Emphasis Of A Commander’s Development Essay

2031 words - 9 pages

(Grant) Military commanders are a diverse collection of individuals and their job has altered radically over time through the impact of technological innovation and social and political changes. (Khern) Great commanders such as Alexander the Great, always led by example from the front shouting encouragement for his fighting men and this was what John Keegan called “heroic leadership.” It was the commander’s ability to provide leadership, maintain morale among his troops, and seize the initiative on the battlefield. This form of leadership was necessary at that time for a commander. (Grant) However, by the 19th century, commanders positioned themselves behind the battle zone where it was possible to survey a whole battlefield with the aid of a telescope. Similarly, a telegraph and a radio in principle allowed command from a distance. (Khern) As commanders moved further back from the actual front-line fighting, it became more difficult to command people into battle and in this situation commanders had to have the ability to command effectively. (Khern) Often, instead of fighting with the rest of the unit, commanders also had to supervise other areas such as mission planning, logistics preparations or the training of personnel. (Sheffield) John Pimlott defines such command as “the direction, co-ordination and effective use of military force”. He also defines control as “the management of command”.

(Bungay p37) According to many leadership literatures, leaders may be born or made, but nobody is born a great commander. (Khern 9) The foremost task of a commander is to ensure missions are achieved safely and effectively. (Horn) B.H. Liddell Hart explains, “a commander should have a profound understanding of human nature, the knack of smoothing out troubles, the power of winning affection while communicating energy, and the capacity for ruthless determination where required by circumstances.” To prepare commanders for today’s complex and uncertain operating environment, commanders’ abilities need to be developed such that it will provide them with the skills and competencies required to be effective commanders in order to lead, manage, and command at various levels within military organization. (Fielder 25) These levels are categorized as tactical level, operational level and strategic level. Bungay (p37) believes that leadership, management, and command skills has equal importance and every military officer who rises to a senior position will have to achieve some measure of competence in all three. In order to outline the importance to develop these skills for military commanders, this essay will firstly define leadership, management, and command and the inter-relation amongst the three in the military environment. This essay will then highlight which skill should be emphasized more for military commanders as he or her progresses up through the military levels.

(Horn 11) There are countless of books and articles written on the subject of leadership....

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