Emotional Intelligence: The Military’s Tool for National Security Effectiveness

  • Lieutenant Colonel Jodi A. Neff

An observed lesson from the past decade of war is that the DIME elements of national power are in use simultaneously but in different capacities to secure national interests in a VUCA environment. This same integration needs to be exercised at the strategic levels in the interagency workings to achieve unified action. The VUCA environment, further complicated by the effects of globalization, a wide range of threats, declining budget, and reduced military force structure, demands the synergistic application of the DIME. While there have been calls for reform of the NSS, those who have control over the system have not taken steps to enact such reform. In lieu of these changes, the military can increase its collaborative capacity to achieve unified action by providing emotional intelligence competencies to its officer corps at the O-4 level. By emphasizing development of the affective domain at this level, officers will be ready participants in the collaborative environment necessary to implement a whole of government approach.