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Posts Tagged ‘military culture’

In this article on Military.com, Bryant Jordan relates several suggestions made by Diane Mazur on how the civil-military gap might be narrowed.  Among them:

–   Services should focus less on selling themselves as the way to a career and more as avenues for people interested in learning some life and work skills, then moving on

–   A military attitude adjustment — recognizing that civilian leadership and criticism are essential

–   Encourage a wider range of people consider military service such as offering short enlistment periods and taking back jobs in logistics, supply, and cooking that have been outsourced

Mazur, a professor in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida, is a former Air Force Captain.  She recently published a book on the topic titled “A More Perfect Military.”

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I’ve written an op-ed that will run in tomorrow’s Baltimore Sun titled “Ending ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ is about more than gays in the military.”  The piece is also available on the Sun’s online opinion page here.  I’ll refer you to their site for the details, but if you have been reading this page in recent months you can probably make an educated guess as to its content. 

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Don Inbody, the Director of the Center for Research, Public Policy, and Training at Texas State University, recently published a concise (and in my view, very accurate) overview of the debate concerning the civil-military gap that has taken place  within policy and academic circles in recent years.

According to Inbody:

The discussion has centered around three questions:

  1. Whether such a gap exists in the first place.
  2. If it does exist, whether its existence matters, and
  3. If it does matter, what changes in policy might be required to mitigate the negative effects of such gap.

Most agree that a gap does exist, but there is widespread disagreement as to whether the gap matters. There has been even less discussion about what policies may be required to mitigate any such gap. However, few have  predicted disaster in civil-military relations and most of the discussion has centered on the nature of the gap and what might be causing it. Most discussion has concentrated on the third period [of the three periods identified  earlier in the work] and the debate tended to lay around three principal questions:

  1. What is the nature of the gap?
  2. Why does the gap matter?
  3. How can the problem be corrected?

It is well worth the ten minutes it takes to review Mr. Inbody’s work for anyone interested in understanding the evolution of this issue and the contours of the debate taking place today.

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