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created: 12 September 00
Air & Space Power
Chronicles - Chronicles
(Condensed from the
University of Oklahoma Thesis: "Employee-Warriors and the
Future of the American Fighting Force")
"Equipment for the cyber
warrior is not science fiction. Development is underwayand
includes multisensor-aided technology, digital battlefield communications,
intelligent minefields, precision munitions, night imaging,
and integrated multi-media information transport. The cyber
warrior is almost completely autonomous with gear that allows
for the collecting, processing, analysis, and interpretation
of information critical to a mission."1
AMERICAN warriors of the 21st Century will most certainly
be children of technology and the information sciences. These
cyber warriors, however, will also be very much a part of the
training, and the military and civilian cultures that surround
The present is indeed a confusing
time. Tomorrows soldiers are immersed in mixed signals from
the conflict between a developing "business-scientific, management-professional"
culture and the gradually eroding traditional military culture
The battlefield of tomorrow is also
in constant transition. The warriors of the next century may face
a myriad of threats all the way from "non-state actors, such
as terrorists, to advanced states."2 Recent U.S.
military endeavors such as the Kosovo Conflict, anti-terrorist
operations, and the host of peacekeeping efforts from Bosnia to
Somalia, point to a series of diffuse and highly political challenges
facing U.S. interests in the future. Precision guided munitions,
stealth technology, satellites, and advances in computers, communications,
and information have impacted the conduct of modern military operations
as well as their command and control. "New information systems
have improved target acquisition and the ability to attack an
enemys infrastructure. As a result, many analysts have suggested
the imminence of a revolution in military affairs (RMA)
brought about by the integration of information."3
Information targets may now have become strategic centers for
crippling the more advanced states. Some of the critical targets
within the U.S. are now information centers such as the "Federal
Fund Electronic Switchboard at Culpeper, Virginia, the Alaska
pipeline, the Internet, and the Air Force Satellite Control Network."4
With soldiers outwardly
draped in technology, perhaps the most difficult question confronting
futurists is the "inward" equipment necessary for cyber-
warriors fighting in the new age of the RMA. This article will
briefly examine whether the current "business-scientific,
management-professional" culture is inwardly meeting the
demands of tomorrows cyber-soldier, or if a re-birth of
traditional military culture is perhaps necessary.
Which elements of each culture should
shape the American fighting force of the next century? Have traditional
institutional values and interactions already been permanently
altered? Does the changing battleground of the next century described
by futurists require a new "business-scientific" military?
Looking ahead, both military historians and futurists would agree
that technology alone cannot be a panacea for a military organization
and culture not prepared for the challenges of a new age.
The notions of traditional military,
and institutional values and the military professional code indeed
convey a wide variety of concepts and characteristics. Seen together,
these models paint a picture of the values, beliefs, and world-views
of a traditional military culture and society that has historically
played a significant role in American military thought and organization.
