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Army Leadership and Command Authority


Leadership and discipline are the most critical qualities necessary for army service. The Department of the Army (2019, p. 13) defines leadership as “the activity of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish the mission and improve the organization”. These aspects are essential to army service and increase the chances of the operation’s success. Furthermore, the army leadership emphasizes the practical implication of values, such as loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, and personal courage (Department of the Army, 2013). Therefore, it is essential to comprehensively educate aspiring soldiers on the benefits of discipline and leadership in the army.

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Command Authority

Army leadership is a complex subject and has a large number of practical implications. ADRP 6-22 emphasizes the significance of leadership dynamics, the roles of leaders on the battlefield, and describes the core leader competencies (Department of the Army, 2012). Consequently, one of the most critical aspects of army leadership is the structured command authority. It allows maintaining effective hierarchy in the army and distributes responsibility for soldiers and officers (Department of the Army, 2012). Furthermore, army leadership ensures the competence and integrity of the mission command, which promotes discipline and other army values (Department of the Army, 2012). Ultimately, structured command authority and complete army subordination are only achievable due to army leadership.

Leader Competencies

Leadership is an obtainable skill, and it is essential to discuss necessary competencies for the comprehensive education process. ADP 6-22 emphasizes discipline, humility, confidence, resilience, sound judgment, expertise, and continuous development as the most crucial qualities for army leaders (Department of the Army, 2019). An individual with these competencies is responsible and might succeed as an army leader. However, it is also essential to remember that army service is a challenging task, and leaders should be prepared to demonstrate their knowledge and character both in theory and in practice.

Levels of Leadership

Consequently, army leadership encompasses many levels of the military hierarchy and might imply various qualities and obligations for officers, noncommissioned officers, soldiers, and army civilians. Each of the roles has its respective responsibilities, and such structure allows assigning tasks based on the expertise of the officers (Department of the Army, 2019). Experts emphasize the three primary leadership levels: direct, organizational, and strategic (Department of the Army, 2019). The former concerns the immediate skills of army officers and their ability to influence and motivate other people (Department of the Army, 2019). The organizational level is a broader subject and usually concerns officers who control from several hundred to several thousands of subordinates (Department of the Army, 2019). Lastly, the strategic level leadership refers to the administration of major command points through DOD and connects from thousands to hundreds of thousands of soldiers (Department of the Army, 2019). As a result, the structured hierarchy of the American army is achievable due to the intelligent distribution of leadership levels and roles.


The understanding of army leadership is essential to American military service, which is based upon fundamental values, such as discipline and trust. Leadership ensures that every soldier understands their role and position in the army and has the necessary expertise to complete their tasks. Furthermore, army leadership creates a sense of responsibility and ensures that officers are held accountable for their actions and the behavior of their subordinates. Ultimately, considering the high risks of military operations, army leadership and discipline are essential for maximizing the missions’ chances of success.


Department of the Army. (2012). ADRP 6-22: Army leadership. Web.

Department of the Army. (2013). ADRP 1: The army profession. Web.

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Department of the Army. (2019). ADP 6-22: Army leadership and the profession. Web.

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