The nature of function of the Armed Forces demands a specific type of leadership. For example, in the Armed Forces there is well-structured and defined hierarchy that exists, thus, the role of the leader is extremely crucial. Other soldiers depend on their leaders to guide them through difficult circumstances.
The success and survival of the troops is often placed on the shoulders of their leaders. That is why in the army, leadership is amongst the most important quality. Character, judgment and problem solving and adaptability are skills that are especially valuable to army leaders especially in special situations (Department of the Army, 97). These capabilities allow leaders to address the demands different kinds of situations such as complex, ambiguous, and chaotic environments during military operations (Department of the Army, 97). In essence, whether army leaders are task to make moral decisions or think critically in order provide a strategic perspective, as leaders, they are expected to do the right thing.
Character is one of the most important components of being an efficient Army Leader. The Department of the Army mentioned that “character reflects one’s true nature such as identity, sense of purpose, values, virtues, morals and conscience’ (97). For example, army personnel are expected to abide to the code of conduct set by their profession. Army leaders are expected to do the right thing the right way for the right reasons (Department of the Army, 97).
Integrity, for instance, is an important aspect of an Army leader’s character. As a leader, he or she is expected to have impact on his or her subordinates and he or she can only do this if he or she has impeccable integrity. It is crucial for Army leaders to be honest, fair and forthright. In essence, an effective leader will treat his or her subordinates the way he or she wants to be treated. In addition to this, displaying character often translates to resisting the easier wrong in favor of the tougher right (Department of the Army, 97). Discipline is needed in making right choices. That is why in the Army, discipline serves as the foundation of character.
Another critical leadership attribute of an Army leader is judgment and decision/problem solving. The goal of all leaders, as specified by the Department of the Army, is to think well and as thoroughly as time permits (97). The nature of work of the Armed Forces involves dealing with uncertainty. One moment everything appears to be going according to plan, and then suddenly it turns unpredictable. Being in the Armed Forces requires leaders to embrace uncertainty and unpredictability. Thus, it is crucial for Army leaders to harness their judgment and decision-making abilities.
In reality, if an Army leader makes a wrong decision, it can translate into jeopardizing the entire mission. In order to avoid such failures, Army leaders must have sound reasoning capability. After receiving all pertinent information about the mission, he or she is expected to make a decision; a true Army leader will never waste time. Intellect allows a leader to understand, visualize, and decide, likewise, judgment is also a crucial component of intellect (Department of the Army, 97). Judgment reflects the leader’s ability to make sensible and considered decisions.
Lastly, an Army leader is expected to demonstrate adaptability. According to the Department of the Army, adaptability for an individual requires having broad and deep knowledge and a good combination of skills (i.e. quick assessment of the situation) and characteristics (i.e. open-mindedness) (97). That is why, creative and critical thinking are crucial when dealing with new encounters and situations. When a team does not have prior knowledge about the situation, the leader is expected to step up and guide them through.
- Department of the Army. Leader Development. Department of the Army Washington, DC.2015. Print