This is a military that emphasizes obedience, order, hierarchy,
authority, discipline, ceremony, suffering, and fraternity. It
is a vertically aligned organization that encompasses its members
homes, families, and lives. Its members are seen as realistic,
conservative and religiously patriotic. A narration of a soldiers
life story offered by Colonel Dandridge Malone perhaps best summarizes
the uniqueness of traditional military values:
"He tells the soldiers
story from the time he leaves home, a young recruit, on his
way to boot camp
the anxiety and confusion at training
schools, the friendships, the coarseness, the constant reassignments
and promotions, the compromises and satisfactions of the military
marriage; on to Vietnam, the fire fights, the fear again, the
deaths of friends; survival and return; the first glimpse of
children unseen for a year----and if all these wondrous things,
Malone draws at the end
..which thousands of us share in
whole or part, can, by the mindless logic of a soulless computer,
programmed by a witless pissant ignorant of affect, be called,
just another job, then by God, Im a sorry, suck-egg mule."5
The New "Business-Scientific Management-Professional"
The ideas and subculture influencing
todays military professional are distinctly removed from
those of the traditional soldier. The modern American soldier
is intensely more occupationally rooted. Political considerations
not only dominate the heart of the military professionals
new mission orientation, but they infiltrate every aspect of their
culture. Todays military professional is grossly more socially
and politically conscious, more technically specialized, and more
likely to have shared functions and ties to civilian businesses
and society. The military society now surrounding these professionals
is dominated by commercial business paradigms and theories of
scientific management. As Wood concludes in his detailed study
of junior officers: "the force will become more occupational,
attrition will be high, and the members will become more like
professionals in the military than military
The extent to which this culture
has come to dominate American military thinking was apparent in
the services wholesale adoption of Total Quality Management (TQM)
in the 1990s. This scientific management scheme when applied
to combat organizations was intensely business/manufacturing related,
tended to quantify human variables, relied on too many charts
and graphs, and simply lacked "heart". Marginal analysis
and "management" theories such as TQM, Management by
Objectives (MBO), and Operations Risk Management (ORM), often
find themselves in conflict with the more traditional "human-oriented"
principles of military leadership.
Along with upheavals in leadership
and management, the modern military subculture has also become
more closely aligned with liberal civilian society in its notions
of equality, authority, diversity, fraternity, and individualism.
The progression of American social democracy and the melding of
these concepts into military society often contrast openly with
traditional military principles and the services goal of
"transforming a group of individuals into an efficient unit
for the purpose of inflicting extreme and deliberate violence."7
Modern technology is isolating individuals and leaders in "virtual
crowds" and even "virtual commands". Patterns of
organizational authority are changing from "domination"
to "persuasion." Diversity, in many scenarios, is now
assumed to strengthen the military organization. Elements of fraternity
once associated with combat are being altered with patterns of
inclusion and sensitivity training.
Amidst this vast business-scientific,
managerial-professional culture that envelops todays warrior,
one must wonder what kind of soldier will fight the wars of tomorrow?
Is a more politicized and technical modern soldier better equipped
for the battles of the next century?
from the Gulf War
Research from military futurists,
and analysis from the Gulf War conflict seems to point to conflicting
views over which elements of the traditional or modern military
culture should dominate the future fighting force. The rising
level of specialty and technical expertise apparent in todays
"business-scientific" culture appears to be more than
consistent with demands of next centurys battlefields. Changing
patterns of organization and authority are less than clear. Information
on the battlefield will increasingly allow for the traditional
vertical organizational hierarchy to dissolve into networks and
groups. While information in the conflicts of the future may lead
to greater dispersion and autonomy, a strict and unified chain
of command will remain a necessity. The "art" of military
leadership, the human element of interaction, decision-making,
and ethics will also undoubtedly continue to be a decisive factor
in any conflict. Finally, current military cultural trends in
"political consciousness" and increasing the modern
soldiers understanding of the political operating environment
will be critical to the future range of military endeavors.
IV. A Blueprint
for a Culture in Transition
In this midst of this clash between
traditional and "business-scientific" cultures, coupled
with an uncertain future fighting environment, it is indeed easy
for theorists and historians to look behind and call for a blind
reinstatement of traditionalism. Such attitudes, however, do not
fully fathom the degrees to which the traditional subculture has
already been transformed. "The problem with deep, fast, and
rampant innovation is not getting people to accept the new but
to surrender the old."8
The first step towards striking
a delicate balance between the two subcultures involves achieving
an understanding of the new "business-scientific, management-professional"
culture and its implications on the future conduct of the military.
