War, Morality, and the Military Profession

By Malham M. Wakin | Go to book overview
Save to active project

2 Officership as a Profession

Samuel P. Huntington

Military scholars already view The Soldier and the Stateas a classic examination of the military as a profession. In this opening chapter, Huntington posits the thesis that modern military officership is a profession in an analogous sense to medicine and law. He provides defining characteristics of a profession (expertise, responsibility, and corporateness) and argues convincingly that military officers meet the criteria of professionalism. He identifies the central skill of military leadership, describes the special knowledge required of military leaders, and suggests the type of education and training appropriate to the profession. He makes illuminating comments concerning the realm of the military officer's competence, his relationships to the state, and the role ideally played by rank and bureaucratic structure. A central theme to be pursued in this text is his view that "the profession thus becomes a moral unit positing certain values and ideals which guide the members in their dealings with laymen."

—M.M.W.


Professionalism and the Military

The modern officer corps is a professional body and the modern military officer a professional man. This is, perhaps, the most fundamental thesis of this book. A profession is a peculiar type of functional group with highly specialized characteristics. Sculptors, stenographers, entrepreneurs, and advertising copywriters all have distinct functions but no one of these functions is professional in nature. Professionalism, however, is characteristic of the modern officer

Reprinted by permission of the publishers from The Soldier and the State by Samuel P. Huntington , Cambridge, Mass.: The Belnap Press of Harvard University Press, © 1957 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College; © 1985 by Samuel P. Huntington.

-23-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
War, Morality, and the Military Profession
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 521

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?