Essays Military Customs Courtesies

Essays Military Customs Courtesies-39
The means of defense against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution lays out civilian control of the armed forces.

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Thus, America’s personal and economic ties to its armed services have weakened in recent decades.

Suspicion of military power is rooted in the revolutionary ideals of the early American republic.

He has published numerous articles and book chapters on leadership, organizational performance, and critical thinking.

In a speech at Duke University in September 2010, then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates observed, “There is a risk over time of developing a cadre of military leaders that politically, culturally and geographically have less and less in common with the people they have sworn to defend.” Such was the gist of a recent The Military as a Percentage of the Labor Force, 1950–2010 Source: Figure created by authors with data provided courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Congressional Research Service. Are public sympathies driven by economic ties to the military? Since 1981, defense spending has declined relative to GDP and has been relatively stable as a percentage of total government outlays.

As a result, Americans’ historical fears of a too-powerful military have faded. First, the domestic footprint of the military has been dramatically reduced in recent decades. military’s role of national defense (the physical garrisoning and defense of the United States itself ) has had little significance in military planning and deployment since 1945. The oath taken by the men and women of the armed services names “all enemies, (emphasis added); but in recent U. history, foreign enemies operating on foreign soil have predominated. Third, the military has generally detached itself from domestic politics. Military accomplishments figured largely in the political rise of numerous American presidents, including thirteen of the first twenty-five, from George Washington to Theodore Roosevelt. If the spectrum of politicization ranges from the apolitical model espoused by General George Marshall to the highly politicized maneuverings of General Douglas Mac Arthur, the current military leans strongly in the direction of Marshall.

Through five rounds of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) from 1989 to 2005, 350 military installations have been closed. population, this downsizing has been large: active-duty military personnel accounted for 1.5 percent of the population in 1970, 0.9 percent in 1980, and just 0.48 percent in 2010. Ostensibly, all American military actions are in defense of the U. The 9/11 attacks are a notable exception, although their unconventional character and brief duration precluded any significant U. The political community is also increasingly detached from the military. Ridgway Chair of Leadership in the Department of Command, Leadership, and Management at the U. We argue that the rise and sustainment of public confidence in the military reflects the ascendance of the latter view (reverence for the military and its mission) and the subsidence of the former (fear of military abuses in the domestic arena); and we explore the possible causes of these changes. In this essay, we examine the sources and implications of public trust in the military.We conclude with a brief discussion of the military’s efforts to develop and encourage public-mindedness among its members, and the challenges to replicating the military approach in other institutional settings. HILL is Professor of Organization Studies in the Department of Command, Leadership, and Management at the U. LEONARD WONG is Research Professor of Military Strategy in the Strategic Studies Institute of the U. Indeed, some are concerned that the men and women of the armed services are becoming increasingly isolated from the nation they serve. Kolditz, Raymond Millen, and Terrence Potter, 2003). In recent decades, Americans’ confidence in the military and its leaders has risen (see Figures 1 and 2, and Table 1).Though agrarian democrats (Thomas Jefferson) disagreed with federalists (Alexander Hamilton and James Madison) in many fundamental questions of government, both groups believed that a standing army could endanger freedom.In a speech to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Madison expressed that fear: In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate.Thus, through the military’s shrinking footprint, its far-flung activities, and its maintenance of an apolitical culture (at least when viewed from the outside), it has become less relevant to the daily life of the average citizen.It may be that a crucial element to preserving and increasing public trust in the military is maintaining a distance between the preparation, conduct, and control of military operations and the domestic lives of Americans.The number of active-duty military personnel has declined as well, from around 3 million in 1970, to 2 million in 1980, to slightly fewer than 1.5 million today. While numerous veterans (primarily from World War II) have sought and obtained the presidency, the last senior military officer to obtain his party’s nomination for the presidency is also the last one to win the office: General Eisenhower, who served as NATO commander prior to the 1952 election.Of the nation’s 541 Senators and Representatives in the 112th Congress (2011–2013), 118 served or currently serve in the military (9 served in the National Guard or the Reserve), approximately 22 percent of the membership.


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