does right or wrong than with whether he lives or dies." This, of course, seems an additional affirmation of our previous reflection that we are concerned with the quality of our lives more than with merely staying alive—we are critically interested in health and justice. On this accounting it seems to follow that if we judge professions by their functions, the military profession in an ideal state is clearly among the most noble; its function involves preservation of our highest human values, collectively referred to as our way of life.
It is important to observe that the military function may be accomplished in the modern world when fighting is limited and maintained at the lowest levels of the use of force. Just as medicine serves us best when it prevents the outbreak of an epidemic, so too the military in a deterrent posture may serve us best when it prevents or limits the use of violence in the international environment. Hackett's remarks on this topic in The Profession of Arms and Janowitz's conception of a constabulary function for modern military forces seem to reach the mark correctly on this issue. But this conception has serious implications for those who seek to find in the military profession the crucial sense of fulfillment we spoke of earlier. The doctor may derive a great sense of accomplishment from fulfilling medicine's ultimate function almost every day as she deals with and cures successfully her patients' ailments. The lawyer and judge may well involve themselves with justice very frequently in the routine involvement of their daily work. But, except in times of dire crisis, the military professional will find it more difficult to see his daily activities in the direct context of the military's ultimate function: preservation of a worthwhile way of life. In a real sense, his work is done best if he never fights; yet it is only when he fights that society generally acknowledges the importance of his function. This special difficulty needs to be understood both by those who would make the modern military their chosen profession and by the larger society from which they come. Unless the profession captures the full dedication of those who are competent both morally and intellectually to meet its challenges, unless it becomes for the most talented a complete and fulfilling vocation, it is likely to fall on hard times. In the hands of the mediocre or the morally insensitive, the vocation of arms could find its noble purpose distorted with tragic consequences for all humanity.