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MAJOR JOHN A. NAGL teaches international relations and national security studies in the Department of Social Sciences at West Point. A West Point graduate, he holds Masters and Doctoral degrees in International Relations from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. His doctoral dissertation, “Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife,” examined how military organizations adapt to unfamiliar situations. An armor officer, he led a tank platoon of the First Cavalry Division during Operation DESERT STORM and commanded an armored cavalry troop in the First Armored Division in Germany. Major Nagl’s recent publications include works on arms control policy and military innovation.
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Authored by Major John A. Nagl, Colonel Tony Pfaff, Dr. Don M. Snider.
The authors first describe the ethical, technical, and political components of military professionalism and then address the causes for the decline. They conclude by proposing a set of principles which, if adhered to, will reinvigorate the vision of the officer corps and motivate the corps to selfless service.