The concept of lifelong learning has seen a steady increase in popularity in recent years. The 21st century’s lifestyle creates favorable conditions for its implementation, encouraging people to continue their development across the years. While the advantages and popularity of lifelong learning are evident in the majority of settings, the army is a particular area of activity. The essence of the military is different from the vast majority of other spheres. Accordingly, people in the military may have a perception of some aspects, which do not correspond with the shared vision. Lifelong learning is one such concept, meaning that people involved in the military might see it as unnecessary in their line of work. Nevertheless, lifelong learning offers an array of benefits for the army. The purpose of this paper is to examine such advantages in relation to the army and the SHARP program.
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For some people, lifelong learning evokes negative associations with classrooms and schools, but the nature of this phenomenon is different. Nevertheless, army officers may consider lifelong learning unimportant to their mission, as they pursue a noble goal of homeland security. Therefore, it is crucial to consider its primary advantages for the military. McKay (2018) discusses the importance of lifelong learning within the framework of Sustainable Development Goals. Similar to other professional groups, army officers need to keep their knowledge fresh and up-to-date. This idea implies continuous learning, promoting modern values and principles. McKay underlines the relationship between lifelong learning and other goals, such as equality, health, and wellbeing. These aspects are highly important for the nation, and the army, defending its honor, must share them, as well. The lifestyle of the military may leave little or no place for these values, but quality lifelong learning can solve the issue. Consequently, the army will have a better understanding of the values it has sworn to protect.
The objective of lifelong learning must be clear for the officers. The purpose of the Army’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Program is to resolve the problem of sexual assault effectively. The Military environment is notorious for frequent occurrences of assault, which is why the aforementioned program has special significance. Quality lifelong learning may encompass many aspects, and sexual assault prevention is one of them. Edwards et al. (2018) emphasize the importance of learning programs that help to eradicate this topical issue. First of all, as mentioned above, one begins to share universal values through lifelong learning. As a result, the person will have a clear understanding of the potential damage of assault, as well as its implications for both offenders and victims. In addition, modern educational programs provide learners with effective techniques, which help them adequately act when facing risks of assault. Finally, lifelong learning helps the victims, who may suffer from severe mental implications in the aftermath of sexual abuse. Accordingly, lifelong learning can affect a topical issue, which has been detrimental to the army for a long time.
The central concept of the present study creates favorable conditions for the continuous development of army officers. Nowowiejski (2017) discusses the importance of lifelong learning for the self-enhancement of the military. Many people who pursue a military career do not stay in this field for their whole lives. While their commitment helps them achieve success during the first steps, it leaves little or no time to explore other opportunities. According to Nowowiejski (2017), army officers often retire early without a clear vision of the further stages of their lives. They struggle to achieve academic success and obtain advanced degrees, making it difficult for such people to adjust to post-military life. However, it is possible to strike the right balance between the army and lifelong learning, thus ensuring sustained personal development. This way, army officers will see an easier transition to post-military life and find their place in society.
In conclusion, lifelong learning presents a range of positive factors, which improve the lives of army officers. It promotes indispensable values, which are universally accepted and expected from a person of the 21st century. Lifelong learning is particularly important within the framework of the SHARP program, as sexual assault is a topical issue in the army. Finally, this concept will allow officers to enhance their expertise, providing them with new opportunities if they decide to leave the army. Overall, lifelong learning is a popular concept, which has received due recognition worldwide, and the military must follow the trend, as well.
Edwards, K. E., Shea, H. D., & Barboza Barela, A. R. (2018). Comprehensive Sexual Violence Prevention Education. New Directions for Student Services, 2018(161), 47–58. Web.
McKay, V. (2018). Literacy, lifelong learning and sustainable development. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 58(3), 390–425. Web.
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Nowowiejski, D. A. (2017). The importance of a long-term self-development concept to army officers. Military Review, 97(3), 103–108. Web.