Midshipmen Attend Civil-Military

Program News | Posted Nov 29, 2007

The Trident Thursday, November 29, 2007

By Midn. 1⁄C Matt Melton Special to Trident

Earlier this month, Midshipmen attended a symposium on civil-military relations hosted by the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University in Massachusetts.

The conference, titled ''Classroom for the Leadership for 2050,'' brought together experts from academia, the civil service and the military with undergraduate students from Tufts, Air Force and Military Academy cadets, and U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen. With an increasingly complex national security environment, the aim of the conference was to bring present and future civilian and military leaders together to discuss the issues of civil-military relations, and brainstorm on ways to create and improve civil-military educational opportunities at the undergraduate level and beyond.

Midn. 1⁄C Erik Westland, Midn. 1⁄C Matt Melton, and Midn. 3⁄C Alex Burtness represented the Naval Academy, along with their escort, Major John Williams from the Political Science Department. The Midshipmen presented briefs on a range of topics, including the nature of the civil-military gap and its implications on U.S. national security, as well as the lack of knowledge of the military at the civilian undergraduate level. The Midshipmen also had the opportunity to explain initiatives at the Naval Academy that promote civil-military relations. The Alliance Linking Leaders in Education and the Services (ALLIES), an organization of undergraduate students from Tufts, planned and conducted the symposium. Now part of the Institute for Global Leadership, ALLIES was created in the spring of 2006 by three Tufts students who noticed a significant lack of attention being paid to the military in their academic coursework. Recognizing the military as an integral factor in U.S. foreign policy, these students attempted to bring in a military perspective by inviting cadets and midshipmen to Tuft’s academic conferences. As a result of the pioneering efforts of these devoted students, a strong relationship developed between the Tufts students and the students from the service academies. Since the initial conference, ALLIES has become an established student organization at Tufts.

Enthused about the prospects for continuing this civil-military cooperation, the Midshipmen who attended are eager to create a formal branch of ALLIES at Naval Academy.

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