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Discussing the "Profession of Arms"





 (Command Teams: Use this template to customize your discussion)

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Introduction As Airmen, we are given a special responsibility to ensure the most effective Air Force the world has ever seen flies and fights the right way.  Airmen have inherited an Air Force forged through the ingenuity, courage, and strength of Airmen who preceded them.  An Airman should strive to continue to provide the nation and the next generation of Airmen an equally dominant Air Force.  Doing so requires Airmen to fully understand the profession of arms.

Learning Objectives –  

•        Understand the criteria that defines a profession

•        Understand how the Profession of Arms differs from other professions

•        Identify the three foundational dimensions of the Profession of Arms

Main Points

•        What is a Profession?

•        The Profession of Arms

•         Three Dimensions of the Profession of Arms


•        Gen. Mark Welsh: The Profession of Arms

•        America’s Air Force, A Profession of Arms, (2015)

Additional resources / links –  Link to the PACE website with search on “Profession of Arms” 



•        To increase awareness of the Profession of Arms and its impact on Airman, organizations, and the Air Force

•         To increase communication among command teams and their Airmen to facilitate trust and team building.

Questions for Command Teams to discuss:

•        Why do you think this conversation is important?

•        What do you want Airmen to walk away from this discussion with?

•        What group will you be discussing this topic with (i.e., First-Term Airmen, CGOs, NCOs/SNCOs, civilians, supervisors, flight commanders)?

•        What forum will you be discussing this in (i.e. as part of a staff meeting, at a stand-alone event, at a commander’s call, during a brown-bag lunch session)?

•        Who will lead the discussion? Which Command Team members have a role?

•        For additional information on how to facilitate discussions, recommend reviewing the Facilitator’s Guide under the “Leading Squadron-Centered Learning” tab.

•        For additional resources on the topic, click on the “Additional Resources” link.


·         Introduction – What we’re going to talk about today and why

·         Goal – to highlight the importance of virtues and character strengths

·         Timeframe – communicate how much time this is expected to take

·         Part I – Read the Air Force Blue Book. Watch Gen Welsh video.

·         Part II – Discussion

o   How would you define a Profession?

o   Can you see the elements of a profession within the Air Force? Examples?

o   Now knowing what a Profession is, how would you describe the Profession of Arms?

o   How would you explain the ways that make our profession different? Examples?

o   What other professions are required to do what the Airmen in the video were ordered to do?

o   What could have been the repercussions if the Airmen in the video did not prepare to carry out their orders?

o   Has anyone been in a similar situation and willing to share their experience?

o   If called upon, could you carry out a similar order that the pilot in the video was given?

o   How would you summarize the three dimensions of the Profession of Arms?

o   What are examples of each of the dimensions?

o   How does the Profession of Arms effect the Air Force and our mission?

o   Which dimension of the Profession of Arms is the most important to our Air Force profession?

o   What was your connection to the Air Force or the Nation that made you want to be an Airman?  

o   What would the Air Force culture look like if our profession didn’t observe the Moral dimension?

o   Are any of the dimensions any less/more important to the other? Why?


·         Part III – What do you want your Airmen to walk away with? Do you want to challenge them to take action or change their behavior or step out of their comfort zone as a result of this lesson?