Understanding Army Values: Leadership, Trust, and the Making of Professionals
The Five Pillars: Trust, Expertise, Stewardship, and More
Young Americans believe that joining the Army is just another job. That is not true; the Army has developed itself to being something more than a job but it is a profession. It hasn’t been easy to sustain that image when you constantly hear soldiers on the News in a negative way. The purpose of this paper is to provide the basic concept of how Leadership and The Army Profession affect the Soldiers. The Army Profession has five essential characteristics that the leadership needs to produce positive results in Soldiers.
First, the five essential characteristics are trust, military expertise, stewardship of the profession, esprit de corps, and honorable service. Leadership has to possess the characteristics of the Army Profession and follow the “Leadership Requirement Model” (LRM) to start remolding Soldiers into professionals again. So, where does it all have to start? It has to start beyond the “Army Oath of Enlistment,” Basic Combat Training(BCT), and Advanced Individual Training (AIT). The unit level is where leaders have to implement the Army Profession, and it begins with the first character, which is trust.
Order your custom essay on
Building Trust: The Core of the Army’s Bond with Soldiers and Citizens
Secondly, trust is the foundation of the Army‘s relationship with American people, Soldiers, and their families. Leaders have to instill in Soldiers that, just like in the Army Profession, trust is earned, not given. Units as a whole have to show Soldiers that they want to build trust between them and their families. How? They need to start having more FRG meetings from the companies down to the squads. When Soldiers go through tough times, personally or professionally, your willingness to endure those struggles with them will build trust. Give them all your knowledge about the Army Profession.
In order to give you knowledge, you must develop expertise in four fields:
- Military-technical: How the Army applies land power to accomplish the mission.
- Moral-ethical: How the Army accomplishes the mission in the right way according to the values of the American people.
- Political-cultural: How the Army understands and operates in a multicultural, complex world.
- Leader-human development: How the Army recruits, develops and inspires Army Professionals.
A leader who is not certified cannot build Army professionals. All leaders should be certified in the Mission Occupation Specialties (MOS) and have additional training in their field. Then, they can recommend and promote further avenues for training and education. “Our professional responsibilities is to continually advance our expert knowledge and skills in land power and to certify Army professional.”
Leadership Through Army Values: Beyond Duty
Thirdly, if you look at the 3C’s of the Army Profession, stewardship of the profession falls under “committee.” “Stewardship is the responsibility of the Army professionals to strengthen the Army as a profession and care for the people and other resources entrusted to them by the American people.” The leadership has to embrace and advocate the Army Values, including the standards of the profession. Soldiers are like newborn babies. If they see you do something, then they will follow. Leaders have to watch what they do and what they say. If higher-ups lead by example in the right way and show pride in what we do, guess what? Most Soldiers would do the same. Not only do we have to uphold the standards, but we also have to enforce them as well.
A leader that enforces the standards is a leader who cares and takes their profession seriously. Once again, having our Soldiers understand that our work is more than a job is what stewardship requires of us. The more they will see how Leadership and The Army Profession affect them, the more Soldiers will act in a positive way.
Army Values: Esprit de Corps and Resilient Leadership
Fourthly, our winning spirit can help leadership build positive Soldiers. Having cohesion in the Organization and between Soldiers and Leaders is Esprit de Corps. That feeling alone can have anyone or group accomplish any mission, no matter how big or small. Leaders have to motivate their Soldiers to be more and be better. Get them “hyped” to pass a PT test, to pass a promotion board, and to deploy. Esprit de Corps and resilience go hand in hand.
Leadership can build morale even during the setback, but most importantly, teach Soldiers to do the same even in their personal lives. It’s almost like having that “silver lining” mindset. There is always some good in everything bad. “Our shared identity, sense of purpose, and winning spirit strengthen our individual and collective commitment, resilience, and courage – a never-quit resolve – enabling us to persevere and accomplish even the most arduous mission.
Army Values: Upholding Honorable Service and Leadership
Finally, the last characteristic is “honorable service”. Honorable service is also a part of one of the 3C’s of the Army Profession: character. Leaders have to “lead by example and demonstrate courage by doing what is right despite the risk, uncertainty, and fear; we candidly express our professional judgment to subordinates, peers, and superiors.”
By joining the Army Profession, swearing by Oath their “true faith and allegiance” to the Constitution, Army Professionals commit themselves to Honorable Service, foregoing some of the rights of their fellow citizens. Most importantly, they surrender the “right” to make choices or to take actions that disrupt the Army Ethic.
In conclusion, leadership has to take responsibility for Soldiers having this bad taste in the Army. It is our job to promote and have a conversation with our Soldiers about the profession. If we conduct ourselves in a good manner, then our Soldiers will follow. Leadership needs to uphold character, competence, and commitment to producing well-disciplined, well-trained, and well-educated Soldiers. There are learning and teaching tools, as far as the five essential characteristics and the 3C’s of the Army Profession, at our fingertips. How about we grasp it and start using it on ourselves and the Soldiers and show the world how professional the Army really can be?
- U.S. Army. (2012). ADP 6-22 Army Leadership and the Profession. Department of the Army.
- U.S. Army. (2019). ADRP 1 The Army Profession. Department of the Army.
- Don M. Snider & Lloyd J. Matthews (Eds.). (2010). The Future of the Army Profession. McGraw-Hill.
- U.S. Army. The Soldier’s Creed. Department of the Army.
- U.S. Army. Army Values. Department of the Army.
- Wong, L., Bliese, P., & McGurk, D. (2003). Military leadership: A context specific review. The Leadership Quarterly.