Pioneer professional: General John M. Schofield and the development of a professional officer corps, 1888-1895
Mixon, Robert Wilbur (b. 1952)
Gruber, Ira D.
Master of Arts
Historians have not given General John M. Schofield much credit for contributing to the development of professionalism in the Army officer corps, particularly during Schofield's tenure as Commanding General (1888-1895). Such assessments do not adequately describe his efforts. Schofield had a clear view of both the nature and the importance of professionalism by 1888. He had concluded that the officer corps should be composed of selfless, dedicated men who were experts in the theory and practice of war. As Commanding General he tried to create a corps of such men. Schofield instituted major reforms in officer education, ethics, and politics and legislation designed to make officership a rewarding profession for accomplished men. He worked also to establish an effective command system in the Army, where near chaos had existed before. The success of his program indicates that previous assessments of his contributions have been incomplete.