Special Edition Number 1 - The Profession of Arms

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A word from the editor-in-Chief

Military professionalization has rapidly evolved in Canada over the last 20 years. The creation of the Canadian Defence Academy, the Canadian Forces Ethics Program, the writing and use of the Duty with Honour manual and the implementation of Operation Honour all point to a steadfast evolution of the concept of the profession of arms. The courage, self-sacrifice, efficiency and generosity of the troops remains without a doubt the most tangible proof of expertise, esprit de corps and sense of responsibility of the members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

In order to contribute to the pursuit of excellence of the Canadian Armed Forces and its partners around the world, the International Center for the Study of the Profession of Arms (ICSPA) was created. The Centre will be a forum and a meeting point for researchers, students, and members of the profession of arms. The articles presented in this special edition are a modest contribution to this effort.

One of the articles presents the objectives and nature of the center. The "Robert Osside Papers" section includes texts dealing with the importance of the education of non-commissioned members but also presents papers discussing their roles and responsibilities at the highest rank of their profession. The next section includes a text written by a young Officier-Cadet on the rehabilitation of soldiers shot by their own army during the Great War. The following section, “Philosophy, ideas and the profession of arms”, covers the relevance of stoicism in the military world today and presents avenues of discussion on Canadian military training and organizational ethics. Finally, a last section addresses the theoretical and practical points of view of leadership and command. We take this opportunity to thank the Revue Défense Nationale for granting us permission to reproduce two of its articles on command. The first focuses on the concepts of hierarchy, power, will, and cohesion. The second discusses the dialectic of reason and the relationship which binds the Commander and his subordinates and organizes their hierarchical relationships in the necessary obedience to the service of the common good. Two other articles present the challenges, failures, and success that may accompany the exercise of military leadership. The authors present analyses of decision-making and actions surrounding the battle of Trafalgar, the involvement of Canadian troops in Somalia and the events that occurred in the prison of Abu Ghraib in Iraq.

We hope that this special edition of the Blue Knight review will only be the beginning of a series of increasingly comprehensive and relevant publications for anyone interested in the profession of arms.

Marc Imbeault, editor-in-Chief

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