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Madarász, T. (2015). Military Education questions today. Hungarian Educational Research Journal, 5(4), 17-30, DOI :10.14413/herj.2015.04.02.
Military Education questions today
Tibor Madarász
Two fundamental types of social embeddedness of the military are being known. In the European conception army is an integral part of society, while in the Anglo-American approach military and society are forming separate entity from each other. Military transformation in Hungary with its professionalization is one of reasons taking place in the change of the military spirit in the social relations. The appearance of the military on the labour market requires new approach from the organization and personnel as well. The change in the military organization brought changes in the organization and in its activities associated with emphasizing the physical aptitudes, lifelong learning, education and training as well. Army and society are interdependent from each other, which requires from both sides openness and acceptance.
Keywords: military education, military school, military service, learning, society, national
Pedagogy is the science of dealing with children, not including in its subject the older age groups. The lifelong learning and education, which is a widely used term in andrology, is a relatively new concept in scientific terms. Not so in the case when we consider that the military education has national traditions in our country. About military as an educational form we could read earlier as informal education arena (Kozma, 1999).
At this article we handle military as a mean and area of education. The aim of the study is a census of military educational issues, providing insight into the major terms of the armed forces and question of the relation of the armed forces and society. At this insights some military and education science writings will help us to understand both the civil and the military spheres representatives and navigate the reader as well. They are all willing to appear among the armed forces, at a narrower context of social issues, as well as among the civilian scientific media, civil pedagogy in a closer relation. In the latter issue may help the author's interpretation and intention to communicate the military science requirements for a civil society. Despite the fact that the profession recognized the various social subsystems and organizations long time ago, and its determining significance of social change in a global sense, in terms of sociology relatively late, only after the Second World War began to deal with the military institution (Burk 1993).
This study refers to some relevant issues such as soldier’s pedagogy, the military life, volunteering, the professionalization of the military training and relationship with the armed forces and society. Along the subjects of the study is divided into three sub-headings, in which the social contexts of military life as labour market actor and the possible space of learning is being examined. Finally, the civil and military relations problem will be being talked about.
Morris Janowitz was one of the first examining the relationship between the armed forces and society and this topic was a mean of invoking issue, an establishment and cultivation of an interdisciplinary on international-level scientific thinking (Janowitz 1974).
Some opinions go until that military culture appears as key factor to understand of civil-military relations. This importance can be grasped along the military and the military sub-institution of civil relations. Where acceptance of society has respectful attitude towards the military and the military culture, where the opinion-forming mutually accepting the two subsystems - civilian and military - there is minimal conflict (Herspring 2009).
1. Military existance in society
The European and Anglo-American military systems (or rather perceptions) are fundamentally different. Differences manifest in the various paradigmas based on historical differences, in the goals, methods and at the level of the whole system. In Europe in the late Middle Ages military mercenary system was envolved. The administratively managed system by the government and army was part of the state apparatus and an interpretative system, which was based on the conception of nation-statehood. The Anglo-Saxon paradigm rather interprets the military for economic reasons. According to this conception, the type soldiers are entirely different than the professional military and the people in it. In the People's Army persons were not raised with the army, their military training was part of their professional training of the socialist structure. This kind of dichotomy can bring duality as well connected to the relationship between the military and society. The European approach assumes that the military is an integral part of society, as opposed to the approach taken in the United States of America, which is considered to have been accepted the separate identity of military and society (Gal 1999).
At both areas (in Europe and in the USA) a number of written articles was born in the subject, which are not fully processed at this essey, but appears with touching the issue in the study (Friedhelm 1972, Krebs 2004).
Among the discourses on the subject of the USA example, some historians from the USA say (and some others dispute) that the civil-military tradition finally died in the United States of America. These are the voices that intensively believe that relationship between military service and citizenship were separated with eliminating the volunteer force and with the establishment of the military service obligation in 1973. However Krebs maintains his opinion and view that this kind of approach does not cope with every aspect of the issue. Although critics of the volunteer force, had continuous criticism against the operation and against the idealized active volunteer force in the United States of America existing before the institution of conscription, with the reason that not all aspects were assessed. They skipped the recognition of the institutions of volunteering was one of the most idealistical ones of civilians in the USA, which was furthermore under continuous change but not the cause of change itself. It was reported based on a certain amount of historical tradition, that there is an identity between the military recruiting system and the institutional image of the civil military tradition as a cultural phenomenon. In contrast, Krebs, essentially redefining the civil military tradition as some of the rhetorical rules, and seeking to demonstrate that the various tropes or figures are continue to forming alongside a sensible political debate in the United States of America. From this perspective, the volunteer forces not only had not been sentenced to death the civilian military tradition in the United States of America, but rather they gave him a new life. New types of voluntary conscript army like the Swiss Army militia forces new views were open to the direction of the legally not forced army, which enjoy greater identification with the society (Sombart 191?; Krebs 2009).
