February 17, 2010

New CNAS Report Highlights Need to Revitalize U.S. Military Officer Corps

The U.S. military officer corps faces an ever-increasing array of challenges. With current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and a complex global environment, the United States is relying on its armed forces to perform a wider variety of functions than any other nation in history.  CNAS’s latest report, Keeping the Edge: Revitalizing America's Military Officer Corps, analyzes the changing nature of military officership and provides recommendations for how the U.S. military officer corps can keep its edge in a new strategic environment.

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) will launch Keeping the Edge at an event tomorrow from 5:00-6:30 p.m. at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, followed by a reception. The event will feature a keynote address by U.S. Joint Forces Commander General James Mattis, USMC, and a panel discussion with top experts including: Vice Admiral Ann E. Rondeau, USN, President of National Defense University; Lieutenant General David Barno, USA, (Ret.), Director of the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at National Defense University; Major General Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., USAF, Deputy Judge Advocate General at U.S. Air Force Headquarters; and Dr. John A. Nagl, CNAS President. Find out more about the event here.

RSVP for the event here

In Keeping the Edge, the authors – Dr. John Nagl, Brian M. Burton, Dr. Don M. Snider, Frank G. Hoffman, Captain Mark R. Hagerott, USN, and Colonel Roderick C. Zastrow, USAF – argue that the military must provide a broader range of educational and professional experiences to military officers, essential components of training agile minds how to think rather than what to think, and cultivate new skill sets that are more relevant to 21st-century challenges.

“The profession of officership will continue to require physical, moral, and mental excellence, but the rapidly changing strategic environment of the 21st century will place an increasing premium on agility and flexibility,” write Nagl and Burton. “The emerging strategic environment will provide both challenges and opportunities to those who have the tools necessary to handle the unexpected, and to do so with honor and integrity.”

Download the full report here.