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Extra info for Aerial observation : the airplane observer, the balloon observer, and the army corps pilot

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Should PME, for example, be oriented toward broad or specialized education? Should it concentrate on the entire spectrum of national security issues or exclusively on militaryperhaps just air power-issues? The historical record indicates that the Air Force has not answered these questions completely . Indeed, the AirForce is not even sure what an officer is. As we have seen in chapter 1, a formal definition of Air Force officership exists, but it is very broad and basically unworkable from the standpoint of designing effective PME curricula.

B. Holley, Jr. (a retired major general in the Air Reserve), of Duke University wrote a personal letter to Lt Gen Thomas C. Richards, AU commander, that attempted to resolve this dilemma by arguing that AWC should accomplish its mission "to prepare selected officers for future assignment in senior staff and command positions" through broad rather than specialized education. "Like John Henry Newman, Holley advocated a liberal education for the thinking man. " Thus, tinkering with the curriculum will not make a difference, but offering a course of study that helps students develop their ability to think will make a considerable difference.

It is far more likely that themilitary will falter and fail thenation because ofits inability to meet demands of combat. I believe that the general thrust of Air Force professional education, particularly for the junior officer, experienced a phase which was too esoteric, too anxious to treat the officer as if he were on the threshold of a career breakthrough to the National Security Council, too ready to stimulate his expectations and dilute his interest in combat itself, its history,its technical evolution, and its leadership demands.

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Aerial observation : the airplane observer, the balloon observer, and the army corps pilot by Holworthy Hall


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