Szvircsev was examining the structure and requirements of Swiss Militia based on voluntary soldiers. He discusses how the Swiss Militia operates, which was created with the principle of the purpose "Citizens in Uniform". Operation of Militia have been affected by Western societies and their systems changes, which are mostly began in the 1960s and 1970s. Also result of the Cold War generated new security situation effects on Militia. According to Szvircsev there is a demonstrably strong suspicion that the principle of "Citizens in Uniform" apparently lost its former relevance today. Voluntary commitment to society and the sense civic duty are no longer the main causes for serve in the military. It is nowadays considered to be more of a personal decision based on cost-benefit. Thus, the concept and principle of the "Citizens in Uniform" is not only changing in its self serving reason based on satisfy military service needs, but compared with the past society perceives this organization established with military purposes, too. For example, in our country the new format of professional armies, like in the Swiss voluntary organization, perhaps could be a form of living, and also can be considered as a possible form of militant paradigm (Szvircsev 2011).
In the structure and organization of the reserve forces changes were forced by different reasons. On one hand by those individuals and groups who are searching self-identity by the army. On the other hand by the changes in the last three decades were happened in the USA related to their national protection. While these changes were designed to re-define the objectives and functions of the United States defense forces, sometimes unexpected effects also were arisen related to the individual reservists experience and their reserve service. The identities, which were resulted by the above mentioned reasons include: conscripts fullfil their obligation in civilian service, the weekend warriors, the temporary involved volunteers, the adventurer seeking for his identity, a fighting soldier and the conservative ideologist as well. Like all management, American National Security Strategy have to account with such consequences and appearance of this kind of identities in the army. The conclusion of this issue, that we should respond to such typified utterances, and we have to be able to apply them properly. It is essential that a national army be able to be prepared for the reception of new generation want to serve in the defense forces and apply them properly (Griffith, 2011).
The terrorist threat in Hungary is not the same like in the United States of America, but it is a real threat to be reckoned with (Mezei 2010).
With the transformation of the reserved system of the Hungarian Armed Forces various types of applicants for military service were appeared, so it is important that the security forces are aware of the different new attitudes of the young generation and their relation to society. As another example a Spanish survey can be mention, which examined Spanish cadets. This research has highlighted inter alia to the fact that the Spanish cadets gave greater importance to the protection work as motivational factor while they choose the military as profession. From the point of view of the professional mentality, one of three Spanish cadets has strong signs of engagement for the military life. It also came on light that the Spanish cadet’s commitment toward military is more radical than the European average. This commitment helps them in their progress on the rank-system to got up, but inversely with their time passed with training. It shows, commitment and training have different effect in military life progress. In addition, the Spanish cadets are more satisfied compared to the European average. And Spanish cadests are more positive in thinking also if society is against adopoting military (Caforio-Martinez 2005).
In our country at the moment can be observed, that the intention of transformation and expantion of the reserved forces is foregrounded objective and its cause can be search in the decline of the popularity of military and in the suspension of the conscripted army nine years ago (2004. CV. Law).
It seems that recruitment process is continous, what is surprising compare with the staff duties. Suprising because this staff could not be able to solve any external terrorist threat, nor mission tasks at the moment (Serf-Stummer 2010).
An increasing appreciation of the Defence Forces was a trend at a certain period of the change of the regime in the 1989-1990’s (Horváth 1999).
