The Department will continue to work to ensure that America’s cadre of commissioned and non-commissioned officers are prepared for the full range of complex missions that the future security environment will likely demand. Too often, a focus on weapons acquisition programs and overall force structure crowd out needed attention concerning how the Military Departments generate, train, and sustain their leaders. As part of our commitment to ensure that tomorrow’s leaders are prepared for the difficult missions they will be asked to execute, DoD will place special emphasis on stability operations, counterinsurgency, and building partner capacity skill sets in its professional military education and career development policies. Examples of DoD efforts in this area include:
- Building expertise in foreign language, regional, and cultural skills. We will continue our emphasis on enhancing these skills in general purpose force officers during pre-accession training. Given the inherent link between language and cultural expertise and mission success, this area requires continued focus.
- Recognizing joint experience whenever and wherever it occurs in an officer’s career. Until recently, wartime service in combat zones—where joint and multinational operations are common—was not recognized as fulfilling the requirements of joint service for purposes of promotion. Reserve Component officers will also have the opportunity to have their joint experiences recognized to earn the same qualifications as their Active Component counterparts.
- Recognizing the critical role that professional military education plays in the development of military officers, the Department will work to ensure that all its educational institutions are resourced and staffed with the right mix of civilian and military experts who can help prepare the next generation of leaders. Given the continuing need to develop military leaders who can work effectively with a range of civilian counterparts, we will also look to expand opportunities for military officers to attend civilian graduate institutions.