The role of an army leader is to provide purpose, direction, and motivation to soldiers while continuing to carry out the mission or task that is at hand. As a leader in the army, one must maintain their knowledge of the standards of conduct, policy, law, rules of engagement, and the Geneva Conventions. Leaders of the army must be able to understand that their actions, behaviors, and decisions are a direct reflects of their leadership and the army as a whole.

As a leader in the army, one must be able to stand for the army’s leadership values as a direct representation and they must be able to be a role model for their soldiers to follow.

Army leaders are committed to developing value based leadership and seeing to the well-being of Soldiers and their families. The role of an army leader extends influence beyond the direct chain of command. An army leader is a direct representation of the organization in which they represent and the military in general.

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As a leader in the army, one must lead by example and must be a direct representation of the standard and of good behavior. Leaders are responsible for establishing and maintaining positive expectations and attitudes, which produce the setting for positive attitudes and effective work behaviors.

Leaders must be able to encourage and support the growth of individuals and teams to facilitate the achievement of organizational goals. Leaders need to prepare others to assume positions within the organization, ensuring a more versatile and productive organization.

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Guidance is an important of being a leader in the army by ensuring those tasks are consistent and accomplished in a timely manner. According to Army Regulation 600-100 (AR 600-100), there are three levels of leadership. The levels of leadership are direct, organizational, and strategic.

As a direct leader, you are the frontline leader to the soldiers such as their team leaders or squad leaders. Direct leaders are responsible for building cohesive bonds amongst their team and to empower their subordinates along with implementing policies to be able to accomplish the mission. As a direct leader, you must be able to operate independently, but within the limits of the commander’s intent. Organizational leaders on the other hand are those that must deal at higher echelons such as a battalion or brigade level. Their policies

influence the command climate, and they must be adept in communication, negotiation, critical reasoning, and interpersonal skills. They must be skilled at complex decision making and problem solving and have a good understanding of the entire range of full-spectrum operations. Strategic leaders set the organizational structure, allocate resources, and articulate the strategic vision. Strategic leadership involves running the army from developing strategic plans, policies, guidance, and laws to determining force structure designs based on future mission requirements and capabilities.

As a strategic leader they must be able to prioritize over-arching army programs against competing interests while articulating army programs and policies to the highest levels of DOD and the government. All leaders have the responsibility of mentoring those junior enlisted soldiers below them in rank and to develop them to the fullest extent possible. Army leaders can develop junior soldiers through training and education and are responsible for providing feedback to the soldier through counseling, coaching, and mentoring.

As a leader when you coach a junior soldier, you are merely providing guidance to the soldier in ways to accomplish a task at hand. Coaching is a tool best used to bring out that individual quality as a future leader and to enhance their leadership abilities. One of the most important roles as an army leader is to mentor lesser experienced soldiers and help them to reach their fullest potential both personal and professional. Leader must be able to mentor soldiers in both a professional and casual manner.

Another role of a leader is to train soldiers in a way that they will exemplify the warrior ethos as it is stated in the soldier’s creed. The army has a commitment to the development of its future leaders by providing the proper training in values, attributes, and increasingly complex and unstable world. Respect and leadership is something that goes hand in hand. To be a good leader, you must be able to gain respect in order to be a good leader and be able to maintain moral amongst the soldiers in which you are attempting to lead.

The definition of respect is an attitude of deference, admiration, or esteem; to pay proper attention to and show consideration towards an individual and to treat them courteously. Respect is something that is need in the army due to the fact that as individual progresses in rank they take on more responsibilities and must be able to lead soldiers and in order to lead soldiers, first you must be able to give respect to your soldiers for them to show you respect. Without respect in the army there would be no form of order or standard in which a leader can hold a soldier to as a guide to follow.

Respect is an attribute that must be earned in order to be given. In order to get respect, you must first be able to treat soldiers with respect and as adults. Respect is a major aspect in everyday life in both a professional and personal manner. Respect is the foundation on which our society lives. The darkest times in our country’s history can be traced to a lack of respect. When laws are ignored there can be no civility. The laws in our society are based on respect, both for ourselves and those around us.

For one to be considered a good leader there must be an even amount of leadership and respect that is portrayed to the soldiers. Soldiers are more apt to respect leaders that show them respect instead of those that do not show them respect. As a leader of soldiers, you must be able to separate the line from friend and leader but must be able to give respect in order to get respect. Respect is one of the core army values and every soldier should live by it if they are part of the army and they must adhere to the army values in their everyday lives.

