U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Bryan Nygaard/Released
In 1940, fewer than one in 20 Americans had four years of college. By 2000, it was one in four. A college degree was once widely seen as proof of membership in the nation’s intellectual (and financial, gender, and racial) elite. Now, being a college graduate just means someone is able to pay tuition and wake up in time for at least 50% of their classes. And still, with very few exceptions, we require degrees of our commissioned officers.
As military leadership prepares for the proverbial changing of the guard — the election of a new commander-in-chief, senators, and congressional members — its officers have certain qualities that they hope those seeking government offices will embody.