Successful Army Leader Attributes

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In an interview with SGT Banuelos, she stated, ‘the definition of an Army leader is a Soldier who is committed to the development of the soldiers around him/ her to better the Army.’ This essay will go into detail about the attributes these leaders need, such as character, presence, and intellect, and why they are significant in becoming an Army leader. ADP 6-22 Army Leadership defines leadership as “The activity of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish the mission and improve the organization.” Developing Soldiers is a crucial goal of leaders across the Army. Without having these attributes, leaders will not be adequately equipped to achieve this goal and accomplish the Army’s mission.

The Soldiers Creed and Army Values are great outlines of everything the Army is looking for in a Soldier. Characteristics such as loyalty, respect, and integrity go a long way in showing Soldiers true self and values. Famous philosopher Cyrus A. Bartol quoted saying, “Character is a diamond that scratches every other stone (Cyrus A. Bartol).” This quote refers to how a leader with a strong sense of morals and military ethics can influence and change their Soldiers’ characters by being a model for what is right. Portraying these attributes acts as a beacon for others to strive for and to begin molding their character, which will, in turn, will be passed down to their subordinates. Strong character and morals are something some Soldiers have had instilled in them since they were young. For others, it will need to be practiced and perfected over time.

A key attribute in gaining followership from Soldiers is by portraying a strong sense of presence. Presence is how a leader carries themselves and come off to the Soldiers around them. “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence (Sheryl Sandberg).’ This quote exemplifies the notion of lead by example. Be the leader Soldiers want to follow. A leader’s appearance, demeanor, and actions resonate with their Soldiers, showing that the leader cares about themselves and others. This is important for the fact that if a Soldier has a leader that is always late, their uniform is out of regulation, or never passes an Army Physical Fitness Test (APTF); it shows the Soldier that if their leadership does not care then why should they. As a leader, the main priority is to set the example and show Soldiers what is right and wrong.

As an Army leader facing difficult situations will be very much part of the day to day routine. This is where a leader’s intellect and mental agility comes into play. Being able to navigate through these situations and help Soldiers in need is highly essential. ‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. (Stephen Hawking)” Soldiers look to leaders for guidance. Using this mental agility and critical thinking to solve problematic situations is one of the main reasons for leadership. As an Army leader, continuously reach for more is a must. Knowledge is power. The more the leader knows, the better off they will be to give advice and guidance to their Soldiers. Leaders also need to be masters of their craft. Being knowledgeable and prepared to share information learned with Soldiers can better prepare them for the future. Intellect is something that is a continuous and ongoing process. Leaders should always strive to know more, learn more, and experience more to expand their ability to assist and develop Soldiers across the Army.

To become a successful Army leader, it starts before entering a leadership role. These attributes can begin being instilled as far back as childhood, but it is never too late. Masterly of good character, presence, and intellect is challenging but can be done. It is the job of Army leaders to self-reflect and be aware of the strengths and weaknesses in these categories. With practice and discipline, weaknesses with attributes can be fixed. However, fixing these deficiencies will take time but is essential for self-development and the development of others. Soldiers who notice their leader practicing these attributes tend to want to emulate them as well. Being around a leader who portrays these attributes is infectious—making others better by simply being around this type of leader. In Conclusion, leaders always need to be bettering themselves if they wish to better others. The attributes of character, presence, and intellect are vital foundations if a leader wants to better him/herself for the greater good of the Army.


  1. Interview Conducted with SGT Banuelos (2020, March 11)
  2. ADP 6-22 Army Leadership. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://usacac.army.mil/sites/default/files/misc/doctrine/CDG/adp6_22.html
  3. Today’s quote: ‘Character is a diamond that scratches every other stone.’ Cyrus A. Bartol. (2016, March 4). Retrieved from http://bankbosun.com/2016/03/todays-quote-character-diamond-scratches-every-stone-cyrus-bartol/
  4. A quote from Lean In. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/785876-leadership-is-about-making-others-better-as-a-result-of
  5. Shigri, N. (2018, March 17). ‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change’ – Stephen Hawking’s impact on the disabled culture… Retrieved from https://medium.com/arise-impact/intelligence-is-the-ability-to-adapt-to-change-stephen-hawkings-impact-on-the-disabled-culture-6668e97caa6b

Cite this paper

Successful Army Leader Attributes. (2022, Mar 29). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/successful-army-leader-attributes/



What are the 7 attributes of a military leader?
A military leader must be intelligent, decisive, courageous, just, merciful, sincere, and zealous.
What are the attributes of an effective Army leader?
An effective leader in the Army is someone who is able to gain the trust and respect of their subordinates, and someone who is able to make quick and decisions in stressful situations.
What are the three main attributes in the army leadership model?
The three main attributes in the army leadership model are: 1) the ability to lead and motivate others; 2) the ability to make decisions and take action; and 3) the ability to build relationships and work effectively as part of a team.
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