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Preparing Potential Senior Army Leaders for the Future: An Assessment of Leader Development Efforts in the Post-Cold War Era

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This issue paper is an exploratory effort to assess how well the Army prepares its senior leaders for future missions involving joint, coalition, and full spectrum operations. The paper examines the Armys recent experiences in Somalia and Bosnia to identify areas in which Army leaders were not fully prepared with respect to doctrine, training, and experience-areas that could prove problematic in future missions. The paper then describes the current institutional training most relevant to developing competencies for such missions and notes its limited attention to the nondoctrinal, other-than-war missions that have occurred since the end of the Cold War. The paper also analyzes the operational experience and professional military education of combat arms officers who are the Armys potential future senior leaders officers selected to command tactical brigades, for promotion to brigadier general, and for promotion to major general. Army personnel data indicate that most of the officers assessed in this study have had careers focused mainly on Army assignments and that few have had experience in post-Cold War operations other than war Only 28 percent of these officers have held more than one joint assignment, and only 21 percent have multinational staff experience. Additionally, only 17 percent of these officers have experience in other-than-war contingencies e.g., Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, or Kosovo. From a joint educational perspective, less than one-third 31 percent of the officers analyzed have Joint Professional Military Education Level II credit. The paper concludes that the Army should provide greater emphasis to joint operational experience and modify officer education to enhance joint and full spectrum operational competencies. To do so, however, the Army will need to make tradeoffs against existing leader development practices and assess potential benefits and liabilities as compared to current approaches.

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  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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