If one spends enough time in the Army they will hear the term “Profession of Arms” at some point. This is a term that is commonly used to describe the work that is required of soldiers in the US Army. All who serve are considered to be part of the profession whether they are enlisted, commissioned, or even a civilian contractor. It means many things to those who serve, but this is what it means to me.
The first thing I notice about the term is the word “profession”. When most people hear that word, they immediately think of careers that require years of training and individuals who are experts in their craft. The professions that most immediately think of are the doctors, lawyers, and scientists, but the military is just as much of a profession as any of these other careers. From the moment I enlisted in the military I began training, and this training has continued throughout my career thus far. This consistent training has allowed me to become a highly educated and an expert in my craft. The idea of a member of this profession being an expert at their job is so important, it is part of the Soldier’s Creed. I live by the idea that I am an expert and a professional.
The next word in this term is “arms”. The first thought that comes to my mind is the use of deadly force when necessary. The American people have trusted us with the defense of our freedom and country against foreign and domestic evil. These citizens expect us to use whatever force necessary to protect them and to be willing to sacrifice ourselves for our country. This profession is separated from most others due to the knowledge that we may one day have to make the greatest of sacrifices for our country.
Now with the understanding of these two words it becomes clear what the Profession of Arms truly means. It means training consistently to better my knowledge so that I may become a true expert in my field. It is being educated in all aspects of my career so that I can be seen as a professional not only by those I serve with, but those I protect as well.