Wall Street Journal: "Military Officers Don’t Need College Degrees"

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by MabryPsyD, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G.

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  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Found something I could argue with in every paragraph. His sentiments may be correct (it requires deeper thought on my part) but his arguments are full of holes. Thanks for the post.
     
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  3. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    A former LT's view of the military. I do agree that a college degree might not be an accurate indicator of one's intelligence now days, but I really don't see an alternative screening method to ensure future field grades and generals have intellectual abilities required for non combat leadership positions they will hold.
     
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  4. AJC

    AJC Member

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    He misses the point of the degree. A major part of any degree, physics or PE, is learning how to learn. It demonstrates that a long term goal can be established and archived. Also, that the officer is capable of the academic work load of follow on training in that type of setting. To say a 19 year old with six months is just as capable is misleading. Anybody can do anything for six months.
     
  5. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    "Learning how to learn", great. Also learning time management and priorities which are needed by any officer. DD is currently at EWS Quantico and said it is the hardest school she has ever attended. Don't think you could do that from High School.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
  6. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G.

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    Agreed. I'll tell anyone; the hardest military training I ever attended was the Army Signal Captains Career Course. I have a masters in information technology, but I'm an idiot when it comes to radios. Learning how to learn is the goal of an undergraduate degree. If I didn't mature my thought processes and study habits, I wouldn't have passed the course.
     
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  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Decided to go back through the article...
    Clearly he's a Marine or Army because AF and Big Navy certainly care.

    I can't tell if his problem is that officer's require a college degree, or if its with the current state of higher education in America. He also picks out traits an officer should have and states that after a 4 year enlistment, the enlistee has also demonstrated those traits. No doubt they have. But those are not ALL the traits required of an officer.

    The author certainly doesn't do an effective job of making his argument in my opinion. It make me wonder about the current state of education at his alma mater (tongue in cheek gang, tongue in cheek).
     
  8. Midwest

    Midwest Member

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    And the biggest take away from a Master's Degree (at least for me) was learning how to ask questions and challenge assumptions! :cool:
     
  9. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Hmmm, Army does not care about degrees, but pretty much everything Major I know has one or more Masters.

    His argument that no one cares may be stronger for 2LT & 1LT's. But that does not mean its not important... Just that their troops may not care as long as their LT does not screw up.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I may be speaking out of turn for kinnem, but I expect it was more about the 2.5 cgpa for AF/NROTC. Both programs have a make or break year, it is just different.

    For AFROTC as a sophomore you must be selected for summer field training. The avg cgpa is 3.0/3.1 for tech and 3.3/3.4 to be selected. Way higher than the author assumes is true. Not selected for SFT and they will disenroll you. The board is masked in regards to which cadet is on scholarship and which is not.
    ~ Hence why many call it a 2+2 scholarship. Only really guaranteed for 2 years.

    NROTC has that break year too, but if I am correct if you are on scholarship it is guaranteed for 4 years.

    Additionally, for AFROTC and NROTC at least 80% of all scholarships go to STEM majors. AROTC/NROTC MO does not place that emphasis, thus why he felt they were not AF or Navy.

    Finally, I know for AF to make rank you will need a Master. I don't know if it is still masked at O4, but many O3s will have their Master degree by the time they make O4 because if they want in residence (ACSC/CGSC) than they want that in their packet for selection. I know it is not masked for O5. IOWS, I think for every branch it is common to have a Master degree when you are an O4.

    I don't think he was meaning a slight at all. I think it was the assumption a 2.5 cgpa in underwater basket weaving would equate to a commissioning in the AF or Navy from a ROTC perspective.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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  12. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    For the Air Force, Masters Degrees are masked for O-3 promotion boards per Gen Welsh's instruction. DH promotes to Major in two weeks and he has not completed his Masters.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I think you mean O4.
     
  14. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Yes, O-3 promoting to O-4. Thanks.
     
  15. buffalo

    buffalo USAFA 2013

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    It's my understanding having a master's is masked until competing for O-6. Even so, I still question what happens when the next CSAF decides graduate education is once again important, or if raters still use having an advanced degree as a discriminator between those they are ranking.

    Edit: Here's what Gen. Welsh had to say about the issue at the end of 2014.

    http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDispl...ademic-degree-pme-for-officer-promotions.aspx
     

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