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Released November 21, 2002
MUW students participate in Civil-Military Developing Leaders Program
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- College students from across Mississippi and young military officers from throughout the nation gathered at Mississippi State University recently to explore the future of civil-military relations in the United States. The Civil-Military Developing Leaders Program, sponsored by the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service, is the first of its type in the nation.
Mississippi University for Women students Jada Doherty of Waynesboro, H. LuAnne Farrar of Tupelo and Kristie Metcalfe of Sullegent, Ala., participated in the program.
Rex Buffington, executive director of the Stennis Center, said, "The purpose of the program is to encourage discussion between college student leaders and junior military officer leaders on the status of mutual understanding between the military and American society." The conference examined whether there is a growing or narrowing gap in civil-military relations, the impact of the All Volunteer Force, and the implications for military effectiveness and civil-military cooperation. At the end of the program, participants compiled a report based on their findings and sent it to the joint Congressional Leadership and Secretary of Defense.
The participants include 30 students from each from Mississippi's eight public colleges and universities, eight midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy, and 24 young military officers from the United States Navy and Marine Corps.
The conference speakers were Dr. Charles Moskos, a professor of sociology at Northwestern University who specializes in military sociology and national youth service, and Dr. Bernard Rostker, a Senior Fellow at RAND who was Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness in the Clinton Administration.
In addition, a panel of high-ranking congressional staff interacted with the students. The panel members were John Chapla, professional staff member, House Armed Services Committee; Steve Cortese, Republican staff director of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Defense Appropriations Subcommittee; and David Lyles, staff director, the Senate Armed Services Committee.
According to Buffington, "It is critical for our civilian leaders and military leaders to work well together, especially as the threats to America increase. This conference helped lay the groundwork for that cooperation in the future."
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