The Warrior-Scholar

@ SmallWarsJournal Blog.

To service the warrior scholar and the future warrior society needs to provide an educational framework of humanities and liberal arts that provide the essence of classical philosophy. Less, we create Ludites a good understanding of engineering and technology is of special importance. The officer cadre must have at least a passing understanding and awareness of the classical literature of conflict. The enlisted men should have a vocational understanding of the world prior to today and how it shaped whatever they are looking at.

I certainly agree.


5 thoughts on “The Warrior-Scholar”

  1. SE, I read this post this quote came from. The writer is in an angry mood, often saying that lessons learned in combat cannot be learned anywhere else. This is undisputed, but what practical steps does this lead to? This is one example of many. Bottom line, I am not sure exactly what he wants to do. Is he saying the educational system itself should change to achieve the goals he wants? Or is he saying the military ought to educate warrior scholars? Also, how to pick the reading lists in “the humanities and liberal arts” when the people who run those fields are busy destroying them, and certainly do not want to “service the warrior scholar and the future warrior society.”

    While the intellectual formation of warriors is necessary, and probably needs to be done better than we are doing now, this piece does not give proposals that are sufficiently concrete.

  2. As a former Marine officer, I heartily agree with the concept of the Warrior Scholar. In fact, the Marine Corps has developed a robust program of professional Military education, and a reading program structured around specific ranks for both enlisted and officer. If the the other branches aren’t pursuing similar programs I would be very disappointed.

    As it currently stands, the reading program goes far beyond strategy and tactics on the battlefield , it also addresses politics and statecraft. The author of the article might be pleasantly surprised to read through the list (located here).


  3. Jester-

    I’m a current Marine Officer. Good to know there are a few of us poking around here.

    We have discussed intellectualism in the Armed forces over the last several weeks. You may want to take a gander. The posts are here, here, here, and here

  4. Howdy guys…

    Before I comment, I thought I’d post the links for the Joint Chiefs various reading lists:

    CJCS (as of 2001):



    (Here’s the link to the AU link farm for a lot of these CE sorts of lists:)

    I’ll post again on the subject directly


    A. Scott Crawford

  5. SE,

    Regarding that quote… you USMC guys sure do seem like the Navy’s rubbing off on ya’! “Officer cadre”? What are we, Commies or something? lol.

    Assuming we’re really just discussing “liberal arts”, rather than the esoteric volumes of the philosophic and strategic aspects of this or that doctrine (the two categories are quite different)…

    It should be pretty clear that the old Dewey “Liberal Education” hasn’t worked very well (read: Progressive Education). Perhaps what we should discuss is the foundational education for junior officers that’s important to impart prior to cramming a bunch of gobblygook wonkery into academy punks heads? How about starting with some good old Aristotle style First Principles?

    E.g. teaching cadets and/or junior officers Romantic poetry from Victorian England, or Napoleonic era Continental poesy, isn’t likely to impress their enlisted men very much. (“yeah, I know you men want to play Grand Theft Auto IV! But we’re going to bond as a unit by reciting poetry by PERCY SHELLY and LORD BYRON instead! Then maybe some W.E.B. Dubois or Rimbo! No, Private Joker, Lymricks about hookers are NOT acceptable substitutes! I don’t care WHAT the Sergeant said!”)

    So… fellow posters; what would you all suggest should be our First Principles?

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