But the today's transformation of the Defence Forces is not only an expansion, but it is a rational restructuring process as well. In this restructuring process certain segments can obtain more significant role (for example the volunteer reserve staff, high school youth) and some could became into suppressed situation. In this case, we can speak not about expantion, but rather should be called it logistical and subtitution decisions. With the fact that the Hungarian Defence Forces shifted to voluntary organizations, also exited to the labor market. Labor market is a competitive area, where Defence Forces came to a competitive position with other employers (governmental, and non-governmental as well). This competitive situation forced it to change its strategy and its implementation of recruitment. Nowadays, Defence Forces, in order to ensure its staff is forced to implement a more effective recruiting office-chain and apply other and more effective recruiting methods as well. Ensuring the logistic and supply of the military staff, it appears among the new methods targeting youth at first stage. Youth in secondary education seems an optimal age group for several reasons to involve in the defence structure. High school students have some characteristics make them optimal, like: high interest, ability for mobilization, ability for entrepreneurship and impetus. These characteristics make them get special attention by the Defence Force’s recruitment and government, which supports this kind of recruitment as well, also by the society. In addition, current social conditions in the army or in the government could be take into consideration as a mean of labor demand alternative on the labor market. It is a fact, that the number of educational institutions in the country is growing fast, also those, which are in a co-ordinated structure with the Hungarian Army, the so called Military School program. Military School program has its initiative of the subject „Military basic knowledge”, which was worked out together with professional organisations and teachers, as well as from the University of Public Services. (Jobbágy–Stummer 2010; Varga 2010; 2011b; Hajdicsné 2012; Hajdicsné−Czank 2012).
The question inevitably raises about military skills, who needs to learn it, on what level and for what kind of reasons? Nowdays the government is demonstrating many different ideas about the subject, including the revival of conscripted army, volunteer based defence forces, and also encouragement of secondary school military education. These issues of liability and volunteering dichotomy carry several ways of doubts, as well as relating to the basic military skills teaching and its main question, who has to learn it. The social, political and economic changes, of course, require adaptation from the defense sector, too. In accordance with the previously explained social resistance against conscripted army[1] the government and defence sector had to look for new, more effective alternatives to develop the social adoptation of the military value and norm system. In some informal micro-communities we could hear about military in an overall vision as a compulsory education in secondary schools. The idea can be accepted on a voluntary basis as a completely subject to involve into the military the new generation. We can assume the question as well, who can be a soldier? For example, foreign immigrants may undertake military service in the Hungarian Army bounds? They also can attend military training in Hungary?[2] As for the military the number of staff is a very important factor, probably every Hungarian adult citizen with a clear criminal record could be a soldier in the country, if fullfil the requirements and eligilibility criteria. An important question if the conscripted or voluntary based defence force could reach the social support in Hungary? (Krebs 2009, Varga 2011)
At the first half of the twentieth century, Theodore Roosvelt and their partners with advanced and open mind in the country (USA) believed without doubt that a military training extended for all nation inside the country borders, with basic, average skills can be a tool for americanization of the migrant mass, enter into the United States of America at that time. Leonid Brezhnev believed on a similar way that the widespread military service in the Red Army will forge a unified civil society from the socialist Soviet mother-state, from the people engaged for internationalism and from those who are committed for friendship among these people.
Like many other leaders before and after Roosvelt and Brezhnev, they were turned to a military force, which is at least partially help to forge and melt a coherent national unity from the multinational, multietnical mixture of miscellany inside the country (the USA and the Soviet Union). Both Roosevelt and Brezhnev, as head of a world power, and head of military powers, considered military as a key social institution and a key factor in transmitting social values. During the twentieth century history we can find other examples as well in favour to fullfil the gaps caused by the military service. These gaps were inside the society, mostly between ethnic and religious communities. The pursuit to bridge these gaps were along certain ideologies in creating a national integration (Krebs, 2004).
Israel as an example, is a kind of military-minded society, which is in a state of a prolonged state of war for long years. The Israeli relations show the existence of opposite relationship between the military spirit and the mercenary army. The basis of the national army is the whole society including men and women, which have a national cohesive effect (Eliezer 1997).
2. Military, training, labour market
The modern western societies have been interpreted as part of a globalized world. It is an important question for the national forces that the organizational culture of the Hungarian Defence Forces how can fit in a multicultural system. The other question is, what is the role, tasks, tools and methods of the work and leisure, arts and community in this organization and how they can help to fit with the system. The development of civil society can not be divided by the development of the army as being embedded into the cultural organization. Profound transformation of the domestic defense sector (professionalization), and the effects of the NATO membership, the society and its members in the defense sector turn with more enthusiasm and with more interest to the internal functioning of the national military organizations (Mucsi 2008).
According to the initiated and employed education and training in the civilian sector became available for the employment in the defense sector as well. Distance learning in adult education has been reached increasing volume and courses were attend by more and more people, also in the military education system. Emergence of e-learning and b-learning methods appears to be reinforced this tendence as well (Dézsi 2009; Gerõ 2008; Négyesi 2001).
Armed Forces in addition to the traditional teaching methods also requires the use of the modern epistemological forms inside the organization. One of the main objectives are to establish and coordinate with an appropriate rate among distance learning and classroom training forms, as well as e-learning and b-learnig (Négyesi 2001).
Although it may seem strange at first reading, the informal and self-directed learning forms such as e-learning also carries more relevance at the University of Public Service than other training systems. The reasons are simple: the orientation of military training competency requires that the effectiveness can be independent of the location where the training take place and independence could be proved. The only way to proof the competency can be achieved by the acquisition of producing evidence. The other reason can be found in the foreign military service and the so-called military progression courses. Progress course can be attend by those participants who were passed a certain length of time in a rank and/or position, which can be obstacled and can prolong with extra time. Prolong time in progress in military carrier, while the soldier is in foreign service is also not uncommon and they feel it very unconfortable it they are involved such a situation. Soldiers often have to be constantly ready for a change of circumstances during the learning process. For these reasons is essential for them to reach more flexible forms of learning opportunities they can really use to obtain their goals and military progress. Although e-learning is an available alternative for training and education in the organization for officers, also an excellent opportunity for development their skills, can not be apply in some of the life situations. The causes and obstacles can be found among the equipment and tool requirements and at the particularities of methodology (Gerõ 2008).
The lacks of e-learning can be compensated with the introduction of the so-called b-learning. B-learning is a mixture of the electronic and the traditional teaching methods, which are both based on a personal meeting and with "blended" (or "mixed") learning, where b-learning refers to online, skype or other modern type of the course attendance. E-learning and b-learning is very successfull educational method among the military staff participants, because it is a strategy based on web services, learner-centered, cost effective, flexible, easy to acess, can use in practice as well (Dézsi 2009).
NATO membership brought the requirement and the exaggeration of a problem, that the soldiers of the Hungarian Defence Forces soldiers have to fullfill foreign service and duty beside their permanent service. To be able to meet the appropriate NATO standards and Hungarian soldiers could fullfil the foreign service criteria, they have to have adequate level of foreign language skills and professional expertise knowledge. Befor Hungary reached the full NATO membership in 1999, Hungarian Armed Forces military staff training for foreign aid programs was based on a system in which the United States of America and Canada gave financial help and aid. Difficult start was for the participation in foreign trainings for Hungarian soldier (with only few and low-level knowledge of foreign language, and low education level of NCOs, etc.), and financial aid program transformed into high level training system in the Hungarian Defence Forces very slow as well, but finally excellent international level training system formed for our officers and NCOs. Foreign military training and further training system became part of the everyday life in the Hungarian Defence Forces, which always tried education and training system as a crucial aspect of human resource planning and system-level organization requirement (Horváth 1999; Száraz 1999).
In the post-modern world the dividing line between the military and civilian activities is becoming increasingly blurred. Peter Foot was examinate the changes of the military education and training in the countries of NATO "Partnership for Peace" program especially in the European member states. The change process can be characterized with the various military academies and their military courses in Europe established by a certain time-line. Among the conclusions, the study draws the attention to an examining focus point, and this point is that, how military education and training itself reflects in general towards the bias of the Western European integration. While in 2001 this process in the military education was slow or only just started, the level of education and training increased toward the level that Euro-Atlantic community members already had, nowday a growing number of countries - including Hungary as well – succeeded excellent level in military education and training (Foot 2001).
