Military warfare consists of several ever-developing factors; one of those are technology and leadership. This research aims to analyze the development and implementation of technologies in the United States Army, as well as the evolution of the approach to military leadership. The development of leaders’ roles and the importance of their education will be assessed on the example of the American Civil War (1861—1865). In addition, the volume of technological advancements in the military and the conflicts that influenced it the most will be analyzed. It is fair to say that these two factors have always been the important means of achieving success in military warfare.
Approach to Leadership on the Example of Civil War
During the American Civil War, the approach to leadership was based on the reliance on highly talented individuals. It is important to note that generals were not taught how to be generals since there were no clear standards for commanding officers’ education, which defined this kind of approach (Brereton, n.d.). It is important to mention that the Civil war was a turning point in the evolution of army leadership. This conflict outlined the need to prepare qualified officers and the understanding that these leaders could and must be taught. The main reason was that some of the commanding officers had no professional experience at all.
For example, General George McClellan was an inspirational figure for his soldiers but did not achieve any significant victories on the battlefield (Brereton, n.d.). After the conflict, the standardized approach to officers’ education, which would soon incorporate many management elements, began to appear. Thus, the approach to leadership in the American army has undergone serious changes, progressing from the reliance on natural-born leaders to the standardized education of commanding officers.
Advancements in military technologies were always an important need of the American army; however, there are three important conflicts that boosted the development of new means of war. The fact that each warring side uses all means to achieve victory is a reason for the fast speed of technological progress. The first important conflict was the American Civil War, which was mentioned previously. Due to the fact that this conflict took place during the industrial revolution, all technological innovations were constantly integrated into the army (Iliev, Gjurnov, Cikarski, 2021). New means of communication, such as the telegraph, gave the ability to give and receive orders as fast as possible and new types of transport made the armies more mobile. Moreover, this war led to the invention of new weapon types, for example, the machine gun (Iliev, Gjurnov, Cikarski, 2021).
The second conflict is World War II, a war, which was waged on a completely different scale. Different landscape types and weather conditions gave birth to new vehicle types (for example, jeeps), and the need to wage such devastating and large-scaled war resulted in the appearance of weapons of mass destruction (Sweeney, 2019). Finally, the Cold War, which made progress to skyrocket. Chips, transistors, GPS, and the Internet, are all the results of ever-growing investigating needs (Sweeney, 2019). Obviously, the determining factors, which influenced the development of all mentioned inventions, were the need to win the war as quickly as possible and to build logistics and army management competently.
The primary factor of progress in wartime is the need to take advantage of the enemy, which motivates the need to create new means of warfare. New types of weapons and vehicles, new means of investigation, and communication made irreversible changes to military warfare. Due to the unstoppable progress, old war doctrines and strategic approaches became useless. All of this led the American army to the need to reach the technological perfection and standardized military education– the cornerstone of professionalism.
Brereton T. R. (n.d.). Leadership, concepts of military. Encyclopedia. Web.
Iliev A., Gjurnov L., & Cikarski Z. (2021). Historical development of strategic leadership in warfare. Security Horizons. Web.
Sweeney, J. (2019). A Handbook Of American Military History: From The Revolutionary War To The Present. Taylor & Francis.