Leader Development: Opportunity in a Resource Constrained Army

  • Colonel Michael J. Loos

The mission appears simple: make the Army smaller after more than a decade of continued conflict, and prepare the Army and its leaders for contemporary war. Yet, while the Army has started laying out plans to rapidly reduce force structure, changes affect more than buildings, bases, and equipment. The human enterprise and specifically the Army’s leaders are a critical resource that must also undergo change. The Army has been in this position before and its actions during the post Vietnam and Gulf Wars are two examples from which the Army could glean valuable leader development lessons that will aid in keeping the Army ready. This research project examines leader development actions and initiatives that proved decisive in previous eras of fiscal constraint, and provides recommendations for senior Army leaders to consider as they seek to develop competent and committed leaders of character, and maintain the Army’s future competitive advantage.