Ethics, Morality and Leadership: Snider Dedicates Life to Army Profession

Army, November 2016 | Go to article overview

Ethics, Morality and Leadership: Snider Dedicates Life to Army Profession


A retired colonel who for almost two decades has helped shape the Army's doctrine about professional ethics and morality is being lauded for his work as he takes a slight step back from the front lines.

Don M. Snider taught political science at the U.S. Military Academy and was a professor of the Army Profession and Army Ethic at the U.S. Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute. More recently, he has been a senior fellow for the War College's Center for the Army Profession and Ethic, known as CAPE.

After more than five decades of combined military and civilian service, Snider still isn't ready to stop. He'll continue as an adjunct professor while doing research and writing at the War College.

Snider, a 1962 West Point graduate with three combat tours, specialized in defense policy and national security strategy in posts that included being part of the National Security Council staff in the Reagan and first Bush administrations, and led to a final active-duty assignment in the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Army Gen. Colin Powell.

In his post-service life, Snider became a leading scholar pushing the idea that a strong Army requires moral and ethical leaders who see what they are doing as a calling, not just a job.

"His teachings are cemented into our curriculum, where they will continue to positively impact students and faculty for decades to come," said Maj. Gen. William E. Rapp, Army War College commandant, who called Snider "one of my personal heroes and inspirations."

'An American Treasure'

"Don Snider is an American treasure," Rapp said. "Since his graduation from the U.S. Military Academy 54 years ago, he has dedicated his life to the Army profession."

"Like the legendary mentor of Marshall and Eisenhower, Fox Conner, did in the 1920s and '30s, Don has put his mark on literally thousands of Army leaders, said Rapp, referring to Maj. Gen. Fox Conner, an 1898 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy who is considered one of the Army's greatest mentors.

Rapp said to listen to Snider "speak so eloquently about what it means to be a professional, and how much work is needed to be done by leaders every day to prevent the Army from falling into the bindings of bureaucracy, is to be transfixed and energized."

Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., who became superintendent of West Point in July 2013, said Snider has had "an immeasurable impact on the Army as a whole as well as on the thousands of soldiers he has led, taught and mentored."

"As a key architect of the doctrine establishing the Army Profession and the Army Ethic, Don has been a leader in ensuring officers understand their roles and moral obligations as members of the profession of arms," Caslen said. …

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