Improving Accountability for Effective Command Climate: A Strategic Imperative

  • September 01, 2003
  • COL Steven M Jones

Beyond new organizations and technologies, the Army Transformation process and endstate will entail a new cultural mindset. More than ever before, organizational (command) climate will become an increasingly significant prerequisite for unit effectiveness and combat readiness. While many Army units enjoy positive command climate, too many do not. Several adverse trends in command climate have persisted in the Army for nearly 30 years, perhaps because, in practice, the officer culture emphasizes short-term mission accomplishment more than long-term organizational growth, or because Army systems reinforce individual performance rather than organizational effectiveness. Either emphasis, if true, detracts from combat readiness. The author explores the nature of command climate in the U.S. Army, its antecedents, and its consequences. Strategic remedies relating to unit climate assessment, leader development, performance appraisal, and accountability systems are proposed.