The Foundations of Army Leadership

Army leadership presents itself as a mixture of several unique leadership styles. It is based on the strict hierarchical structures implied in armies around the globe. The traits identical for the majority of Army leaders involve high professionalism, integrity, and ability to cooperate with their subordinates to reach efficient teamwork. The foundations of army leadership involve clear division between the three types of leadership in any army. These qualities are strategic, direct, and organizational, with military leaders expected to obtain all of them. The base of army leadership also requires loyalty to a country’s laws and accountability to the authority (Munteanu, 2016). Overall, the foundations of military leadership are defined differently by scholars since every writer tends to evaluate the topic with relevance to their own country. This essay is going to outline the essential criteria that form military leadership.

Indeed, many sources by various authors offer their own perception of the foundations of army leadership. For instance, Alexanda Munteanu (2016), in her research concerning army leadership, concentrates the readers’ attention on the several aspects, which are necessary for creating a competent military leader. The author argues that the foundations of army leadership involve accountability and loyalty to one’s nation. Furthermore, the standards of the military leaders are formed under the influences of the external environment. For instance, military leaders can have different qualities due to various political regimes operating in their countries (Munteanu, 2016). This being said, there is an evident link between an outside environment and the formation of the army leadership qualities. However, some aspects such as accountability and loyalty remain unchanged from one army to another.

One of the other studies identifies the ability to promote jointness among subordinates as one of the crucial qualities forming military leadership. This article uses the leadership skills of a Korean admiral Yi Sun-sin who managed to gain much-needed success on the battlefield through his ability to unionize his soldiers. This enabled him to synergy his men’s fighting power to achieve higher combat ability (Jin, 2017). Indeed, the ability to unionize their subordinates is vital for any leader and particularly for army leaders, as it helps to achieve their targets more productively and at a lesser cost. Furthermore, this goes hand in hand with a leader’s skill to properly organize the workforce presented to them. Therefore, the ability to promote jointness should be considered as one of the general factors, which lays the foundations of army leadership.

A source provided by Headquarters, Department of the Army (2019) splits the foundations of army leadership into three distinct categories, direct, organizational, and strategic. The ability to master all three is necessary for anyone who is trying to become a successful military leader. This is particularly true when it comes to the original purposes of any army. The majority of the world’s armies were developed in order to perform large-scale military operations. This assumes that military leaders are required to perform their best in organizing and strategizing for their subordinates to reach victory on a battlefield. It is the direct responsibility of any leader to counter the opposing forces at the least cost possible. Therefore, these three aspects of military leadership can be considered vital as combining all of them guarantees a much higher chance of success.

Furthermore, the foundations of military leadership also involve other characteristics, which alter from the leaders’ skill. To reach an understanding of how successful army leaders obtain their skills, one must analyze their character. One of the major character traits, which forms military leadership is the ability to successfully manage and deal with stress. In a combat environment, many soldiers end up in stressful conditions, which significantly influences their decision-making processes. Additionally, due to the enormous amount of stressful activities a soldier has to endure on a battlefield, their mental health is also at risk. The harmful consequences of going through a lot of stress are reflected in relatively high suicide rates among combat veterans and still serving military personal (Chaccatori, 2016). This burdens army leaders to successfully deal with stress themselves and helping their subordinates to overcome the hardships of the warfare. A conclusion can be made that stress management is one of the crucial perks, which form military leadership due to its importance on a battlefield.

Overall, the foundations of army leadership are a complex topic to analyze. It consists of multiple aspects. This difference can be seen in the altering perceptions of various scholars who tried to investigate the nature of military leaders. However, every leader must obtain several important skills regardless of the army or any other organization they are serving in. First is the ability to organize and unite their soldiers to reach the higher combat potential. Second is the ability to strategize, which must be superb for every military leader. It helps to reach higher efficiency when dealing with given resources and, thus, significantly enhances the chances to successfully perform their tasks. Last but not least is stress management, which helps to avoid poor decision-making.


Chaccatori, T. (2016). A general qualitative study on army leadership, mental health resiliency, and psychological empowerment [Unpublished doctoral dissertation thesis] Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Headquarters, Department of the Army. (2019). ADP 6-22 Army Leadership and the Profession. Army Publishing Directorate. Web.

Jin, J.Y. (2017). A Study on the ROK Army Leadership for promoting Jointness. Korea and Global Affairs., 1(2), pp. 209-242. Web.

Munteanu, A. (2016). Army Leadership. CEFME Students Conference 2016, pp. 1–10. Web.

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