The Army has for years been successful at creating senior leaders adept in the art and science of land combat after honing their leadership at the direct and organizational levels. While those experiences remain invaluable, undue reliance upon them to create the Army's future institutional leaders is increasingly risky in today's rapidly changing world. The contemporary and future operating environments demand an innovative and highly adaptive Institutional Army, capable of rapidly responding to operational demands. Incremental adjustments to current senior officer management practices will not create that adaptability. An entirely new approach is required, one that unleashes the unique potential of each person—full-career officer talent management.
Senior leaders are told in doctrine that they must lead and manage change. But apart from some popular models for the process of change, there are few how-to guides for leading change in the unique context of military organizations. Moreover, popular change management texts focus on initiating change, and less about inheriting and sustaining change efforts already happening in the unit. This how-to guide draws from a wide range of organizational literature to provide a comprehensive set of questions and guidelines that senior leaders should answer as they navigate change efforts and work to improve their organizations.
Syria has become one of the most vexing and complex problems for U.S. strategic planners in recent times. Currently, the United States has about 2,000 troops in the northeastern part of the country whose primary mission has been to aid the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made up primarily of Kurds and some Arab tribesmen, to fight ISIS. The near total defeat of ISIS in Syria, especially with the fall of its so-called caliphate capital in Raqqa in October 2017, might seem to suggest that the military mission is coming to an end and, therefore, the United States should pull out its troops. Indeed, President Donald Trump stated publicly in late March 2018, that he wanted these troops to come home “very soon.” However, since that time, the U.S. President has backtracked from this statement after receiving advice from several of his top military advisers, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, some foreign leaders like French President Emanuel Macron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and influential members of Congress, such as Senator Lindsey Graham, all of whom have recommended that the President keep these troops in Syria.
Untruthfulness is surprisingly common in the U.S. military even though members of the profession are loath to admit it. Further, much of the deception and dishonesty that occurs in the profession of arms is actually encouraged and sanctioned by the military institution. The end result is a profession whose members often hold and propagate a false sense of integrity that prevents the profession from addressing—or even acknowledging—the duplicity and deceit throughout the formation. It takes remarkable courage and candor for leaders to admit the gritty shortcomings and embarrassing frailties of the military as an organization in order to better the military as a profession. Such a discussion, however, is both essential and necessary for the health of the military profession.
In early October 2017, The New York Times reported multiple allegations of sexual harassment against powerful Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein. A few days later, The New Yorker revealed more allegations against the movie executive to include accusations of sexual assault and rape. After more than 80 women stepped forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual abuse, Weinstein was fired from his production company, ostracized by the film industry, and arrested and charged with rape and other offenses.
The Protection of Civilians (PoC) Military Reference Guide is primarily intended for military commanders and staffs who must consider PoC during armed conflict, multidimensional peace operations, or other military operations, particularly when PoC is an operational or strategic objective. It is designed as a supplement to existing doctrine and other relevant guidance so that military forces can meet their obligations to protect civilians. The reference guide may also be used as a textbook for PoC training
Leadership receives a tremendous amount of attention, but what about the day-to-day command challenges that confront O-4s, O-5s, and O-6s in today’s war zones? What has command entailed over the past decade and a half for special operations force (SOF) commanders who have deployed to Afghanistan (and Iraq) either to lead or to work under Special Operations Task Forces (SOTFs) or Combined Joint Special Operations Task Forces (CJSOTFs)? In both theaters, officers have had to contend with various competing hierarchies and significant churn. What then might the Army and military do to obviate or mitigate these and other problems? The contours of a potential solution are described and its benefits discussed.
Clausewitz famously observed that war has an enduring nature and a changing character that evolves over time as technology, society, economics, and politics shift. This observation also applies to strategic leadership: it too has an enduring nature and a changing character.
Still Soldiers and Scholars? sheds light on a neglected aspect of talent management, namely, officer accessions testing and evaluation. It does so by tracing the history of officer testing since 1900, identifying and analyzing key developments in the assessment process, and then offering recommendations about how the Army should revise its approach to officer testing. This book supplements a series of monographs written by the Army’s Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis (OEMA) and published by the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) in 2009 and 2010. In those monographs, the authors proposed an officer corps strategy based on the theory of talent management. This book is a necessary first step in reforming the Army’s officer accessions effort in order to better align it with the Army’s talent-based approach to officer management.
Identity development is touted as an important leader development need, but it often gets short shrift in professional military education (PME) environments, including the Senior Service Colleges (SSC). The inculcation of professional values, resiliency, and critical and reflective thought are essential to properly operationalizing the skills and knowledge learned in an SSC, but they are highly subjective, difficult to measure, and therefore difficult to develop educational activities around. New policies for officer and civilian professional education include provisions for developing leaders, such as the recent inclusion of six Desired Leader Attributes (DLAs) in the Joint officer PME continuum, but it remains unclear how to operationalize those goals. This Letort Paper presents a way ahead using role identities and Bloom’s affective domain to identify developmental objectives to parallel the development of skills and knowledge in SSC programs and shows how this approach can be generalized across PME.