This realization, however, must look beyond simple indicators
of change such as retention problems, perceived "values crisis",
or increasing occupational attitudes. It must probe critically
and progressively into the roots, focusing on the internal and
external variables that have created and shaped this new military
With one eye clearly focused on
the demands of the future battlefield, many elements of this emerging
culture will positively contribute to the crafting of tomorrows
cyber-warriors. The changing nature of military authority, for
example, while seeming detrimental to the traditional culture
of an older generation of warriors, may actually favor the future
soldier. "The technology of warfare is so complex that the
coordination of a group of specialists cannot be guaranteed by
authoritarian discipline. The complexity of the machinery and
the resultant interdependence produce an important residue of
organizational power for each member."9 Morris
Janowitz, in the mid 1970s, noted this change in the nature
of authority from "domination" to "manipulation".
"Manipulation", according to Janowitz refers to influencing
behavior based on achievement, goals, indirect techniques, and
Achieving a proper analysis
of any change within the military subculture can only begin with
the analysis provided by long-term studies.
It is here that an extreme paucity of critical research exists.
Currently, no long-term studies have been conducted on changing
values or patterns of interaction within military society that
could be useful in shaping the warrior of the information age.
Barriers to critical research within
the military are many. In an organizational bureaucracy, such
as the military, driven by so many external variables, establishing
long-term programs and studies is a daunting task. With the rank
structure and vertical hierarchy within the services, a certain
level of top-down "groupthink" exists leading to a majority
of the studies tending to support current policies. For example,
it was truly no path of career progression in the early 1990s
for a researcher to critically question the need for Total Quality
A final roadblock in long-term analysis
lies in the extensive bureaucratic barriers that exist which discourage
critical studies from outside agencies. The cooperation and support
of the Department of Defense and military service are required,
and the privacy of service members is vigorously protected. The
modest goal of this brief look at the changing military subculture
and future of warfare is that it might serve to re-direct and
spark future long-term research shaping the warrior of the information
Striking a balance in the clash
of military cultures also involves seeking out new modes of building
institutionalism in an increasingly occupational organizational
climate. In his Institutional/Occupational
(I/O) thesis, Charles Moskos several key areas in which the American
military can foster an institutional identity. This identity is
not always driven from within the military.
"On both the military and civic
sides, military people must be given justification for the utility
of the armed forces which may be enhanced by patriotic and military
rituals. They must be accompanied by a civic identification with
the nation and an appreciation of the service members role
in the military organization."11
Immediate leaders are also noted
by Moskos to play the most significant role in the socialization
of the military member. "Immediate leaders are the institution
to their subordinates."12 Promotion criteria,
he claims, must favor those leaders who are most concerned with
group improvement and who are willing to devote extra time to
mentoring subordinates.13 Leaders must not view themselves
as "pawns in the grip of larger forces", but they must
emphasize the distinctive, value driven nature of the military
forces. "After they have articulated the unique and awesome
responsibilities of the military institution, the senior military
leaders must be seen as concerned and effective in protecting
members rights and entitlements."14
A final method of increasing socialization
and institutionalism studied by Moskos is the system of professional
military education. Moskos finds that "no real evidence exists
that professional military education programs, as presently designed,
increase holistic or institutional thinking in the career force."15
Moskos proposes necessary changes in the content, format, and
tracking of professional military education. To avoid "ticket-punching"
quality education, he advises not even entering it in a persons
formal record. Continuing education programs should include formal
and informal seminars, realistic reading lists, and programs designed
and administered by local commanders. Such programs would be less
selective, more voluntary, and would seek to broaden experience
over simple preparation for promotion. Building institutionalism,
according to Moskos, does not revolve "around spending time
at the officers club, spouses participation in the
military community, or on-base residence. It does not imply a
turning back of the clock, but it entails the establishment of
a new balance after a long period of indiscriminate acceptance
of the marketplace mentality."16
against the "marketplace mentality" also involves a
commitment of the services to define, shape, and communicate to
civil society those attributes valued as necessary in its combat
soldiers. In terms of
values and motivation, many elements of traditional combat role
motivation hold true for both todays and tomorrows
warriors. In the early 1960s Morris Janowitz listed three
major explanations of the way individuals perform in combat roles.
