Rethinking Military Education

The 2018 U.S. National Defense Strategy charges that military education “has stagnated, focused more on the accomplishment of mandatory credit at the expense of lethality and ingenuity.” This claim has put the military classroom in the spotlight. Jennifer Mittelstadt, Paula Thornhill, David Morgan-Owen, Tammy Schultz, and Richard Andres each offer new, insightful critiques and competing recommendations for how educators should proceed. These valuable contributions enliven the debate about how (or whether) to reshape the military classroom. Yet I wish to challenge a presumption each writer takes for granted. Each presumes, implicitly or explicitly, that a line exists between training for military roles on the one hand and education for critical-mindedness and knowledge of the world on the other.

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