Cultivating Military Leadership in a Democracy

10.20.06 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

A new U.S. Army Field Manual (pdf) presents a vision of excellence in military leadership and articulates principles by which such excellence may be achieved.

“It is critical that Army leaders be agile, multiskilled pentathletes who have strong moral character, broad knowledge, and keen intellect.”

But in America, the “warrior ethos” is not an independent value, the Army manual explains. Rather, the value of military leadership derives from the constitutional order that it serves and supports.

“The Army’s military and civilian leaders are instruments of the people of the United States.”

Furthermore, the effectiveness of Army leadership is dependent on the quality and wisdom of the elected leaders of the country.

“The elected government commits forces only after due consideration and in compliance with our national laws and values,” the manual says. “Understanding this process gives our Army moral strength and unwavering confidence when committed to war.”

The 200 page manual presents extensive theoretical as well as inspirational material and a bibliography for further study.

See U.S. Army Field Manual FM 6-22, “Army Leadership: Competent, Confident, and Agile,” October 12, 2006 (4.4 MB PDF).