Summer 2004     ISSN 1096-1453     Volume 8, Issue 2     Editorial (1)
It is not surprising that most people, both military and civilian, 
associate military education with training and conformity.  
I was very glad to take on this issue of Academic Exchange Quarterly to learn more 
about what military educators are really doing, and to share their efforts with our 
esteemed readership.

The articles in this issue deal with subjects such as peer-teaching opportunities, 
social inequalities, creative writing online and the ethical use of force.  In short, 
what we have this quarter is a collection of articles pursuing various themes, some 
directly tied to a military audience, and others, although stemming from a military 
setting, aimed at a much broader readership.

The educators represented in this issue are but a small percentage of those charged 
with educating high school students in JROTC programs up to and including military 
officers at War Colleges and other Senior Service Schools of the federal government.   
Their educational charges are many and varied.  Some teach english, some ethics, 
others mechanical engineering and yet still others maintain academic discussions 
outside their official classroom duties; discussions concerning the distinction 
between military versus civilian education or how and why more liberal arts education 
should make its way into professional military education.

From my experiences at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, 
Connecticut and with the various contributors to this journal, I have found that 
more than anything else, education in the military stresses the courage to think 
carefully and ethically about decisions, and the ability to communicate those 
decisions clearly and concisely.  Independent, critical and creative thinking is 
stressed, while personal motivations are generally cast aside in decision-making 
processes in favor of larger-picture questions of:  what is in the best interest of 
the nation we serve?  what is in the best interest of the service?  how does each 
one of us help accomplish those objectives at the local level?

I cannot allow myself to close this missive without a quick “Go Bears!” for the 
Coast Guard community.  The Coast Guard Academy reminded me when I began here three 
years ago, and continues to remind me today, of what it means to be an American 
citizen.  I profit daily from my interactions with the young men and women who give 
their college years over to the U.S.C.G.A., the faculty and staff who educate and 
train them and all the Coast Guard personnel who learn here.  All of these men and 
women volunteer countless hours of their time.  They are reminders that we, as a 
nation, are a community of communities and are all interlocked in a mutually 
supportive system that asks us simply to do what we can for the good of all.
Dr. Alexander Waid, United States Coast Guard Academy, CT
E-mail: AWaid@EXMAIL.USCGA.EDU

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily represent
those of the Coast Guard nor of the Coast Guard Academy.