Basics of Army Leadership

The army, like any other organization, values leadership and places it high on its priority list. It takes leaders as individuals responsible for dealing with challenges to achieve desired goals. Moreover, they are also expected to offer mentorship to subordinates and inexperienced group members to help them adapt better to the profession. It is, therefore, essential to define the leadership concept in all its dimensions, including the characteristics and attributes of leaders. The US Department of the Army considers leadership as an activity that makes individuals complete a given task.1. It is a broad definition that consolidates the fighting abilities of the military by motivating and inspiring individuals to accomplish their tasks.

Leadership in the army is categorized into three distinct levels, which ensure that all officers and soldiers understand the expectations of the military. The different categories of leadership in the army include organizational, direct, and strategic levels. Direct leadership is one where there is a face-to-face interaction between a leader and his subordinates. On the other hand, organizational leadership is where leaders exercise their authority and mandate through their subordinates. Finally, strategic leadership is where military leaders and civilians are involved in developing the army. Despite its significant role, this leadership style should not be used to downplay the importance of other levels of leadership.

The foundation of army leadership starts at the primary and fundamental levels. The young and inexperienced soldiers receive guidance from such levels as the section, team, or squad.2. It is at these units that young and upcoming military officers spend much of their time. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the team, squad, or section officer to provide exemplary leadership to help these officers develop. The low-ranking military officials in these units employ leadership principles to achieve their goals. However, an army leader is not always the one who makes others achieve their goals and objectives. They should have specific attributes and qualities that meet the prescribed military requirements.

An individual’s character is of utmost significance when defining their leadership qualities and how they lead others. Therefore, army leaders are expected to have specific ethical and moral attributes essential in inspiring and affecting their juniors in the military. The most important features that successful army leaders need to have included empathy, army values, humility, and discipline 3. The attributes indicate that army leaders are expected to meet multiple requirements to be successful in their endeavors. For example, an army officer is expected to understand how others feel, should be loyal, obedient, and fulfill lawful orders. However, these are not the only attributes that an army leader is expected to demonstrate to affect and influence the behaviors of their subordinates effectively.

An army leader’s presence is of utmost importance in discharging his duties and responsibilities. It is a phenomenon that makes them successful and influential in influencing the perceptions of their subordinates. Therefore, army leaders should invest much effort in ensuring their presence is felt in military circles. It does not only mean that the leader needs to be seen, but should make efforts to bring qualitative changes to the army. To meet this criterion, army leaders need to demonstrate that they have a variety of qualities, including demonstrated competencies, self-confidence, and sound health, among others.

Intellect, brain power, and knowledge are essential in ensuring the effectiveness of an army leader within the organization. It is a fact that individuals have different levels of intelligence, which means that some can excel in some areas than others. It is why some military individuals can demonstrate better leadership because of the complexity of intelligence. The US Department of the Army (2019) lists different intellectual attributes, including interpersonal tact, expertise, sound judgment, mental agility, and innovation. These attributes and competencies are essential to army leaders because they allow them to be flexible in their actions and behaviors. It makes them have sound opinions and be able to adapt to changing situations quickly. Army leaders who possess sound, intelligent capabilities have higher chances of succeeding in motivating and leading their subordinates.

Briefly, the army is an institution that significantly values and cherishes leadership because of its transforming nature. Army leadership facilitates inspiration and motivation among junior officers to achieve shared goals and objectives. The army has three leadership levels among its ranks, explaining how thoughts, ideas, and commands move from high-ranking officers to juniors. It is also important to note that army leaders who are efficient and successful must possess specific qualities and attributes to meet prescribed requirements. The most sought-after qualities an army leader must include presence, character, and intellect. These three attributes are essential in the army because they ensure leaders can deal with emerging challenges and influence others. Therefore, the foundation of army leadership is significant because it involves many fundamental issues that make up the army as an organization.


Coleman Jr., Arthur L. 2011. “Team, Squad, Section Leaders: Foundation of Army.” Fort Hood Sentinel.

United States of America Department of the Army. 2019. “ADP 6-22. Army Leadership and the Profession.”


  1. United States of America Department of the Army. 2019. “ADP 6-22. Army Leadership and the Profession.”
  2. Coleman Jr., Arthur L. 2011. “Team, Squad, Section Leaders: Foundation of Army.” Fort Hood Sentinel.
  3. United States of America Department of the Army. 2019. “ADP 6-22. Army Leadership and the Profession.”

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DemoEssays. "Basics of Army Leadership." September 21, 2023.