Developing Resilient Leaders of Character for the 21st Century

  • September 01, 2014
  • Lieutenant Colonel David C. Foley

Character development is the starting point to build prototypical leaders committed to the Army's enduring purpose and charter. As the Army envisions the Land Force of 2020, it must cultivate prototypical Army leaders to meet the indeterminate demands of the 21st Century. Within its current design and intended purpose, the Army leader development strategy lacks the approach necessary to develop professional prototypical leaders of character who are committed to the Army profession and strategic vision, and reflect institutional values. This paper surveys the Army's archetypical development model as an instrument for professional growth, analyzes the need for committed prototypical leaders of character, and offers prescriptive and descriptive recommendations to the Army's leader development strategy for senior leaders to consider as they continue to shape and influence leader character and institutional behavior. To meet the unique demands of the transnational security community, the Army must invest time, energy, and resources in character development across the institutional and operational domains of leadership.