3. Civil and military relation
The co-operation of the soldiers and civilians not only at a performance of a foreign missions is an essential task, but also in peacetime, in domestic environment is a requirement. The system and relation of military and civil persons and tasks is a focal area for military pedagogy as well, have to study with its sub-systems and problematic areas, too. In this article we highlighted the terms of social control as sub-components and as a focal point from the social control. While examining a country's military strength, its national army and the civil society, a strong relationship and interdependence we can observed. It is important that the civilian control with unquestioned legitimacy take into account the need of military standards, in addition the indispensability of this standards as well. This type of acceptance is needed to exist from the party, too. Because of the differences in the perception of the civil and military population, it is more difficult to judge the issue of the civilian control (Holló 2003).
For example, it is a great dilemma, how to reconcile a military, what is strong enough to do anything that civilians asked from military to do, with the kind of military, which is in a subordinate situation, and can just do what civilians authorize to do (Feaver 1996).[3]
Wether the military system operates more effective if it is closed to the outside world, or better if operates as a quasi-private organization? Wether the subordination of the social will and the cooperation with the civil society would cause a weakeness for the armed forces or would just cause a shift in the focus points in its sructure and organisation. Wether it would affect for the whole organization as or just some parts of it, and this effects would be strengthening or weakening ones? A kind of mental change could be detected in the tipical thinking of the military society related to the civilian control powered on the Hungarian Armed Forces. The recognition, that the control stand under further control on higher level (for example the political control stands over a social control) has been replaced with a kind of evolution of the adaptation for the requirements (requirements of the civilian control, based on partnership behavior). Formerly the armed forces had a behavior can be characterized by confinement and isolation, but partnership based change requires open-mindness and flexibility. In addition to the national interests, international interests are also motivate its operation, so to be open to the civil society is an elementary requirement, which are inducated and rest also on the expectations of the NATO. Previously, most of the professional (officer, NCO) staff were just accomplished in military skills. But to organisational structure and the changes of the staff age and education resulted, that the skeptics and distrustful persons left the military career. Those, who left and continue the military career could identify with the changed value system, could adapted to the changes. The young generation had grown up with adopting the new kind of approach, including it into his life (Holló 2003).
The Hungarian Armed Forces, switch to the reforms of the public administration, continued its ongoing organizational reforms in the spirit of professionalism. In this organizational adaptation the armed forces was rationalized and priorities were to improve both the qualitative and quantitative indicators and indexes. To reach and create the consistency in all segments and adopt all changes is a very hard objective, especially because contradictory effects can lead and preferred by the participants. The state economy is treated by the government as a priority. According to this priority, social security, reliable policy are crucial factors. From the terms of NATO and national defence forces, a significant factor is the ability, while on the other hand, in term of the nations (member states) focal point is defined by the level and quality of life (as social security).
Stakeholders and their interests are closely related to each other, so their different perspectives, not only to get to know well, but also mutual influence on each other is important factor. To maintain the armed forces is a government/state privilege, and like so, it operates under defined economic conditions. While the society thinks, defence forces, its operations and maintenance is a necessary bad issue, currently they also are in the consciousness, that all related budgetary expenditure related to defence and armed forces are risk for the economical stability and their social security as well. This consciousness is not real, and false elements can derive from unadequate information or lack of skills to evaluate data and information about the subject (Kolossa 2009a).
Despite the economic crisis period, the Hungarian Defence Forces shall continue the transformation, it must comply with the international obligations, for the public and state expectations, for operational requirements, as well as for the society and the human resources demands. Nowday, in terms of operation of the national army is a particularly relevant and important question, how much is actually supported by the society. Other important question, how the armed forces should be constructed and structurally organize for effective operation (take effective by the society as well). The reduction in the number of military organizations meet with the challenges of the modern age but also have to fullfil the requirement of the knowledge-based military, too. European armed forces in terms of their essential task are currently undergoing profound changes that shape the perceptions of the member states as well, inlcuding, how the armed forces should be look like and what goals should they have to serve (Edmunds 2006).
Because of the joint activities of the NATO the member countries are increasingly became more internationalized, especially on the military life, which is a very pervasive feature. Consequently, empirical information related to the military sector and its existing national cultural differences are becoming increasingly crucial. Soeters was examining thirteen countries and their military officer academies, studiing including the military officer students' value orientation. Soeters with his study found, that despite the fact that military organizations represent a specific culture, which culture is relatively isolated from the society, the differences on national level among the military academy student population are as large as among the civilian sector students.
