I don’t believe anyone could argue that it takes a good amount of leadership in order to become a successful United States Military Academy cadet, as well as an officer in the United States Army. This is almost certainly one of the first things someone would look for in a strong officer. A strong leader can impact his soldiers in various ways. If your soldiers don’t stand behind you, and don’t have faith in you, they are more prone to disagree with or disobey your orders. Aside from leadership, a USMA cadet should be able to easily demonstrate confidence. What good is an officer who knows what must be done, but cannot effectively stand in front of his soldiers and tell them what needs to be done? As an officer in the Army, there will be numerous times where you will need to speak to groups of soldiers of varying sizes.
Whether it’s something as simple as giving a safety brief, or something more important such as a mission briefing, you will need to have confidence in yourself in order to accomplish this. A USMA cadet should also have integrity, which happens to be one of the seven army values as well. I define integrity as doing the right thing, even when you think no one is watching. Lacking integrity in the civilian world is one thing, however in the military it is incredibly more dangerous as it could result in the death of fellow soldiers or even yourself. For example if you’re on guard for the night and decide that you would rather catch up on your sleep, you are endangering yourself along with all your battle buddies.
A successful Army officer is also going to benefit from having a willingness to learn. Although West Point will have done it’s very best to prepare you for the duties of an officer, there is only so much you can learn from a classroom environment. While a brand new 2nd Lieutenant Platoon Leader may outrank a Sergeant First Class, there is still a vast amount of knowledge that the new Lieutenant can pick up from that E7. In my short time in the Army I have noticed that the young Lieutenants are almost always willing to take advice from their senior noncommissioned officers. Another important quality in an Army officer is bravery. Even if you are not serving in a combat MOS, you never know when you will be required to be brave You also need to have the courage to stand up for what you believe in, and for what you know to be right.
Another quality that will keep your soldiers on your side is loyalty. If you can’t stay loyal to your soldiers, they will not have as much motivation to stay loyal to you. That also ties into the obvious loyalty to your country that is required of any military member. There are so many integral qualities and morals that are required of an officer in the Army. Unfortunately I am restricted with the length of this essay, but I have tried to highlight what I believe to be some of the most important values that should be deep inside all officers. Without values and morals your character will most likely be lacking and who would want to follow you at that point?
Courtney from Study Moose
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