Accession Number:

ADA601616

Title:

Fit for Command: Military Leadership Attributes for Small Wars

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2013-04-18

Pagination or Media Count:

80.0

Abstract:

The characteristics of small wars are significantly more complex than the characteristics of conventional war. This puts greater demand on military leadership, both at the tactical and the operational level. The diversity of tasks and threats, primacy of politics, and the decentralized nature of small wars have implications for both junior and senior leaders. The fundamental leadership attributes are timeless and common for both conventional and small wars. However, since the characteristics of small wars differ substantially from conventional warfare military leaders require to be more adept in certain attributes in order to be successful during small wars. This study will show that, although most leadership attributes are timeless, military leaders who are more adept in the seven leadership attributes adaptability, judgment, sociability, resoluteness persuasiveness, courage, empathy, and independence, are more likely to be successful at the tactical and operational level during small wars. These military leaders can quickly adapt, make the right assessments, easily establish relationships with other key actors, effectively negotiate, deal with risk and ethical challenges, handle cultural and social issues, and operate in a decentralized environment. They are therefore more capable to deal with the constantly changing characteristics of the small wars operating environment.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE