Preparing for Peace: Military Identity, Value Orientations, and Professional Military Education

Preparing for Peace: Military Identity, Value Orientations, and Professional Military Education

Preparing for Peace: Military Identity, Value Orientations, and Professional Military Education

Preparing for Peace: Military Identity, Value Orientations, and Professional Military Education

Synopsis

Franke examines the extent to which military socialization at the U.S. Military Academy prepares cadets cognitively for shifting missions. Assessing the dynamic relationship between identity, values, and attitudes, he shows the importance of individuals' identification with social groups for their behavioral choices.

Excerpt

The HonorableSean O'Keefe

General Charles Krulak, former Commandant of the Marine Corps, typically starts his speeches with a vignette from the Marine basic training experience called "The Crucible." At the conclusion of this arduous indoctrination training, the successful are awarded the Marine globe and anchor insignia -- a mark of distinction among armed forces which designates the chosen few accepted into the culture of the Corps. One of Krulak's latest passages is of a young man from a rough South Chicago neighborhood, but now a Marine emerging victorious from the rigors of "The Crucible" clutching the globe and anchor, with tears streaming down his cheeks, announcing "I am somebody!" To the Marines this isn't just a testosteronedriven burst of pride or bravado. This enthusiasm is an imperative for success. It differentiates this profession from other "jobs."

While the Marine Corps is truly distinctive, each of the armed services seeks to make new recruits feel they are part of something important, distinctive, and purposeful. The imperative for this approach transcends patriotic purpose or nationalism. Since the mid1970s, the United States armed forces have been dependent on voluntary enlistment to fill the ranks. The military must continually demonstrate that the profession is worthy, that the lifestyle desirable, and that it is a meaningful form of public service. The challenge of winning young Americans over is difficult, since the armed forces are competing with private companies that offer much higher compensation, far better working conditions, limited risk . . .

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