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Faculty Profile – Roksana Alavi
February 18, 2016
Justin Wollenberg
The Unfinished Business of a Liberal Education
February 22, 2016

CLS Class Highlight – The Citizen as Soldier

citizen as soldiers during training

What class?

LSAL 5700 – The Citizen as Soldier: The American Experience

Why is it cool?

A soldier is not just a national icon. A soldier is a person, a history in the making and an asset that has built, protected and helped define nations. First and foremost, however, a soldier is a citizen who has believed in, bled for and elevated the principles and ideas of their homeland. They are inspirational leaders who have risen out of the general population to serve those values. The Citizen as Soldier: The American Experience is the course for you if you want to experience the narrative of these soldiers first-hand.

In the class, your journey begins during the Colonial period of American history and ends with current conflicts. You will explore the history of the National Guard, America’s first militia regiments that formed in the 1600s in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Citizen as Soldier offers a little grit as well by highlighting impressive combat victories and national service during times of crises. Ultimately, you will acquire a deeper understanding of the nature of citizen- soldiers and leave the class with knowledge of related skills and concepts.

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to fully grasp the evolution of America’s military from the foundation of the earliest militias to the well-trained forces of today. You’ll have grown your analytical skills, contextualizing the nature of leaders among United States’ citizen-soldiers along with their contributions to the security of the U.S. You’ll especially have a newfound appreciation and understanding for the ethos practiced within the branches of the U.S. military. The Citizen as Soldier will help you to foster new skills and perspectives within your everyday life.

From this point forward, simple holidays like Memorial Day might mean a little bit more. A service person dressed in their military uniform signifies so much more than a war being fought, a political ideology or even a branch of military for that matter. They symbolize a long line of everyday citizens four-hundred years in the making who valued common ideologies of their homeland. Even more so, they represent the very definition of active citizenry—a conscience effort to enhance local, national and global communities. At the very least, this learning experience will give you a continuing gratitude for the citizen-soldier.

See what else is offered by the College of Liberal Studies.

Deah Caldwell
Deah Caldwell is a Future Student Services advisor for the College of Liberal Studies. In 2010, she earned her master’s degree in History from the University of Central Oklahoma. She also contributes to Insight magazine, the CLS blog and CLS web content efforts.

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