Communication in American Military Practice


Effective communication in military service is an important condition for military education. Well-established communication between soldiers is subsequently necessary for the fulfillment of duty, that is, eliminating conflicts in the interests of the home country. Effective and well-organized communication is a condition for coordinating actions for the successful implementation of strategically important tasks. Having considered the forms and types of communication in the army, its importance in military affairs will be emphasized, and advice on how to improve and support it will be given. Communication is the main condition for the well-calibrated work of the American army as a structure based on the chain of command, accountability, and order fulfillment.

Subordination and Examples of Miscommunication

Communication between soldiers and higher-ranking officers, such as non-commissioned officers, appears to require calibration and debugging in such a way that its functionality resembles a well-oiled mechanism. In the process of performing a military operation or during training, officers require immediate execution of orders, that is, the attention of a soldier and awareness of command in the team. Compliance with orders and subordination between officers and lower-ranking soldiers is essential as a guarantee that the army is performing its main functions.

An incorrectly interpreted order or war correspondence can lead to a number of strategic mistakes and irreparable damage in the situation of a military operation. The act of disobedience in the relationship between a soldier and a superior officer is an example of a gross disruption of communication. It leads to chaos in the clear army structure and thus leaves the military commander disorganized and vulnerable.

The inhibited reaction of soldiers and security officials to orders can lead to unpredictable consequences. An example of this can be found in the recent failure of the services during the dispersal of protesters trying to storm the Capitol building. The lack of clear instructions and a lack of understanding of whom to give orders initially led to a delayed reaction by the armed forces. Subsequently, the answer was swift but did not have a strategy and therefore was excessively tough and costly at the same time. This example emphasizes that successful communication between soldiers and officers is also a great responsibility since the stakes can be quite high. That is why clear coordination of actions and strategic planning should be a priority for any officer responsible for commanding military units. Observance of the chain of command and submission to hierarchy must be swift and unquestioning at every stage of the US military system.

For a military leader, clarity and conciseness of orders are fundamental a condition for effective communication. Often speaking about vague military orders that led to misunderstandings and incorrect tactics, the example of a letter from General Lee is used. By giving an inaccurate order to attack Cemetery Hill, in case it was practical, Lee sabotaged his mission. His order was misunderstood as a call for retreat as the enemy positions were perceived by the general’s subordinates as too strong. That is why the form of the order as an urgent instruction that does not tolerate ambiguity or other interpretations is so important for the commander in military operations. At every level of the hierarchy in the army structure, communication requires a complete absence of inconsistency. Otherwise, an incorrectly used instruction may cause a major tactical miscalculation, which may turn out to be decisive in hostilities.

Tips for Effective Communication

Effective communication in the army is very different from, say, university communication in its directness and brevity. The speaker should be loud, break through the noise if necessary, and be focused on delivering the required message. Army communication is characterized by the use of an active voice, which is more accurate and direct and differs naturally from academic speech using a passive voice. Pauses in speech between phrases containing information help the listener assimilate it. Speech should be free of words-parasites, voice fillings of pauses, avoid abrupt transitions of thought from one to another, and also cannot end in half a sentence.

High communication skills are also required by a soldier or an officer when pronouncing a speech. Confidence and posture are required for a soldier to be more comfortable and faster in delivering a speech. Restraint of behavior but, at the same time, perseverance should color the speech of the soldier, which should also be loud enough. All the above rules of effective communication, such as focus, simplicity, and specificity, are required when giving a speech. Information should be divided into clear and balanced blocks in length. Pauses highlight changes between ideas and can be further emphasized with gestures and movements.


A clear ability to communicate, listen, speak and process information can be extremely useful in military practice. Obviously, a soldier needs not only to blindly follow orders but also to understand their meaning and to perceive the logic of a military operation. Just for this, the skill of listening is also needed since the ability to perceive, and process information is the key to the effective execution of orders. Moreover, communication skills are always inherent in leaders – in order to be able to subsequently achieve an effective result from a group of soldiers, it is required to be a trained and experienced speaker.

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DemoEssays. "Communication in American Military Practice." December 21, 2022.