted paralegals and 500 civilians assigned worldwide. In addition to overseeing an array of military justice, operational, international and civil law functions, General Dunlap provides legal advice to the Air Staff and commanders at all levels.