An interesting piece on the US Navy's approach to education of personnel.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The U.S. Navy is overhauling its approach to education because the nation no longer has a massive economic and technological edge over potential adversaries, according to a strategy it is releasing Monday. The Education for Seapower Strategy 2020, provided to The Associated Press ahead of its release, is the first unified, comprehensive education strategy for the Navy and Marine Corps, said John Kroger, who is implementing the strategy as the Navy's first chief learning officer.
I didn't see this document yet but the news is interesting and very symptomatic. As Kroeger comments on this approach he arrives to some notable conclusions, such as this:
“In a world where potential adversaries are peers economically and technologically, how do you win?" Kroger said in an interview. "We think we can out-fight potential opponents because we can out-think them. In order to do that, we must have, by far, the best military education program in the world."
But here is the catch, of which I write non-stop. Armed Forces in developed nations start from the student desk at the public schools--it is there where foundation for future personnel, be that lower rank or future officers is laid. But here one has to point out, again, that the key for the modern warfare, STEM that is, is non-existent in the American public schools as a well defined and rigorous physics-mathematics programs. To no service does this requirement applies more than to naval service, which operates the most complex technology there is embodied in modern state-of-the-art ships, submarines, their weapon systems and sensor suites. Running naval ship, as well as pretty much any modern military (air force, ground troops etc.) unit or formation requires more than just rigorous STEM training, which goes without saying, but a symbiosis of STEM and of military science (degrees not awarded in the United States) covering issues of not only operational art, strategy and history but, overall, military and general culture. As Kroger continues:
When the United States entered World War II, nearly all its admirals were Naval War College graduates. Now, less than a quarter of them are because the Navy hasn't stressed education as much, Kroger said.
Ah, that's warmer. In other words, it is more complex than just some, however brilliantly written, and implemented, manual but a requirement of having well-educated thinkers who lead modern militaries. Damn, I just betrayed foundations of military education and pedagogy as formulated in the Soviet Naval Academies in 1970-1980s, LOL. I am not kidding. But I can totally see where the US Navy is coming from, especially once one sees the world filled with peers. Anyhow, it is a note-worthy development as well as a admission--lacking the "edge".