Study As Part of Your Mission
For the military, the term “Mission” carries a unique meaning and connotation. The “Mission” is the singular objective and all efforts are directed toward achieving that objective. Each individual has a corollary “mission” in their personal life. That is, what objectives represent the goals within their life plan? While each person has a unique set of personal goals, there is one central component for every person. That central component is education. Education is defined as, “the process of training and developing the knowledge, skill, mind, character by formal schooling.”1 Military personnel should view education as the foundation to pursue career objectives while serving and in a post-military career. One important discipline in military and civilian life is the discipline of realistic planning. A prime example of realistic planning is taking an inventory of current skills and capabilities and then measuring these abilities against the competencies required for career advancement or capabilities needed to enter a new career field. Whether the future career involves military jobs or civilian jobs, education is an essential component for success. In particular, military or civilian careers in national security require specialized courses and instruction that are offered in the military university.
National Security Careers
The last 100 years of world history include one constant factor and one accelerating change factor. The constant factor is the propensity for warfare and conflict at virtually all levels. The change factor is the growth of technology which has benefited the world inhabitants but also has enhanced the capabilities to wreak destruction and death in the endemic conflicts. One byproduct from the combination of these two factors is the evolution of an increasingly sophisticated national security apparatus. Military jobs and civilian posts in intelligence, counterterrorism, and security protection present a plethora of opportunities along with the needs for increased levels for requisite skills and knowledge.2
The Middle East today is an example of both historic factors. Religious animosities present a savage regional sectarian warfare, civil wars, acts of terrorism, and drives for hegemony in the region.3 Modern weapons proliferate the arsenals of the various combatants and terrorists to give ancient hatreds enhanced capabilities to kill those seen as the enemy. The influx of ideologically motivated foreigners joining the radical Islamist groups such as ISIS provide a mechanism to export the terrorist violence around the world. The complex mix of radicalism, sectarian wars, and terrorism present continuing threats to the Middle East and nations around the globe.
Individuals planning a career in national security, in military jobs and civilian positions, need to seek further education to prepare for these opportunities. The military university is the primary resource to obtain the specialized education that relates and supports qualifications to serve the nation in a national security job. The dynamic nature of the threats to the United States demands a sophisticated understanding of security issues and a continuing update to be contemporary on issues in both the technology and political domains. The military university in government or the private sector is an essential part of the career plan to successfully obtain a job in the national security community.
Executing the Education Portion of Your Career Plan
Just as an effective plan must be specific, an educational institution must have the correct focus to be an effective solution for career education needs. Security threats evolve and technologies advance. Selection of the “right” school is a critical aspect of building the educational foundation in a competitive security job market. Online schools provide a vibrant option to build education credentials and develop essential skill sets. However, school selection should be discriminated based on the school’s “mission,” curriculum focus, and quality of the faculty. The online school must have a specific “mission” in support of national security. The school must have a curriculum that deals with the essential security problems facing the United States. Furthermore, the curriculum must include real world practical techniques along with the academic theory. The school faculty must include faculty members who have successful experience in operational assignments in the security fields.
1. Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition
2. What Degrees Are We Looking For? - Intelligence.gov. Retrieved: www.intelligence.gov
3. Middle East Conflict. Retrieved: www.besthistorysites.net