"The first asserts that their performance is motivated by
identification with some formal symbols of a particular organization
or its traditions."17 A second explanation offered
by Janowitz is that soldiers behave in particular ways in combat
to adhere to some typically labeled "masculine code
of behavior such as "being a man." A third explanation
Janowitz suggests is in terms of a soldiers relationship
to larger society, patriotism, family, or the flag.18
A commitment to preserving and defining
the warrior ethic in a peacetime military organization bombarded
by pressures of social democracy is a challenging task. In an
era of limited resources, it is far easier to give in to social
pressures, adopt the business-management language of those cutting
the budgetary pieces of the pie, and gradually whittle away at
the warrior culture. In defining this combat ethic, however, one
must not rely too heavily upon traditionalism but must keep an
eye forward on the changing nature of future warfare. In its combat
roles, the military organization must seek an environment that
fosters combat "team" concepts---individuals with technical
and tactical expertise, heroic leaders and improvisers, aggressive
members who strive to win, accept suffering, physical and emotional
hardships, and the "insensitivity" often necessary in
the military profession.
With its sacred trust of managing
violence, an effective military organization must be a discriminator
in its combat arms. This warrior ethic must be seen as an absolute
standard for qualified individuals with no preference given to
social, gender, or racial considerations. These combat values
must be assigned a significant role in the training of soldiers
along with the current mandated courses of sensitivity, inclusion,
and equal opportunity.
An important element of this dedication
to the warrior spirit is the need for service members and senior
leaders to educate and communicate these combat values to civilian
society. Senior leaders, resting on that bureaucratic bridge between
military and civilian societies, must continue to fight against
policies and practices that would adversely impact the heroic
leaders and followers of tomorrow. Preserving the warrior spirit
goes beyond notions of professionalism. As Samuel P. Huntington
concludes in his work, The Soldier and the State:
"Today, America can learn more
from the military, than the military from America. The greatest
service they can render is to remain true to themselves and serve
in the military way. If they abjure the military spirit, they
destroy themselves first and their nation ultimately. If the civilians
permit the soldiers to adhere to the military standard, the nations
themselves may eventually find redemption and security in making
that standard their own."19
A final weapon in the battleground
of the traditional and business cultures lies in the services
need to reward and encourage the human "art" of leadership.
Leaders are the key to preserving institutionalism and the warrior
spirit in the services of tomorrow. The American military organization
is more than determined to build, train, and encourage its leaders.
Volumes of literature surround military leadership, and classes
and seminars are conducted at all levels of military education.
Much of its leadership training, however, is more devoted to issues
of scientific management, marginal analysis, and other business
oriented theories. What is needed is a greater focus on the more
difficult to define "art" and human component of military
leadership. Advances in technology and information and their tendency
to isolate individuals into "virtual commands" demands
more human interaction of the future military leader. "E-mail
commanders" must step away from their keyboards and discover
the human elements key to successful leadership.
W.J. Wood, in his book, Leaders
and Battles, denotes leadership as "an exceptional skill
in conducting a human activity."20 In his study
of successful combat leaders he finds that "battles can be
won by the minds of leaders, the art of leadership is embodied
in the individual, and that this art must be based on certain
attributes."21 Wood further proposes that forces
in warfare exist that test the unique qualities of military leaders.
