Center for the Army Profession and Ethic

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Army White Paper

Developing the Character of Trusted Army Professionals: Forging the Way Ahead

Developing the Character of Trusted Army Professionals: Forging the Way Ahead

19 April 2016

The importance of developing and strengthening the character of Soldiers and Army Civilians is widely recognized in American military history, discussed in professional journals, and cited in Army doctrine. This tenet reflects our belief that trust is the foundation for success on every mission and in all relationships, and such trust cannot be continuously reinforced without leaders of character who help us win our nation’s wars in the right way.

Based on differences in operations and career management programs, the content and timing of activities supporting leader and professional development necessarily differ within the Profession of Arms. Likewise, the developmental process for the Army Civilian Corps is tailored to meet its unique characteristics. However, what is common to current leader and professional development in each of our components and communities of practice is the absence of an accessible, accepted, comprehensive, and adaptable concept for developing and assessing character. This White Paper discusses this critical gap in our capability.

Our success in closing this gap will enhance individual and unit readiness; build cohesive teamwork; support the Army Family; strengthen the Army culture of trust; and reinforce trust with the American people. As we move forward with this strategically important initiative, we welcome your perspectives and recommendations in order to achieve consensus on how our Army develops character.

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