Management and Leadership: Military


Though popular consensus is that management and leadership are interchangeable terms with the same purpose and meaning nothing could be further from the truth. Management can be defined as influencing one or more person’s actions and activities through planning, organizing, leading, controlling and guiding toward accomplishing set goals or objectives. Leadership can be defined as effectively influencing and directing others in a manner that encourages obedience, confidence and loyal team support in accomplishing organizational goals.

From these two definitions one might have a subtle hint as to how management and leadership differ. The purpose of this paper is to differentiate between managerial and leadership positions within military organizations, describe the roles that military managers and leaders play in creating and maintaining a healthy organizational culture, and explain how the four functions of management support the creation and maintenance of a healthy organizational culture within military organizations. The final discussion will include two recommendations to create and maintain a healthy organizational culture.

Leadership and Management

Just as the definitions suggest a distinct deference between management and leadership all military organizations have distinctive positions for management and leadership purposes. Military organizations use a designated ranking structure for the purpose of immediate distinction between management and leadership. Leadership personnel hold the title of officer in all branches of military service. Management personnel hold the title of noncommissioned officer (NCO). While officers are immediately recruited and appointed into the leadership position NCO’s have to earn their title and managerial position in the course of progression through the ranks from private to NCO. Though these two positions differ on many levels each is equally important to military organizational culture.

“A leader is anyone who by virtue of assumed role or assigned responsibility inspires and influences people to accomplish organizational goals” (FM 6-22, 2006). Therefore, an officer’s (leaders) main focus is to motivate soldiers both inside and outside of their immediate chain of command to pursue actions, focus thinking, and shape decisions for the greater good of the organization (FM 6-22, 2006). Officers influence military personnel by setting a personal example (leading by example) on and off duty hours.

Officer’s actions have a direct correlation to the amount of influence they will have in conveying purpose and vision, providing direction and motivating others. Being able to convey purpose and vision is important for officers’ to give subordinates the reason to take the necessary steps needed to accomplish missions. Open communication is essential in providing clear direction on how subordinates will go about accomplishing the mission.

In order to provide clear direction officers are responsible for prioritizing mission tasks, assigning responsibilities and confirming that subordinates understand all directives given. Motivation is the key to encouraging subordinates to do whatever is necessary to accomplish the mission. An officers’ role in motivation is to understand or get to know as much as possible about the needs, capabilities or limitations of his or her subordinates to determine what motivates who and personally praise or encourage when necessary. The process of getting subordinates to do whatever is necessary to accomplish the mission falls to the NCO (managers).

According to Army Regulation 5-1 (2002) “management is linked with leadership, just as doctrine, systems, processes, facilities and equipment are connected with the people who use them.” Therefore, NCO’s have the authority to make decisions based on the needs of set missions in accordance with organizational policies. The NCO’s main focus is on daily operations, and immediate subordinate’s actions toward accomplishing set tasks in order to fulfill missions.

The NCO’s mission is to provide instruction and supervision over subordinates to ensure tasks are being performed effectively, efficiently and in a timely manner. NCO’s implement the four functions of management in every mission presented. Planning is used to determine a working strategy to accomplish each mission assigned to the division. NCO’s will use organizing to determine how to break down missions into smaller tasks that can be performed over time. Once tasks and timelines have been determined human resources (available manpower) is evaluated according to knowledge and experience to determine who will be most effective on which task then tasks are assigned to individuals or teams.

Once teams are assigned work commences and leading begins. NCO’s are responsible for overseeing each team’s daily progress, making on the spot corrections, giving additional instruction, motivating and directing each team to ensure that all projects are going according to schedule and all workers are performing effectively and efficiently toward achieving set goals. When issues arise NCO’s are responsible for controlling situations through risk management, bringing subordinates back on track, on the spot training, enforcing organizational rules and regulations and so forth. Types of controls that are used in any given situation will vary depending on an individual’s leadership or management style.

Though leadership and management styles vary depending on individual preference three specific styles stand out with both officers and NCO’s in military organizations: (1) autocratic, (2) participative and (3) delegating. Bateman and Snell (2007) describe each of these strategies as:

Autocratic: leaders and or managers make decisions about what needs to be done at their own discretion then tell subordinates what to do and how they want it done.

Participative: leaders and or managers will involve one or more subordinates in the decision making process on specific task planning and organizing.

Delegating: leaders or managers will delegate authority to capable subordinates allowing them to make decisions for specific tasks while the leader or manager will still take full responsibility for any decision that was made through delegation.

