By General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., USMC
In 1950, the great Soldier-Statesman George C. Marshall, then serving as the Secretary of Defense, signed a cover page for a new book titled The Armed Forces Officer. That original version of this book was written by none other than S.L.A. Marshall, who later explained that Secretary Marshall had “inspired the undertaking due to his personal conviction that American military officers, of whatever service, should share common ground ethically and morally.” Written at the dawn of the nuclear age and the emergence of the Cold War, it addressed an officer corps tasked with developing a strategy of nuclear deterrence, facing unprecedented deployments, and adapting to the creation of the Department of Defense and other new organizations necessary to manage the threats of a new global order.
Now, in the second decade of the 21st century, our nation is again confronted with a volatile and complex security environment, and addressing the challenges of our time will place new demands on military leaders at all levels. We in the Profession of Arms will continue to adapt our training and education programs, as we have always done, to provide our officers with the intellectual and practical tools necessary to succeed in this unpredictable and unstable world.