The last few decades have seen many new features introduced into the world of warfare, with an evident impact on those who go into harm’s way on our behalf. In this article, I propose to briefly examine four developments that have brought new requirements for military education, and then to think further about what these new requirements mean for military educators. The essay will conclude with a real-life example, by sketching how this wave of change translates into military education reform in the Republic of Armenia.
The four “new” elements selected for consideration here are:
A new world of conflict and warfare, for which we must educate our students
A new world of education, featuring lifelong learning, e-learning, and learnercentered education
New networks of learning, including such examples as the European Higher Education Area, NATO’s Defense Institution Building initiative, and the Partnership for Peace Consortium
Military education reform in emerging democracies, encompassing new institutions, new curricula, and new attitudes.
This list is far from complete, and the discussion offered in a brief format such as this can only be superficial at best, but they provide intriguing indicators of how military education—that fascinating bazaar where the military world and the educational world intersect—is addressing the challenges of a military education curriculum that continues to expand and that has embraced some unexpected domains. Who would have predicted fifty years ago that diversity and gender would become features of professional military education? Such topics find themselves in the curriculum in part because they reflect modern human rights sensitivities and in part because they have operational utility.