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Leadership in Army and Other Fields

Army and Leadership Theory

The military structure is the ideal organization for honing strategic and situational leadership skills. Many outstanding leaders of the past, from Alexander the Great to the generals of the Second World War, were outstanding warriors and extraordinary leaders. Leadership development is at the core of career advancement in the military (Olivetta & Nuciari, 2021). The officer is responsible for organizing the activities, motivation, and efficiency of the soldiers entrusted to him. The higher his rank, the more difficult the task of managing human reserves appears. By definition, the army is a small ecosystem, where the replenishment of the personnel reserve occurs mainly at the grassroots level. If it is always possible to hire leaders for top positions from outside, then in the army, individuals are unlikely to see many cases of civilians coming to leadership positions (Olivetta & Nuciari, 2021). In the army, generals start as soldiers and sergeants, developing their leadership qualities.

This paper will cover the main aspects of leadership based on reliable sources from past experience. Moreover, present the key characteristics of influential leaders who can step forward in their career. On the real example from 2009-2010, the report will outline the key aspects that caused problems to the leadership area of the military industry and how workers managed to transform their regulations positively.

Army and Leadership Theory

What Leaders Can Learn from the US Army

In the American army, there is a certain charter that reflects the essence of army leadership and gives specific advice on shaping your leadership style. In 1890, in the Cavalry Journal, the first mentions of the qualities of a real army leader. In 1951, based on the experience gained during the Second World War, the US Army developed 11 leadership principles, which became the basis for the development of leadership theory for officers (Olivetta & Nuciari, 2021, p. 160). The first charter includes the concept of the essence of army leadership. Fifteen years later, in 1998, in preparation for the new publication of the charter, writers hired a special copywriter whose main task was to transform the boring and dry list of leader personality traits into informative stories. In 2006, on the basis of all previously published charters, a single set of principles and foundations of leadership called Army Leadership: Competent, Confident and Flexible appeared. It includes about 216 pages written in simple and understandable language for any person (Olivetta & Nuciari, 2021, p. 201). It covers all aspects of leadership, from the basic theory and psychology of leadership to issues of modern leadership in a VUCA environment.

Leadership Issues in the Past

There are some problems that exist in the leadership in the field of the army. In the 2009-2010 survey involving 22,000 soldiers, 20% reported serving under a toxic commander. Another poll showed that less than 50% of majors believe that the best become successful in the army (Olivetta & Nuciari, 2021, p. 74). In the corporate world, the situation is similar. One study found that half of the senior executives fail to deliver. After receiving the results of the survey, the army developed a completely new selection process for battalion commanders – the first step in army leadership (Olivetta & Nuciari, 2021, p. 101). Approximately 450 selected commanders become responsible for the training of about 500 soldiers (Olivetta & Nuciari, 2021, p. 234). The importance of battalion commanders in preparing units for combat and in retaining capable young officers is enormous.

The modernization of the selection process formed the basis of the reform of the potential management system under the control of the US Army Chief of Staff, James McConville. Next year, the first officers appointed under the new system will take command. Their appointment relates to the latest ideas for managing the potential of employees from the public and private sectors (Olivetta & Nuciari, 2021). The assessment includes physical, cognitive, and communication skills tests and feedback from co-workers and subordinates (Beck, 2014). Although this system makes the recruitment of commanders more reliable and accurate and improves its impact on overall army capability development, its principles are important to any organization that wants to develop capacity assessment and promotion practices.


The army faced both typical and special difficulties, and the main provisions of the charter governing its personnel policy appeared in 1947 and in 1980. Several thousand-second lieutenants should enter the ranks every year and continue training to a minimum level of competence. People stayed under control as if they were interchangeable parts – and the system itself became frozen due to codification in the charter (Beck, 2014). In 2018, the US Congress passed the Defense Budget Act, named after John McCain, which gave the military the right to manage people more flexibly. McConville, and later the First Deputy Chief of Staff, began to make plans for officer development. McConville has more human resources experience than any previous chief of staff. After serving for three years as Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel and Chief Inspector of Personnel in the Army, he gained an understanding of what kind of people are important for thousands of army positions. As a former commander of the 101st Airborne Division, he knows that every soldier’s skills are unique, and the army’s cadre becomes ever more diverse.


Olivetta, E. and Nuciari, M. (Eds.). (2021). Leaders for tomorrow: Challenges for military leadership in the age of asymmetric warfare. Springer International Publishing.

Beck, R. D. (2014). Retail, a second set of eyes. PublishAmerica.

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StudyKraken. "Leadership in Army and Other Fields." February 24, 2023.


StudyKraken. 2023. "Leadership in Army and Other Fields." February 24, 2023.


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