Teaching the Circumference of Army Leadership

By Gillespie, William, Jr. | Military Review, September/October 2001 | Go to article overview

Teaching the Circumference of Army Leadership


Gillespie, William, Jr., Military Review


The author argues that the Army's leadership doctrine must be more thoroughly nested vertically and horizontally with other leadership publications to achieve an fully integrated leader-development program.

The Army's Commitment- The Army of tomorrow relies on the Army of today to accept the challenge and responsibility for the development of leaders for the future.

- Leader Development for America's Army1

AS WE TRANSFORM our Army to meet the dynamic challenges of the 21st century, we must develop leaders who understand and can take advantage of the full potential of present and future Army doctrine, equipment, technology and information in full-spectrum operations. This environment requires increased situational awareness, understanding and dominance. We must fully understand the challenge and develop a leader-development program to meet it. Developing leaders is never easy. In today's vironment of decreasing resources, shifting training priorities and a lighter force, it is especially difficult. Thus, we must seek efficiencies at every opportunity. While our leader-development principles are solid, leader-development methods are not.

Improving Army leader elopment requires a simple, systematic methodol LAP communicate clearly the interworkings of the fe ship framework within the Army Leader-Develop -Model.

The small step to define and nest the pieces of the circumference of Army leadership and provide the critically needed common picture will generate a quantum leap in the Army's leader development.

Problem Analysis

The military experiences that have fed my interest in leader-development and teaching methods include interfacing with cadets from the United States Military Academy (USMA), Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) personnel, Army branch school instructors and Command and General Staff College (CGSC) faculty and students. During these I have witnessed clear, systemic weaknesses that have led me to challenge the Army's current leader-development process and doctrine.

Military history has demonstrated that introspection and self-examination are critical to an army's training and preparation for war. I have searched for appropriate leadership material, methodologies and how-to publications to augment junior leadership programs of instruction (POIs) and US Army Field Manual (FM) 22-100, Army Leadership, versions July 1990 and August 1999.2 Because the three-pillar model-institutional education and training, operational assignments and individual self-developmentin the new FM 22-100 mostly affects junior, uniformed leader development, my examples and solutions will focus at that level; however, my recommendations apply at any leadership level. After years of study and trial and error, some problems with the Army Leader-Development Program and processes became clear.

While many leadership programs, policies and plans are in place, they usually lack a systematic methodology that unifies the developmental sequence to make the teaching and learning process simple, understandable and effective. When and where does FM 22-100 start and stop? One must read and decipher dozens of Army and TRADOC regulations, pamphlets, training circulars (TCs) and command publications to ascertain the full leaderdevelopment process. To obtain a common picture, these dozens of publications require consolidation. Why were the appropriate leadership methods and processes not outlined in FM 22-100 so instructors and unit leaders know what, when and how to teach the progressive and connected leadership concepts? Although all leadership publications are linked through Army and TRADOC Internet websites, it is still difficult to piece the puzzle together. Nowhere in leadership training do we concentrate on Department of the Army Pamphlet (DA Pam) 350-58, The Enduring Legacy: Leader Development for Americas Army, and its connection to other leadership documents and processes. …

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Teaching the Circumference of Army Leadership
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