How To Think Like an Officer


Know Ye that, reposing special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity and abilities of .................., I do appoint ["him" or "her"] a ["Second Lieutenant" or "Ensign"] in the [name of service] to rank as such from the .... day of ........ ...... This Officer will therefore carefully and diligently discharge the duties of the office to which appointed by doing and performing all manner of things thereunto belonging.
—Text of United States Presidential Commission[1]

The commissions given to new officers, almost regardless of nation or service, are similar. They make it abundantly clear that officership is about duty and responsibility. Accepting that the office and rank may change, officers are charged with meeting the demands of their station regardless of whether that station is well defined. This implies a need for continual education and personal development matching one’s progress through ever greater responsibilities. Acknowledging that how officers think affects the nation’s success or failure, it is imperative that their formal training and education, as well as self-development be shaped to meet a nation’s needs.

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