June 1, 2008  

Endorsing debate

TO DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERT GATES, who, in his lecture to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on April 21, endorsed the Army’s open mindedness in permitting officers to publish critiques of the service and its senior leadership in professional journals. He encouraged cadets to continue the debate. “I believe this is a sign of institutional vitality and health and strength. I encourage you to take on the mantle of fearless, thoughtful but loyal dissent when the situation calls for it. And agree with the articles or not, senior officers should embrace such dissent as healthy dialogue and protect and advance those considerably more junior who are taking on that mantle,” Gates said. “Follow the dictates of your conscience and the courage of your convictions while being respectfully candid with your superiors. Defend your integrity as you would your life.”

You heard the SecDef. Article submissions are welcomed at afjeditors@ armedforcesjournal.com.