Friday, May 17, 2019

One Officer’s Thoughts on Bridging the Growing Military–Civilian Divide

Lieutenant Commander Arlo Abrahamson, U.S. Navy,, May 17, 2019

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Lieutenant Commander Abrahamson is a career Navy public affairs officer and current graduate student at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He has served on ships, staffs, and units globally managing public affairs, public diplomacy [JB emphasis] , and outreach activities in support of U.S. military missions.

Let’s engage our skeptics. We hear more critiques these days about why the United States requires such a large military budget or Americans questioning the purpose of U.S. military involvement overseas. If those of us in the military truly believe we are doing the nation’s bidding, we need to engage beyond military-friendly audiences to skeptical Americans who may not see the merit of a well-funded, professional military force. This particularly is true for the Navy as a capital-intensive military branch that requires the support of the U.S. taxpayer to continue to fund ships, submarines, and aircraft.

Engaging skeptical audiences successfully requires a great deal of listening combined with thoughtful explanations of the importance of a strong military that are void of slick sales pitches. ...

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