Developing a Conceptual and Predictive Model of Discipline in the U.S. Army
ARMY RESEARCH INST FOR THE BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES ALEXANDRIA VA
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Efforts were undertaken to 1 develop and test conceptual and predictive models of Army discipline and 2 develop reliable measures of unit discipline and its predictors that can help Army leaders assess and manage discipline in their commands. Conceptual and predictive models of discipline were developed based on the perceptions of active-duty Army personnel obtained through in-depth interviews with a broad sample of 291 active duty officers and enlisted men in the United States and Europe. Results indicated three distinguishable conceptualized components of military unit discipline--unit performance, unit appearance, and unit conduct. Unit performance can be strongly predicted by scales measuring espirt de corps, leadership, satisfaction with military work role, quality of living quarters, and availability of recreation. Unit appearance is considerably less predictable than unit performance for combat and support units. Esprit de corps and leadership are its best predictors. There does not appear to be a distinguishable unit appearance dimension for training units. Unit conduct, a measure of how willingly unit members obey their leaders, is best predicted by esprit de corps, the degree of racial discrimination in the unit, satisfaction with military work role, and, to a limited extent, by general racial discrimination and leadership in the soldiers environment. Unit conduct is less predictable than unit performance and more predictable than unit appearance.