Each style is effective in its own right and in specific circumstances. Officers and NCO’s who use all three styles at different times are more effective than those who just stick to one.

Organizational Culture

Organizational culture is the basic nature or overall actions and conduct of an organization based on shared values and goals. In order to have a fuller understanding of military organizational culture one would need to grasp military organizational structure. Military organizations use a hierarchical divisional organizational structure. Bateman and Snell (2007) describe a divisional organization structure as “departmentalization that groups units around products, customers, or geographic regions.” Military divisional organizational structure is based around geographic regions. See Chart 1 for a visual break down of basic military organizational structure.


Chart 1: Divisional Organization: Basic Military Organizational Structure.

Notice that the basic structure consists of Officers; NCO’s and subordinates (enlisted soldiers). From the battalion level down to platoons each leader is accompanied by a manager. Information goes down the chain of command while requests go up the chain of command.

Military culture is based on strict adherence to the chain of command and company policies i.e. subordinates would have to go through the squad leader and the platoon sergeant to speak to the first sergeant and so forth up the chain. Basic military organizational structure and culture is learned in _basic training_ (boot camp) where new recruits, both officers and enlisted personnel, undergo rigorous physical, mental and emotional training to establish military values and team building experience. Graduates are then separated and sent to _advance individual training_ (AIT) schools to learn specific trade skills. Through shared experiences from basic training new team building experiences develop. Again, graduates are separated and assigned to units based on their field of training. Shared experiences are the foundation for unit cohesiveness among all military personnel.

While common experiences may vary they open the path for shared ideas, values, responsibility and perceptions of military uniformity to military organizational culture that guides all military personnel toward achieving common personal and organizational goals throughout their career. Though troops and their families are uprooted and moved from post to post at the needs of the military, sometimes at a moments notice, shared experiences and personal and professional commitment to military values and mission preserve the military organizational culture. Military organizational culture is more than a commitment. Military organizational culture is a way of life for all who dedicate their lives to honor and defend this nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic.


Military organizational culture is a culture that has stood the test of time decade after decade. Retired war heroes and new recruits all have one thing in common. Each has a _common bond_ through shared experiences, dedication to military values, mission, ethics, code of conduct and so forth. Young or old, each has dedicated themselves to something bigger than themselves and committed their lives to honor and defend this nation’s freedom at all cost. While military culture has been mocked and scorned by many over the years, much can be learned from such a strong organizational culture. Many failing organizations in today’s challenging business environment would do well to incorporate some of the standards of military organizational culture into their own business.

Having _strong core values_ in place is the basis for creating and maintaining a healthy organizational culture. Military organizational culture consists of strong core values such as: “loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and courage” (U.S. Army web site, 2008). While some of these values could be considered strictly military oriented all organizations could agree that loyalty, duty, honor and integrity could be considered universal. More companies could and should integrate these types of core values into their mission and values statements to help create and maintain a more healthy organizational culture.

Having a _code of conduct_ in place establishes guidelines for acceptable employee behavior which helps create and maintain a healthy organizational culture. Military organizations have established a strong code of conduct which describes separate and military distinctive areas of specific conduct becoming of service members. While the truth is that the military code of conduct is not applicable to civilian organizations all organizations could agree that specific behaviors do exist that are expected of all people within specialized organizations.

Therefore, organizations could and should come up with a written policy explaining specific behaviors and actions that are acceptable and expected of all employees. Organizations may even have separate codes of conduct expectations for managers versus employees. The point here is to have an established and acceptable pattern of behavior for all employees to follow in order help maintain an overall healthy organizational culture.


From the research presented one can conclude that distinct differences between leaders and managers do exist. Leaders mainly focus on inspiring and motivating individuals toward accomplishing set goals. Managers mainly focus on motivating individuals through planning, organizing, leading and controlling functions of management. Based on these descriptions the main difference between management and leadership would be the method used to motivate individuals to accomplish goals.

Though organizational structures may differ from one organization to the next organizational structure does help set the foundation for organizational culture. Organizational culture sets the tone for organizational success through shared experiences, values, beliefs and behaviors. Though many theories exist for creating and maintaining a healthy organizational culture each organization must come up with standards i.e. core values, code of ethics and so on that are unique and attainable to that particular organization based on specific needs i.e. values, mission and purpose.


Army Regulation 5-1. (2002). Management: Total Army Quality Management. Retrieved July 11, 2008, from

Bateman T., and Snell S., (2007), Management: Leading ; Collaborating in a Competitive World (7th Ed.), McGraw-Hill/Irwin, New York, NY.

