The Foundations of Army Leadership

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Leadership is an important vector of success within any given institution or organization, including the Army. The latter cannot be seen as victorious or prepared for challenges if its environment does not feature at least one true leader who knows how to adapt to the conditions and make the best use of them (Gilson, Dix, & Lochbaum, 2016). This multi-skill requirement is important for the Army because a person called a leader should assume all kinds of duties in order to make swift yet rational decisions. The main reason why many organizational goals cannot be achieved is the lack of leadership, which also points out the crucial nature of inspiration and authority that are entrenched in the field of headship (Gilson et al., 2016). Without a leader, the team is going to have no focus and see no opportunities for improvement. The key advantage of having a strong leader on the team is decisive thinking that makes followers more willing to respect subservience and authority. The current paper is going to investigate the roles played by responsibility and loyalty, subordination and trust, and education and experience in order to highlight the inextricable impact of leadership on the Army.


Responsibility and Loyalty

Responsibility and loyalty stand at the forefront of Army leadership because they lay the foundation for crucial leadership values promoted among subordinates. Most leaders knowingly utilize the history and their Nation’s laws in order to wake up the sense of accountability in their followers and develop a stronger bond between organizational values and the personal worldviews of the subordinates (Gaddy, Gonzalez, Lathan, & Graham, 2017). Even though the notions of war and conflict evolve continually, the importance of leadership does not change over time since it builds devotion and assertiveness in soldiers. No leader can be an expert in all professional fields, but they may be skilled enough to have the team learn and train together in order to achieve a certain objective. The concept of responsibility here relates to maintaining professional competence and ensuring that the Army embodies the country’s values properly and does everything in order to achieve the preset objectives.

Competent growth of leadership in the Army may also be subject to how subordinates are displaying their loyalty since there may be different roles and responsibilities assigned to a variety of armed forces representatives. Every Army soldier has to remain loyal to the Nation, and the key responsibility of the leader is to ensure that the statement above is still true (Gaddy et al., 2017). Based on democratic principles and the need to achieve excellence, Army leaders have to redefine their approach to followers in order to make flexible decisions and adapt to external conditions instead of capitalizing on rigidity. These two foundations of Army leadership cannot be ignored because they relate to how the Army may be able to adhere to the Constitution while also responding to the aspirations of society.

Subordination and Trust

The role of subordination may be explained through the prism of the government’s capacity to cultivate sustainability while expecting the Army to protect civilians and national interests on a global scale. This means that the leader has to have a clear understanding of what are the essential values to be defended and why their importance cannot be questioned or discounted (Kirchner, 2018). In other words, Army leadership is based on certain oaths that link back to the Constitution and unite soldiers around a common goal, which is to prevent and fight threats that could damage the country’s integrity and wellbeing. Therefore, subordination may be expected to cultivate confidence in the followers and help them realize their strengths and weaknesses.

The mutual relationship that exists between the military and the government represents the value of trust, which may also be seen as one of the pillars of Army leadership. Command authority requires the leader and their followers to gain a better understanding of each other’s condition prior to making any decisions (Kirchner, 2018). This means that military leaders should always have trust in their soldiers and vice versa. The leader should also apply their wisdom to achieve results that are going to motivate soldiers to go further irrespective of how their morale was affected during the battle. This incredible amount of trust requires Army leaders to remain role models and perfect examples of a soldier and a human both on and off the battlefield.

Education and Experience

The last essential foundations of leadership in the Army are education and experience because they stand for professional competence development and application. There are numerous opportunities for the Army to study and promote the values of warrior ethos in addition to empathy (Kirchner & Akdere, 2019). The elements of personal and professional experience contribute to a more detailed approach to collecting and processing practical knowledge, which ultimately allows the leader to develop a personalized approach to decision-making. Most importantly, the majority of character traits that are responsible for learning and experience are not innate. This means that effective leadership depends on what the leader does along the way to achieve the objective and what kind of results they get (Kirchner & Akdere, 2019). A person cannot be qualified to lead if they do not display wisdom, professionalism, resilience, or any other behavior typical of victorious leadership.

Individual educational efforts should become the key to one’s leadership, as the Army requires any given soldier to advance their competencies in a continuous manner. Therefore, training and experience are there to showcase the importance of studying different elements of combat in an attempt to meet the expectations of their followers while attaining institutional objectives (Kirchner & Akdere, 2019). As soon as the leader becomes reliable enough, their experience may also be implemented in some of the activities or decisions. This ultimately allows leaders to improve their competencies in practice and not waste time on modeling situations or operating theoretical assumptions. The most complex real-life scenarios generate the most powerful leaders and help subordinates realize their role within the bigger picture. Accordingly, education and experience are the two sides of one coin, affecting one’s leadership capability to an extent where the person may become able to improve their headship aptitude on the fly.


It may be concluded that a strong leadership may benefit the Army only in the case where the latter decides to focus on the future initiatives and pays enough attention to how the followers see these long-term objectives. The roles of subordination, responsibility and education cannot be discounted because the Army requires a leader to be efficient and multi-skilled. From the mentors to novice Army leaders, everyone should pay enough attention to lifelong learning on a daily basis in order to gain the capability of adapting to change and influencing their followers when necessary. Leadership is an integral part of the Army because it generates more value for apprenticeship and gets the team one step closer to victory when individuals respect the limits of subordination and know what they should do in order to accomplish the long-term objectives. With proper leadership foundations, the Army may become steadier and achieve an exceptional level of resilience in both subordinates and their leaders.


Gaddy, J. W., Gonzalez, S. P., Lathan, C. A., & Graham, P. K. (2017). The perception of authentic leadership on subordinate resilience. Military Behavioral Health, 5(1), 64-72.

Gilson, T. A., Dix, M. A., & Lochbaum, M. (2016). “Drive on”: The relationship between psychological variables and effective squad leadership. Military Psychology, 29(1), 58-67.

Kirchner, M. J. (2018). Veteran as leader: The lived experience with US Army leader development. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 29(1), 67-85.

Kirchner, M. J., & Akdere, M. (2019). Exploring inclusion of leadership development into new employee orientations: A proposed approach from Army leader development. Organization Management Journal, 16(3), 156-166.

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DemoEssays. "The Foundations of Army Leadership." December 21, 2022.