WASHINGTON, DC – Today Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Vic Snyder (D-AR) and Ranking Member Rob Wittman (R-VA) held the fourth in a series of hearings on the status of Professional Military Education. Witnesses from the three service Academies, the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Warfare School and the Air Force’s Squadron Officer College discussed pre-commissioning and primary-level education for junior officers.
Chairman Vic Snyder (D-AR) opened today’s hearing by stating, “It is increasingly apparent that officers are being required to operate in joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environments earlier in their careers,” and asking, “Are officers ready for this new operational reality?” Snyder also expressed interest in the schools’ capacities to provide the “foundations for strategy, particularly through the study of history; language skills and cultural competency; and hybrid warfare.”
Because the schools are critical to developing junior officers, Snyder stressed, “Challenges need to be identified and promptly corrected.” Chairman Snyder was concerned about a reported shortage of laptop computers at the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Warfare School, noting “they’re as essential in the classroom as boots in the field.” In conclusion, Snyder observed, “We need to ensure that these schools continue to improve and boost their responsiveness to the demands of current and future conflicts.”
Subcommittee Ranking Member Rob Wittman (R-VA) said, “Company Grade Officer development is critical because it is there that we begin to mold the future leaders and strategic thinkers of our military. Today’s hearing provided valuable insight into the challenges and importance of grounding our junior officers with a strong foundation on which to base their careers. I look forward to working with our military leaders as they continue to enhance the education of our future leaders.”
The subcommittee’s next hearing will seek testimony from the services on PME policy.