However the research results also showed, that due to the special training and job preparation for the military staff in uniform gave them differential skills than for the civilian sector participants. A further conclusion of the study is that a specialized international military culture also exists (Soeters 1997, Soeters et al 2006).
Military culture compared with the non-governmental sector, in general can assume that this international military culture covers a highly institutionalized system. However, examining the nation's military academies as independent units, the researchers have found that some of the nations have more bureaucratic culture and more institutionalized military academy than other nations. These differences suggest that the organization of the NATO is working as a melting pot. It worth to pay attention inside the NATO for the national differences within the area of military culture as well (Soeters, 1997).
The sense of security of the staff within the organization is needed to be achived that the conversion process and operation became economically efficient The military organizations are so-called "greedy institutions" because they require a lot of activity and commitment from their staff inscluding the stand-by availability under 24-hours. 24-hour standby is a very individual shift schedule, and if staff do not want to accept, or try to quit, they risk with the get out to be erased from the system as a whole. Additionally, if they accept the 24-hours standby, they also can call to fullfil duty in remote places without prior notice. Furthermore the tasks of the army can be dangerous and even life-threatening (Soeters et al. 2006).
Fuch a strong mental and physical demand by the military staff, special preparedness capabilities and skills are needed. The military staff has to feel the beside the organizational rationalization their capabilities and skills are optimally exploited, and need to know that military enjoy social appreciation and loyalty, too. From the point of view of the organization it is also important to clearly see and inform about career image its staff. The organization have to be aware of the organization's operations and about the processes taking place in it, as well as the opinions about the processes and organization. It seems difference and gap between the theoretical objectives and daily practice of the Human Resources strategy of the Hungarian Army for the period 2012-2021, which shows that something is wrong with the system (the Hungarian Army human resources strategy).
This elements, mentioned above, can cause that the engangement of the staff for the organization and the ties for it would weakened. Efficiency is required by the organizational side of the human resources as well, including rationality. An efficient and rational organization employ his employees as long as they can take advantage of their ability to work at a high level. On behalf of the members it means a predictable career image, which assume predictable career options. Predictible carrier options and image has more mental significance than financial implications. The military service is a considered part of the commitment to a professional career and contract by the staff. As military service is part of a kind of special commitment it can be expect, while the staff spend more time in the organisation, they develop their skills and be more usefull for the organisation, and spend the passing time useful. Unfortunately, nowday this criteria is not realizing in a great portion of the staff. This lack has unconfortable consequences, that the Hungarian Armed Forces can not fullfil the objectives and rationality is below the targeted level (Kolossa 2009a).
To achieve the organisation’s objective targeted, task-specific development need to assess the capabilities of each job skill of the members in the organization. For the development needs can be built adequate courses and training system, which can offer a database of choices for proper performance and potential employment opportunities for the workers. It is not an easy task to adapt the military acquired knowledge into the civil sector because the applicability in our country greatly complicated with the technical and technological lag compared to the civilian sphere, not to mention even the developed Western societies, the gap is more wider.
The backlog of military training institutions is also evident compare with the development of the marketable knowledge on the private segment. In the military institutions in terms of practical courses and education can declare, that their equipment park is old, and can not compete with those in civilian life used, and can not compete with the diplomas for some of the positions, too. The reason can find in the fact that the military sector is not willing to fund the "civilian" training end ecucation beside the military for the young professional population, and when they outflow from their education they are not in comparative position with the civilian graduated (Kolossa 2009b).
2004. CV. law about the national defense and about the Hungarian Armed Forces
237/2006. (27.XI.) government regulation about the entrance process into the higher education
The Human Resources Strategy of the Hungarian Armed Forces for the 2012–2021 period
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[1] From the second half of the 1990s could be strongly felt in the society the resistant attitude against the conscripted obligation (Varga, 2011).
[2] Examining the question from the military higher education side we can find the following: "To establish a student status clear criminal record is a premis, if the candidate does not prove at a the enrollment, the Rector of the University – according 237 / 2006 (XI.27.) Government Regulation 13 (3) about the admission procedures of the higher education institutions, can destroy de admittance regulation relating to false recordings."
[3] Feaver, Peter D. (1996), by examining "The Civil-Military Problematique: Huntington, Janowitz, and the Question of Civilian Control," pop up the question about the American civil-military relations and raised the questions about the civil audit.