Army Leadership Competencies

In the challenging complexity of the modern world, the Army needs competent leaders of strong character, because they provide an example for other soldiers to follow. To give direction and motivation to their superiors, peers and subordinates, leaders have to introduce the elements of the Army Leadership Model into their work. The Army leadership model is a combination of requirements set for the Army leaders (Army Publishing Directorate, 2019).

Consisting of Attributes and Competencies, it informs the leaders on what they have to be, do, and know. Attributes include character, presence, and intellect, while Competencies are leading, developing, and achieving. While building and promoting Army values and attributes is essential to become a competent leader, it is only a part of it. Army Leadership Competencies are what makes a competent Army leader, and all of them have to be applied to meet the requirements and challenges of the leader’s work.

Leading is the first category of competencies that consists of four components: leads others, extends influence beyond the chain of command, leads by example and communicates. The first competency represents the influence the leader has on soldiers and peers in their organization. The techniques that leaders use to influence others can be divided into two groups: compliance-focused and commitment-focused techniques. The second competency deals with the influence that leaders use outside their traditional environment and determines if they are able to make connections with other partners and agencies. There are different techniques that leaders use to influence others, and some of them are applying pressure, making legitimate requests, collaborating and using rational persuasion (Army Publishing Directorate, 2019).

The third competency is valuable as well, because it reminds leaders that their subordinates follow the example they provide and makes them act as role models. Finally, the last competency allows leaders to have a better understanding of what needs to be done within their unit or organization. By using good communication skills and addressing the teams’ interests, leaders can establish consensus, settle conflicts and achieve the goals and tasks of their missions.

The second category is developing, which consists of three competencies: creates a positive environment, seeks self-improvement, and invests adequate time and effort to developing individual subordinates and building effective teams. Creating a positive environment refers to the leader’s responsibility to establish a climate in which the members of the organization feel motivated and trust their leader. The expectations and attitudes that the unit’s members share have to be similarly favorable. The second competency, seeking self-improvement, deals with the leader’s ability to constantly focus on improving themselves, growing both personally and professionally (Army Publishing Directorate, 2019).

They have to train themselves, both physically and mentally, in the way that will prepare them for any challenges, expected or not. An integral part of that is training self-awareness: competent leaders are constantly self-aware, which allows them to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses, and work on them to become better. The last competency in this category is developing others, which means that leaders should always support their subordinates and provide them with counseling and mentoring. To do that, they have to evaluate developmental needs of subordinates, their strengths and weaknesses.

Achieving is the third category of competencies an Army leader should have. It includes providing direction, guidance, and clear priorities, developing and executing plans for accomplishing missions and tasks, and accomplishing missions consistently and ethically. The first competency is a key element in achieving desirable results during all missions, because it requires the leader to give guidance to their subordinates, both from near-term and long-term viewpoints. The second competency deals with the leader’s organizational skills, and enables them to set goals, as wells as plan and prepare actions that need to be taken to achieve those goals.

Finally, accomplishing missions has to do with the leader’s ability to use special techniques to achieve desirable performance of their unit or organization. This competency has three components: monitoring collective performance, reinforcing good performance, and implementing systems to improve performance. Monitoring performance is essential to assess all aspects of the working process, and maintaining the motivation of the team is a major contribution to improve their performance. Finally, favourable environment can be created if subordinates are more inclined to participate in the discussions of missions and feel free to approach their leader.

All this allows the conclusion that Army Leadership Competencies are a crucial factor that contributes to the Army leaders’ growth. Regardless of the rank, every leader can and must learn to apply these core competencies. The main way to do it is through experience, and the Army provides that experience. Leadership skills that soldiers develop in a unique military environment have proven to be the strongest ones. Serving in the military, soldiers learn to apply those competencies, and that skill promotes their growth. Every upgrade in rank gives them more privilege as well as more responsibility. The leader can implement all the components of the Army Leadership Model properly only if they apply core leadership competencies.


Army Publishing Directorate. (2019). Doctrine Publication ADP 6-22 Army Leadership and the Profession. Web.

Army Publishing Directorate. (2020). AR 600–20 Army Command Policy. Web.

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