Today’s professional soldiers are better trained and prepared for combat than their citizen forebears. However, professionalism does not merely refer to improved performance but to a quite different ethos which informs the all-volunteer force. Critically, professionalism has become a shared reference point for today’s soldiers, uniting them in training and on operations so that even soldiers who do not know each other personally can work together. Individuals are increasingly judged not by their social origin but purely by their ability to perform their role professionally whatever their background. Reputation or honour has been explicitly connected to professionalism and the fear of professional shame has become a prime means of motivating troops.
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