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As the Engineer Regiment considers how best to attract and retain the future leadership corps it needs-commissioned officers, noncommissioned officers, and civilians--for this new era of persistent conflict, there are three factors with major implications for the Regiment's current efforts.
Implications for the Present
Profession vs. Bureaucracy. First, the Army that the Engineer Regiment serves is always precariously balanced between being a trusted vocational profession and being just another governmental bureaucracy. For many valid reasons, it is incredibly important which culture--profession or bureaucracy--is predominant within the Army and within the unit climate of each of its subelements. Among the most important reasons for the Army to be a profession are the following:
* There is no history of a bureaucracy ever creating the expert knowledge and practice of modern warfare. If America is to have effecive land forces, the United States Army must be, and function as, a profession--not as a bureaucracy.
* Without a professional culture and its inherent ethos, the essential trust relationship between the Army and the American people it serves--one based on the Army's expert capabilities and the effectiveness of their use--will be ruptured and …