FM 6-22. (2006). Army Leadership: Competent, Confident, and Agile. Retrieved July 10, 2008

U.S. Army web site. (2008). U.S. Army: Training and Doctrine Command. Retrieved July 15, 2008, from

The Filipino Military Leadership and AFP Transformation Roadmap

How does the notion of Filipino Military Leadership appeal to you especially in the context of the Armed Forces of the Philippines?

The Filipino Military Leadership has rich history of gallantry, of courage, of perseverance to attain noble purpose of attaining freedom, of maintaining peace and security. The glorious accounts can be traced back from pre-colonial period when the center of Filipino determination and motivation is the community, family and kinship to current challenges brought by continually evolving security environment coupled with AFP’s multi-faceted tasks. The Filipino Military Leadership evolved to be adaptive address the challenges of

As a leader, what are the ethical dilemmas that you find to be prevalent that needs to be addressed in the military? Badaracco (1998), stated that ‘we have all experienced situations in which our professional responsibilities unexpectedly come into conflict with our deepest values we are caught in a conflict between right and right. And no matter which option we choose, we feel like we’ve come up short.’
I’m in the military service for quite long and there were circumstances that I found myself also in the middle of leadership dilemmas brought by the culture and practices in the AFP that is most of the time needs to consider in making outright decisions. And sometimes these decisions became questionable with regards to the motives of the military leaders since it is seen to serve the shareholders of the decision and the decision makers themselves. In my own opinion here are some of the ethical dilemmas that are prevalent in the military (in AFP in particular) that need to be addressed.

Adherence to policy vs compassion and consideration. There are so many policies formulated by the higher headquarters aimed to instill discipline, create competitiveness and professionalized the entire AFP personnel. Policies about handling of cases, recruitment, promotion system, retention and attrition were among of those with the intent of providing standard guidance and procedures in personnel management. Nevertheless our culture of compassion to our comrades; the humanitarian consideration is always being one of the primary factor in the decision making especially in the disciplinary cases (not of those grave offenses) that would cause attrition of our personnel. We always opted to find mitigating factors so that decision will be favoring our men. Similarly, in reenlistment process or promotion process, we tend to give high rating in order to ensure that our men will be promoted which most of the time the exemplified performance of other became equal to those of average performance. Being compassionate is right, as the policies were made to standardize our actions.

2. Reporting what have done and disregarding what were failed to do. All of the after tour of duty report of the commanders from company commander to highest echelon of command was accomplishment reports, all were winning, nobody loses. However, why on earth that all of the threats being confronted by the AFP still exist after more than five decades of continues skirmishes and implementation of various campaigns. Yes we know the fact that the problem of internal security, of insurgency cannot be solved by military alone, however, it seems that it’s been long time that we didn’t see the real common operating picture because we failed to report what were the things we failed to do. Nobody in the chain of command wanted to hear our report if we do so. Real dilemma.

Utilitarian Approach

Utilitarianism as mentioned in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is distinguished by impartiality and agent-neutrality. Everyone’s happiness counts the same. When one maximizes the good, it is the good impartially considered. These features of this approach to moral evaluation and/ or moral decision-making have proven to be somewhat controversial. This theory is very much applicable to current practices in the AFP especially in resource (financial) management. We usually violated existing laws and policies and used technicalities to cover the irregularities, and we do it with our mind for the good of the unit. Still, the end does not justify the means.

What concrete action steps can you think that will bring positive social change not only in the organization but in the country as a whole? Change is constant and the leaders don’t just embrace change but they are the catalyst of change. Change must begin on ourselves and equally important we must influence other to change for good. Collectively, we have the power to influence social change that will benefit not only our organization but the country as a whole. Dunfrey (2019) mentioned that sociologist defined social change as changes in human interactions and relationships that transform cultural and social institutions. These changes occur over time and often have profound and long-term consequences for society.

Organizational wise, the AFP as a whole is implementing organizational change through the implementation of the AFP Transformation Roadmap (AFPTR). The AFP Transformation Roadmap is the Armed Forces’ guide towards organizational change and of better service of Filipino nation (5th CRG, 2015). The AFPTR is based on the Performance Governance System (PGS) which is an adaptation of Harvard’s Balanced Scorecard framework into local circumstances of the Philippines. The AFP instituted reforms based on the principles of good governance and performance excellence.

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Role of an Army leader. (2016, Jul 13). Retrieved from

Role of an Army leader

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