Leadership is essential in almost every sphere of life, and the army is not an exception. An army cannot be successful and strong without a good leader. Thus, military leaders should be adaptive, smart, and swift in their decisions and leading styles. This person should adhere to the foundations of army leadership, which include such competencies as developing, guiding, and attaining. According to the foundations of leadership, a good leader should possess such attributes as army values, competence, discipline, humility, and Warrior Ethos.
The first attribute that differentiates an army leader from, for example, a business leader, is army values. The United States of America Department of the Army (2019) distinguishes seven military values, which form the acronym LDRSHIP: “Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, Personal courage” (p. 26). If an army leader demonstrates loyalty toward their subordinates, performs their duties, respects other people, serves the nation as themselves, lives honorably, acts morally, and is courageous, they will attain success in leadership.
Competence is another important foundation of army leadership. According to Ferrell (2016), the development of competence is one of the most significant missions of an Army. If an army leader is competent in the basic training and military field, they will be able to train and motivate soldiers properly. However, if a leader does not know the basic information about the army and any other related issues, they will not be able to convince their subordinates of their competence.
Discipline is one more essential foundation of army leadership. A disciplined leader can easily motivate subordinates to fight and win. Reiter and Wagstaff (2018) write that an effective leader can “directly encourage soldiers to fight and sacrifice themselves” (p. 492). Army leaders can use different tactics to inspire their subordinates. For example, one leader may use strict discipline as a method of motivation while another leader may focus on his troops’ well-being. In any case, a well-disciplined leader will serve as a perfect example to other soldiers, making them strive for personal development and victory.
Humility as a leadership trait may seem weird to some people. However, a good leader should possess this quality because it will make them closer to others. The USA Department of Army (2019) claims that humility is “the absence of arrogance” (p. 35). Thus, if army leader thinks of others more than themselves, they will be able to perform their military tasks better. Serving a nation means being unselfish and modest, and these two features are interrelated to humility.
Last but not least, a good army leader should demonstrate the qualities of Warrior Ethos. The Warrior Ethos is a part of the Soldier’s Creed, and it consists of attitudes and beliefs that represent an American Soldier (USA Department of Army, 2019). These features include a dedication to the Army, commitment to Army values, discipline, and pride in the heritage of the American Army. If an army leader possesses all these qualities, they will be able to encourage soldiers to fight for their nation and achieve victory.
Having reviewed different foundations of army leadership, one can conclude that these foundations include both basic and military-specific leadership qualities. Thus, an army leader should be competent, disciplined, and modest. At the same time, they should be able to motivate their troops to fight and win, utilizing their army values. Moreover, an effective army leader should be committed and dedicated to the Army. Finally, if the leader treats other people respectively, they will be able to achieve success in all their initiatives.
Ferrell, G.R. (2016). What makes a good leader? U.S. Army. Web.
Reiter, D., & Wagstaff, W.A. (2018). Leadership and military effectiveness. Foreign Policy Analysis, 14, 490-511. Web.
United States of America Department of the Army. (2019). ADP 6-22. Army leadership and the profession. Web.