LEADERSHIP AND POWER: ARE WE ADEQUATELY EDUCATING ABOUT THESE TOPICS IN AIR FORCE PME
AIR WAR COLLEGE MONTGOMERY United States
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No military officer can escape the fact that he or she is a leader. With this charge comes the great responsibility of power. Failure to understand the psychology of this power and use it judiciously deteriorates the trust in the leaderfollower relationship. Degraded trust can have lasting impacts on this relationship which can cut deeply enough to negatively impact the mission. It is with this basic premise in mind that this paper provides a brief review of the Air Forces use of their professional military education system to educate its officers on these topics. It is not deigned to be a definitive answer to the topic, but rather a document which spurs thought and discussion in the professional military education community to improve the process. This paper will introduce the idea that while the professional military education programs currently in place attempt to cover the concepts, in some cases the education could be improved. The general principles associated with the importance of educating the officer on leadership and the psychology of power are tied to the early-1960s Milgram Experiment and early-1970s Stanford Prion Experiment. Foundationally, the concepts of leadership and power and how they relate to the military will be addressed, with a focus on the Air Force. Once the general themes are outlined, the paper will briefly discuss how officers are educated on these topics. The paper closes with recommendations to improve existing programs and a recommendation to capitalize on the Air Forces new eSchool education concept.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations