Author Topic: It’s 2017. The Military Still Requires Officers To Have College Degrees. Why?  (Read 13462 times)

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Offline Infanteer

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So, I am in the camp that wholeheartedly disagrees with the sentiment that “there is no absolutely need for officers to have a degree”. Times have changed and that ship has sailed.

Myself as well - if you can't be bothered to put the effort into gaining an undergraduate education in this day in age (not the 1950s-60s), then its one less thing you're doing to prove that you are a good candidate for the profession.  The basic skills in critical thought and writing are useful tools with which to pile a professional military education upon.
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline RomeoJuliet

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Myself as well - if you can't be bothered to put the effort into gaining an undergraduate education in this day in age (not the 1950s-60s), then its one less thing you're doing to prove that you are a good candidate for the profession.  The basic skills in critical thought and writing are useful tools with which to pile a professional military education upon.
Great points Infanteer. I use the skills (hard and soft) I learned from university all the time.


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Offline the 48th regulator

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Didn't say illegally did I?

Under those conditions I guess you'll never complain about a Govt. official lining his/her's or thier friends pockets again?

So what exactly were you trying to say?


Cancelling the gas plants wasn't illegal but a lot of people made good money on it......and I'll bet they knew somebody.

If you actually paid attention you'd see that my original response  was to a scenario where ALL members should be offered degrees.........something that ISN'T presently offered.   Hard to have sour grapes over something that doesn't exist.

Except the taxpayers whom you serve.  What makes you so special over other employee's in this great country?

Don't know what your trying to sell, but your produce has a tangy taste.....

Now, back on subject matter perhaps?

Yes, please let us get back on the subject matter, as your contributions are so delusional, they are even confusing you! As for this thread, I am paying attention, unfortunately your white noise is making it harder to enjoy a good conversation regarding education requirement in the officer corps for CAF. 

It's Not for whiny posts about not getting any, and Government pocket lining.

dileas

tess

I know that I’m not perfect and that I don’t claim to be, so before you point your fingers make sure your hands are clean.

Offline Infanteer

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Ok.  Its done.
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline the 48th regulator

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I know that I’m not perfect and that I don’t claim to be, so before you point your fingers make sure your hands are clean.

Online FJAG

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I find it interesting that the advocates for a non-degree Officer corps generally are those without a degree, while those supporting degrees for officers typically have a degree (of some sort) themselves.

. . .

So, I am in the camp that wholeheartedly disagrees with the sentiment that “there is no absolutely need for officers to have a degree”. Times have changed and that ship has sailed.

I'm an advocate for non-degree officers. I may have enrolled as one initially but since then have completed five years of university and achieved an LL.B. My opinion that we could make much better use of those four years comes entirely from having my feet solidly planted in both camps.

As to the ship having sailed; I regretfully agree that it has. I sincerely doubt that we will ever go back to another non-degree program unless there is a national emergency which would require the rapid development of a large officer corps. I don't see that happening.

 :cheers:
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Offline daftandbarmy

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The British discovered the hard way that it’s a good idea, for any ‘big business’, to diversify your risk in the leadership department. Hence, they continue to recruit Officers both with and without degrees.

Having said that, I was one of the latter and, while I had a great time over the almost 9 years I was there, one of the main reasons I left was the fact that there was no way they were going to suiport me to get a degree.
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline ArmyDoc

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The British discovered the hard way that it’s a good idea, for any ‘big business’, to diversify your risk in the leadership department. Hence, they continue to recruit Officers both with and without degrees.

Having said that, I was one of the latter and, while I had a great time over the almost 9 years I was there, one of the main reasons I left was the fact that there was no way they were going to suiport me to get a degree.
To be clear, I support all members (Officer and NCM) being able to access and pursue formal post-secondary educational opportunities. For some, this will be a professional certification or diploma. For others, it will be a degree program.

Some educational programs should be sponsored as full-time for selected candidates e.g. take two years from your regular employment and get an MBA. For others, likely the vast majority, learning will occur on your time after hours, but on the company dime (as occurs with the current Individual Learning Plan System)  e.g. take two to four years part-time to obtain a Masters.

Regarding the comment about about it “wasting taxpayers money”, all of us in the military pay taxes, too, so we are interested agents also. In addition, many of us came into the CAF already possessing a degree that we obtained without CAF assistance. 

The CAF is competing with the civilian market for potential employees, and if a robust educational upgrade path - both academic and professional- gives us an advantage in being “the employer of choice”, I’m in favour.

Offline Tango2Bravo

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Re: The Military Still Requires Officers To Have College Degrees. Why?
« Reply #58 on: October 21, 2017, 20:06:16 »
The real question though isn't whether more education may have some value. The question is can the military make better use of those years especially since they are some of those where we are at our most vigorous and most impressionable. Why should we let them be spent sitting on our butts in a classroom?  :pop:

 :cheers:

Officers pursuing a degree through ROTP or RESO are not just sitting on their butts. They are spending four months each year learning their branch and going through some "vigorous" training. The 22 year olds have at least a little more maturity once they begin Troop Leading/Platoon Commanding, all else being equal of course.

I think that planning to have officers wait to obtain a degree is a mistake. There is always something pressing for our Captains in terms of time - sending them off to school for four years is a non-starter. Its hard enough to get second language and staff training time.

Cheers

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Offline Infanteer

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Myself as well - if you can't be bothered to put the effort into gaining an undergraduate education in this day in age (not the 1950s-60s), then its one less thing you're doing to prove that you are a good candidate for the profession.  The basic skills in critical thought and writing are useful tools with which to pile a professional military education upon.

I caught this article and it brought me back to this thread.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/01/whats-college-good-for/546590/

The part that caught my was "The labor market doesn’t pay you for the useless subjects you master; it pays you for the preexisting traits you signal by mastering them. This is not a fringe idea. Michael Spence, Kenneth Arrow, and Joseph Stiglitz—all Nobel laureates in economics—made seminal contributions to the theory of educational signaling."
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Bruce Monkhouse

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"Critical thought"??  Apparently only allowed if you tape all your conversations. ....
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Offline Journeyman

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https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/01/whats-college-good-for/546590/

The part that caught my was "The labor market doesn’t pay you for the useless subjects you master; it pays you for the preexisting traits you signal by mastering them."
Good article, thanks; it mirrors much of what I think, particularly:

a) "Instead we must ask ourselves what kind of society we want to live in—an educated one or an ignorant one?"

b)  "I’m a cynical idealist. I embrace the ideal of transformative education. I believe wholeheartedly in the life of the mind. What I’m cynical about is people. I’m cynical about students. The vast majority are philistines. I’m cynical about teachers. The vast majority are uninspiring. I’m cynical about “deciders”—the school officials who control what students study. The vast majority think they’ve done their job as long as students comply."


I believe that university education can add to society in general, and the military in particular, because of "a."  However, the overarching system is broken because of "b"... in addition to the other points raised by the author.

First, our choice of society.  Look at many of the posts made on this site (or if a glutton for punishment, the comments section to CBC articles).  Charitably, some are based on naiveté or not staying in one's lane.  Many, unfortunately, come across as uninformed bigotry, obtuseness, or lack of exposure to other thoughts (and actually making informed judgements upon them).  I believe that further education could help all but the most determined to defend their right to be stupid.

However, our educational systems are failing, not merely because of uninspiring teachers, but because so many feel that their role is to provide ideological indoctrination rather than cultivating informed reasoning.  As a military person at a civilian university, I often heard about how I was personally responsible for all the world's problems and oppression.... often with significant venom.  I'm not sure if the graduates from those circles can be considered educated rather than ignorant, because there is no other side to their coin to be considered -- you either hug trees or you're irredeemably evil; one must always be offended on behalf of someone or something.

But even an awareness of their perspectives can assist in producing valid counter-perspectives and, as such, better leaders.  And I'm not advocating education just for officers, but for NCMs as well.  Some troops wouldn't believe an officer if he said the sun rises in the east, but the informed views of a respected Sgt will carry much weight.


As such, the more education the better..... hell, even the person who takes Art History can be beneficial when playing trivia in a bar.  :cheers:
There’s nothing more maddening than debating someone who doesn’t know history, doesn’t read books, and frames their myopia as virtue. The level of unapologetic conjecture I’ve encountered lately isn’t just frustrating, it’s retrogressive, unprecedented, and absolutely terrifying.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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But even an awareness of their perspectives can assist in producing valid counter-perspectives and, as such, better leaders.  And I'm not advocating education just for officers, but for NCMs as well.  Some troops wouldn't believe an officer if he said the sun rises in the east, but the informed views of a respected Sgt will carry much weight.

In the world of the Reserves it is possible to come across PhDs who also happen to be good machine gunners. It's an idea well past its time, to open up more educational opportunities to all ranks based on merit. We may even see Sergeant pilots (but I'm not going to bet my retirement on it.)

One of these days we'll have a ruthlessly rigorous 'University Program Selection' as well as CSOR, JTF2, etc etc selection course that has hundreds of well qualified applicants. That's when you know we're probably headed in the right direction, intellectually as well as technically.

"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Journeyman

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In the world of the Reserves it is possible to come across PhDs who also happen to be good machine gunners.
To be fair, I had the real  military in mind.    :stirpot:

...besides where did they possibly get sufficient ammo and actual Sp Wpn range time to become good machine gunners?    :worms:



Disclaimer: First part is a joke; second part..... well....  :dunno:

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There’s nothing more maddening than debating someone who doesn’t know history, doesn’t read books, and frames their myopia as virtue. The level of unapologetic conjecture I’ve encountered lately isn’t just frustrating, it’s retrogressive, unprecedented, and absolutely terrifying.
~Chris Evans

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Well, one of our PO2 at MONTCALM was a Ph.d. student in nuclear physics. I can tell you that NBCD School was more than happy to see him back every summer to help making sure all the course materials were up to date and to make sure the staff was up to date on safety precautions.

Offline Rocky Mountains

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In 2017 the average young person has about 2 years of post-secondary.  Why wouldn't the military want officers to have an above average education?  As someone said, when you're paying a captain $90,000 why wouldn't you expect a degree?   I was in the reserves in an age when maybe somewhat less than half the officers had degrees and I saw no difference in capabilities.  Having a degree wasn't the only requirement, there were also interviews and boards to impress other officers that I had something of a personality capable of leadership and I fooled them.  What is the magic in a degree?  In my life, I've managed to earn 4 of them.  A whole whack of people I started university with failed to earn one.  Maybe persistence is a valued virtue.

Offline mariomike

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