Volume 8, Issue 2     Editorial (1)
It is not surprising that most people, both military and civilian, associate military education with training and conformity. I was very glad to take on this issue of Academic Exchange Quarterly to learn more about what military educators are really doing, and to share their efforts with our esteemed readership. The articles in this issue deal with subjects such as peer-teaching opportunities, social inequalities, creative writing online and the ethical use of force. In short, what we have this quarter is a collection of articles pursuing various themes, some directly tied to a military audience, and others, although stemming from a military setting, aimed at a much broader readership. The educators represented in this issue are but a small percentage of those charged with educating high school students in JROTC programs up to and including military officers at War Colleges and other Senior Service Schools of the federal government. Their educational charges are many and varied. Some teach english, some ethics, others mechanical engineering and yet still others maintain academic discussions outside their official classroom duties; discussions concerning the distinction between military versus civilian education or how and why more liberal arts education should make its way into professional military education. From my experiences at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut and with the various contributors to this journal, I have found that more than anything else, education in the military stresses the courage to think carefully and ethically about decisions, and the ability to communicate those decisions clearly and concisely. Independent, critical and creative thinking is stressed, while personal motivations are generally cast aside in decision-making processes in favor of larger-picture questions of: what is in the best interest of the nation we serve? what is in the best interest of the service? how does each one of us help accomplish those objectives at the local level? I cannot allow myself to close this missive without a quick “Go Bears!” for the Coast Guard community. The Coast Guard Academy reminded me when I began here three years ago, and continues to remind me today, of what it means to be an American citizen. I profit daily from my interactions with the young men and women who give their college years over to the U.S.C.G.A., the faculty and staff who educate and train them and all the Coast Guard personnel who learn here. All of these men and women volunteer countless hours of their time. They are reminders that we, as a nation, are a community of communities and are all interlocked in a mutually supportive system that asks us simply to do what we can for the good of all.Dr. Alexander Waid, United States Coast Guard Academy, CT
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily represent
those of the Coast Guard nor of the Coast Guard Academy.