Foundation of Leadership for the U.S. Army

Leadership is an essential aspect of an organization, especially in a hierarchical management structure, to achieve its goals. In the Army, leadership takes a unique place due to the high hierarchy and strict division of responsibilities. The Army can’t be victorious in tackling the problems of the security environment’s current state without solid leadership. Hence, a leader of the Army should have a skill that would allow him to quickly adapt, immediately make decisions, and have authority both in the country and across the world. Leadership in the Army is critical on the battlefield, where intelligent decisiveness is vital for all soldiers and long-term military strategy development. Also, the Army leader is an example of how to behave, speak, walk, think, and in many other aspects for other people in the Army. Therefore, an Army leader should be assigned carefully since the success of the whole Army strongly depends on the leader’s success.

The definition of leadership is to positively influence other people, increasing their motivation, giving them purpose and direction during the process of achieving a goal, and improving the organization. Thus, an Army leader can be anyone who, by completing his duties and missions, motivates and inspires others to accomplish the organizational goals (Paparone, 2004). A proper Army leader should stimulate the actions, and decision-making, and increase the productivity of other people both inside and outside the commanding chain. One of the ways how a leader can motivate other people is by clearly showing their purpose. When the Army’s purpose is distinctly defined, it gives soldiers a rational reason to start acting to complete the mission. To be a leader stands for more complex actions than simply giving orders. A leader can influence other people in several ways. A leader’s words, actions, behavior, and values that he mentions, any step that he takes both on or off duty, are examples for others, influencing and shaping their mentality.

Any leadership requires solid and firm foundations that can support the leadership and even enhance it. According to Rejai & Phillips (1996), the leadership in an Army is tightly connected to history, loyalty to the country and its laws, and liability to authorities (p.143). Other than the leader’s personal qualities like responsibility and professionalism, he also should take care of the training and development of his subordinates. Leaders should have three main competencies for their success, which are lead, develop, and achieve. Lead stands for motivation and inspiration of other people to take action to achieve a common goal. While growing means training and developing the skills of the leader’s subordinates. Finally, any leader should accomplish the purposes of the organization. Also, “the Army and its leadership requirements are based on the Nation’s democratic foundations, defined values, and standards of excellence” (Rejai & Phillips, 1996, p.169). However, the Nation’s constitution is constantly changing based on society’s needs, which influences the Army’s values. Hence, even if the Army’s values changes, three main competencies are a strong foundation for a successful leadership position.

Moreover, a strong Army leader should have a good relationship with government authorities. Every soldier or member of the Army gives an oath to “support and defend the United States Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic” (Brownlee & Schoomaker, 2004, p.148). Also, the Army accepts the power of the President and considers him the Commander in Chief. The vow of the Army clearly shows the obedience to the President, indicating a strong relationship of the Army with the government. The role of the leader is to understand and effectively deliver the President’s intentions to his subordinates. When soldiers are well informed and aware of the reason behind their actions, it will give them confidence, which influences their efficiency. Hence, a good leader is always involved and informed about the President’s policies and intentions. It provides the Army leader assurance in their commands and actions, which is further transferred to the efforts of his subordinates. Thus, the authority of the Army leader among government officials and his awareness of the President’s vision and objectives play an essential role in the successful leadership of the Army.

To sum up, leadership plays a crucial role in the success of the organization. In the Army, a solid and firm leader is vital in achieving common goals. Also, good leadership will result in making future leaders by being an example for subordinates. The leadership in the Army also motivates and inspires other people to contribute to the organization successfully. Three main parts of the administration, lead, develop, and achieve, will help sustain the leadership position in an environment where the Army’s objectives might change. Also, an essential part of Army leadership is to train other people and develop their skills via sharing personal experiences. The tight connection of the Army leader with the President indicates the requirement of understanding and sharing the values of the President and the Nation. These aspects of leadership make a strong foundation for being a successful Army leader.


Brownlee, L., & Shoomaker, P. J. (2004). From the army leadership. The U.S. Army War College Quarterly: Parameters, 34(2), 12.

Paparone, C. R. (2004). Deconstructing army leadership. Military Review, 84(1), 2.

Rejai, M., & Phillips, K. (1996). World military leaders: A collective and comparative analysis. Greenwood Publishing Group.

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DemoEssays. "Foundation of Leadership for the U.S. Army." December 21, 2022.