Academic journal article Military Review

ROTC Future Lieutenant Study

Academic journal article Military Review

ROTC Future Lieutenant Study

Article excerpt

ROTC FUTURE LIEUTENANT STUDY, Arthur Coumbe, Larry Brown and Arnold Leonard, eds., U.S. Army Cadet Command, Fort Monroe, VA, 1999, 406 pages, price unavailable.

The dilemma the Army now faces results from over 30 years of major societal changes that directly affect force composition. Degradation of cultural values and norms, which began in the 1960s, is coming to fruition in "Generation X." The longrange effect will be significant. The ROTC Future Lieutenant Study examines how to deal with the problems facing the officer corps.

This lengthy study is an eclectic composition of interviews and formal papers by a variety of people. Although sometimes difficult to follow, the book offers some excellent essays. Don Snider writes on the military ethos, and Patricia Shields contributes a useful and insightful study on the demographics of potential officer aspirants and the effects their social backgrounds have on their entry into the military. Other essays are just as erudite.

The most disturbing thread woven throughout the book is Army leaders' apparent promotion of a 1970s "VOLAR" attitude. Once again, the "Army Wants to Join You!" as the service increasingly struggles to reestablish the lost professional Army of 1980s.

Instead of taking its cue from the Marines, the Army seems content to abandon the moral high road and accept current cultural standards. Polls indicate this is probably the wrong approach. The Marines, sticking to their traditions and policies despite criticism, have overwhelmingly retained public respect. As a result, their recruitment efforts continue to meet goals, while the other services still suffer serious deficits. The study correctly recognizes the changes in society and that young people are much different from those of 30 years ago. However, polls also indicate that the public retains a high degree of confidence in and respect for the Army-largely because of its historical conservative values. …

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