American Centurions: Developing U.S. Army Tactical Leadership for the Twenty-First Century   [open pdf - 203KB]

The U.S. Army faces many challenges in the near future. Central to success in overcoming these challenges is the ability to develop tactical leaders capable of achieving Objective Force concepts. The course of Operation Enduring Freedom demonstrates that units have already put into practice Objective Force concepts in Afghanistan. The U.S. Army's vision of the future justifies moving towards a new operational doctrine. The threats posed by global instability and weapons of mass destruction affect the U.S. much more than in the past. Accordingly, the Objective Force doctrine provides the nation the capability to respond to a varying array of threats. Much more than attempting just organizational or technological change, the Objective Force concept aims to transform the U.S. Army's model of operations. This is the essence of a Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). Past RMA's achieved success when leaders exploited technological advances. In the case of the First World War German Army, Second World War U.S. Army and Post-Vietnam U.S. Army, military forces developed and practiced transformations of doctrine before material and organizations evolved. Leaders made this possible. The key to success in executing transformational doctrine before all the enablers have developed is leader competence. Theory and practice associate a leader's level of competence with experience. Experience does not equal competence, but competence is not possible without experience. Objective Force leaders need augmented competence to overcome full spectrum global threats. Developing competent leaders for the Objective Force represents a significant challenge for the U.S. Army in the Twenty-first Century. Leaders require larger skill sets to achieve the Objective Force characteristics: responsiveness, deployable, agile, versatile, lethal, survivable and sustainable.

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