The Army is looking to improve its professionalism, specifically through defining clear parameters for standards and discipline, according to Sgt. Maj. David Stewart.
Stewart, who spoke Tuesday, October 23 during the Sergeant Major of the Army’s Professional Development Forum at the Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition, quizzed and discussed with various soldiers the true definition of terms like “professionalism,” “discipline,” and “standards.”
The sergeant major introduced soldiers to the Center for the Army Profession Ethic (CAPE) and its goal to “provide senior leaders with educational resources, narrative, and ideas to reinvigorate the Army profession.” Stewart serves as the senior enlisted advisor for CAPE.
CAPE, located at West Point, New York, focuses greatly on ethics and character development. Originally designated the Army Center of Excellence for Professional Military Ethic (ACPME), the center was created in 2008 but later renamed CAPE and reorganized under the command and control of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) and its Combined Arms Center (CAC) in 2010.
“[The Army] only exists for one reason,” Stewart said. “That is to defend our nation and to defend it with American values.”
Within the coming year, CAPE will be holding eight Master Army Profession Ethic Training and 40 Army Profession Seminars. In addition, all units will conduct one day of Army Profession and Ethics training per quarter.
During the forum, Stewart emphasized the importance of the three C’s—character, competence, and commitment—and their essentiality for the optimal soldier. He urged leaders that ignoring a soldier’s lack of exceptionality in any of these three necessary war-fighting components would only make their units weaker and less effective.
Using clips from the movie 300, Stewart divided soldiers into small groups to discuss ways to increase Army professionalism along these core competencies.“What we’re after here is not blind obedience,” Stewart said. “We want intelligent obedience.”