Headline Sep 16, 2014/



FEW ORGANISATIONS in the world understand better than the armed forces, that the purpose of education at all levels is to learn how to learn so that they could continue to be life long learners.

Therefore,  the armed forces,  are also very good at cultivating soft skills.

Andrew St George of Aberystwyth University points out that that Britain's Royal Navy prepares people well to spend long periods in cramped quarters.

It urges seamen to be cheerful in all circumstances. It fills dead time with contests known as Dogwatch Sports  -such as passing a stick across an ever-widening divide.

The Navy's emphasis on telling jokes and stories over long dinner probably makes no sense to a  cost-obsessed management consultant.

But it has helped sailors to deal with naval warfare's  awful  combination of tedium and danger.  

The army has done a fine job of training more generally. It has always grappled with one of the most difficult jobs imaginable:

Training people to kill and risk being killed.

Today, in the West at least, it has to do this in a looking glass world  where  teenagers  know their  "rights",  health - and - safety  officials inspect shooting ranges :

And politicians are constantly squeezing resources.

Yet, still it turns out  soldiers  who can handle  technology,  and  work well in teams and who never quit to join a competitor.

Damian McKinney, a former Royal Marine,  argues  that today's armed services have more to  teach  the private sector than ever.

For example,  how to build a ladder of  training rather than just prepare for  the next  job;  armies routinely think in terms of  "two rungs up". And how to learn from experience:

Armies routinely conduct  post-mortems on their missions.

From Foxhole to Corner Office? 

Some business people are eager to learn from the men and women in uniform. Mr McKinney recently created a  ''leadership academy''   for  Walmart, a supermarket chain:

Modelled on a  military staff-training college.

He and Sir Michael Rose both pontificate for  military-flavoured management consultancies  {McKinney Rogers and Skarbek Associates, respectively).

Michael Useem of   Wharton Business School  incorporates visits to battlefields and lectures from military leaders into his courses.

Coping with risks and making decisions quickly under pressure are useful skills for entrepreneurs,  which is perhaps why the Israeli army sires so many high-tech start-ups.

And the army trains  good-managers, too.

An officer must never issue order that will not be obeyed,  so he must learn to gauge the mood of his men.

As the wars in Afghanistan and  Iraq  wind down, some how?,  more veterans will be looking for second careers. Some have fought for longer than the generation that defeated  Hitler. Many have international experience.

Oil and mining firms that operate in the rough part of Africa and the Middle East are eager to hire them. So are firms in other industries.

Amazon brags about  its   military friendliness. Walmart vowed only recently, to hire any veteran who applied for a job within a year of being honourably discharged.

Companies that complain that they cannot find people with the right mixture of drive and experience have only themselves to blame if they miss this arsenal of talent.

So, to sum up, the armed forces will be around as long as the world exists. French Philosopher Albert Camus understood this truth  better than anybody else:

'' We used to wonder where  WAR   lived. What it was that made it so vile. And now we realise that we know where it lives.

That is inside ourselves.''

With respectful dedication to all the Armed Forces in the world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Storm Survivors '''

Good Night and God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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