These forces are: danger, chance, exertion, uncertainty, apprehension,
and frustration. Personal attributes of successful military leaders
such as courage, will, intellect, presence, and energy, allow
them to overcome what Clausewitz labels as this "fog of war."22
In its march toward the twenty-first
century, the American military must balance its imported business
management paradigms with the pursuit of "artful" leaders
of courage and human presence. Future leaders must be evaluated
and promoted less on statistical management successes and more
on human variables. While the peacetime, occupationally-minded
nature of the modern services makes it difficult, military leadership
must stress its unique qualities separate from successful civilian
The molding tomorrow's cyber-warriors
has already begun. As the traditional and modern "business"
cultures continue to collide, a unified sense of purpose must
emerge looking forward. As Anthony Eden wrote in 1951:
"We must be bold and vigilant
lest daily cares cloud our longer vision of the task that lies
ahead and of the fair fortunes at our command....But this unity,
this understanding, this sense of interdependence is the heart
of the business. Without it we shall make no headway. With it
there is no fair ambition we cannot realize."23
1. Arsenio T.Gumshad, II. The Profession
of Arms in the Information Age. Joint Force Quarterly 15:
14-20 Spring 97, p. 17.
2. Gumshad, p. 18.
3. Lt. Com. Jeffrey A. Harley, USN.
Information, Technology, and the Center of Gravity. Naval
War College Review 357: 66-70. Winter 97, p. 66.
4. Gumshad, p. 18.
5. Charles C. Moskos and Frank R.
Wood, The Military: More Than Just a Job?, (Washington,
D.C.: Pergamon-Brasseys International Defense Publishers,
1988), p. 71.
6. Frank R. Wood, U.S. Air Force
Officers: Changing Professional Identity and Commitment,
Diss. (Northwestern University, 1982), p. 163.
7. John Luddy. "Sensitive Killers:
A New Age Dawns at the Pentagon". World & I,
9:378-391, Nov 94, p. 380.
8. James Stavridis. "The Second
Revolution". Joint Force Quarterly 15: 14-20 Spring
97, p. 13.
9. Morris Janowitz and Roger W.
Little, Sociology and the Military Establishment (London,
England: Sage Publications, 1974), p. 59.
10. Janowitz, p. 59.
11. Charles C. Moskos and Frank
R. Wood The Military: More Than Just a Job?, (Washington,
D.C.: Pergamon-Brasseys International Defense Publishers,
1988), p. 287.
12. Moskos, p. 287.
13. Moskos, p. 287.
14. Moskos, p. 288.
15. Moskos, p. 289.
16. Moskos, p. 291.
17. Morris Janowitz, The New
Military: Changing Patterns of Organization, (New York, New
York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1964), p. 204.
18. Janowitz, The New Military:
Changing Patterns of Organization. p. 205.
19. Samuel P. Huntington, The
Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-military
Relations. (New York, New York: Vintage Books, 1964), p.
20. W.J. Wood, Leaders and Battles,
(Novato, California: Presidio Press, 1984), p. 2.
21. Wood, p. 2.
22. Wood, p. 3.
23. Eden, Anthony as quoted in The
President and National Security Policy, (New York, New York:
Center for the Study of the Presidency, 1984), p. 4.
Gumshad, Arsenio T. "The
Profession of Arms in the Information Age", Joint Force
Quarterly. Spring, 1997.
Huntington, Samuel P. The
Soldier and the State. Cambridge, England: Belknap Press,
Jannowitz, Morris. The New
Military: Changing Patterns of Organization. New York,
New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1964.
Jannowitz, Morris. Sociology
and the Military Establishment. Beverly Hills, California:
Sage Publications, 1974.
Luddy, John. "Sensitive Killers:
A New Age Dawns at the Pentagon". World & I.
9:378-391, November, 1994.
Moskos, Charles C. and Wood, Frank
R. The Military: More Than Just a Job?. Washington,
D.C.: Pergamon-Brasseys International Defense Publishers,
Stavridis, James. "The Second
Revolution". Joint Force Quarterly. 15: 14-20,
Wood, Frank R. U.S. Air Force
Junior Officers: Changing Professional Identity and Commitment.
Diss. Northwestern University, 1982.
Wood, W.J. Leaders and Battles:
The Art of Military Leadership. Novato, California: Presidio
The conclusions and opinions expressed
in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom
of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do
not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department
of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.
This article has undergone security and policy content review
and has been approved for public release IAW AFI 35-101.