Sunday, July 6, 2014

Higbee, ed. 2010, Military Culture and Education (military education)

This is a rich, though US-centric collection of 11 chapters in three parts: I - the field; II - English undergraduate teaching; and III - graduate military history teaching.  It doesn’t shed any light on social sciences or longitudinal professional development, and you have to know something about the institutions of professional military education to situate the chapters.  The next volume might be entitled “military science” and education, perhaps. Higbee’s introduction cites the tension between military and academic cultures as the motivation for the collection. Between the lines, we can read that the cultures (values, attitudes, beliefs?) are starkly different in the army, navy, and airforce, if these chapters are indicative.  Professors are most at home, and most ignored in Annapolis, most integrated in West Point and Leavenworth, and most reviled in the Air War College, if I am reading aright.  Palm (an officer) finds that academics are dismissed by naval officers; Burke and Myers both think academic preparation helped their field competence, and wish it on others, although Burke is keen on more military training for field-bound academics (the Human Terrain Systems teams in Iraq - see Brian Selmeski and the Military Anthropology Network, if you can find it past the zero anthropology counter-blasts). 
David Last, 1 October 2013

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