(Ed note: In the June 2, 2000 issue of New Frontier, Colonel Phil Needham posed questions to the territory in response to Lt. Minna Karlström’s article on Salvation Army officership. We repeat those questions below.)
Lt. Karlström claims that in the postmodern milieu of the Western world, the Army’s authoritarian structure is increasingly irrelevant to democratic mentality.
Do you agree with this assessment? What IS your opinion about the Army’s structure? Is it still serving our mission well? Is it your opinion that the military system is still valid and that we simply need to take it seriously again?
The lieutenant also claims our system of governing creates a culture of mistrust, strengthened by secrecy, paternalization, patronizing, and powerlessness.
Do you see our situation in the same way?
With respect to learning and skills, the lieutenant says that overall we are not doing well enough in nurturing a learning culture and that persons with specialized training and skills do not find officership attractive.
Do you think we are approaching a time when the Army will recruit officers with specific skill training to utilize that training in officership? Or, on the other hand, do you worry that we will become an Army of well-educated, specialist officers who are out of touch with the people?