Types of Leadership taught at each of the Service Academies

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by SamAca10, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    My ALO in an interview told me that each academy had a different focus on leadership. For instance, he said that USAFA taught more management of people whereas WP taught pure leadership from a people perspective. Can anybody shed more light on this? Does it just have to do with what is expected of JO's of each service?

    Very Respectfully,

    SamAca10
     
  2. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Sam,

    You're on the right track when you mention that the focus on leadership instruction is slightly different for each service when it comes to their junior officers due to what is expected of them in the types of missions they will be leading or the differences in the jobs they will be going to.

    AF JOs? Well, the obvious position most think of for the AF is "flyer". Maybe leading a crew of a few persons, maybe going into battle alone and unafraid in your own cockpit. And until you get more experience, you ain't leading ANYONE outside of your own aircraft. Positions outside of flying? Well, usually managers and technical experts at the JO level. Maybe lead 20 - 25 people, but the positions and jobs in the AF leading troops into combat at theJO level are rare and few. Thus the emphasis on teaching our JOs how to be more of "managers" than leaders (At least IMHO).

    Navy? Pretty similar to the AF, especially their aviation and SWO career fields. Perhaps a little more on the "leadership of men in battle" aspect, as the surface ships tend to be "at the front". Probably even more so for the CG, as their primary mission requires team leadership right away from their JOs. I ask my Navy / CG friends to add to their perspective, as you're asking an AF guy to try to explain stuff he only has peripheral knowledge of.

    Army / USMC? Whole different ball game. The majority of the JOs in these services are EXPECTED to lead men (and women) into battle. The type of leadership required is just a little different than say, perhaps, someone in the engineering and acquisition field working a team project (an no offense to my technical engineers out there. You guys also have a very important job!) Again, I ask my Army / Marine friends to provide clarity and quality control of my answer.

    So, I guess the bottom line is: Yes, the SAs emphasize different leadership aspects in their curriculums based on the majority of the job types and missions their new Lts will be going to. Slightly different, but based on similar principles: leading troops to get the job done; smartly, safely, and successfully....
     
  3. Kero

    Kero Member

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    I have to say from the Naval Academy side Bullet you're fairly correct. Emphasis is about a 50/50 split between crew/teamwork model and small unit (more USMC) model.
     
  4. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Reading TPG's post above reminded me of one of the greatest examples of leadership in action that I have ever read.(I apologize for the length- I no longer have the link just the hard copy.) It comes from 12/23/01 NY Times and is the Eulogy for NYFD Captain Frank Callahan who was killed on 9/11/01.
    I wish I had known this man- and I would love to hear Captain Gormley speak as I believe that he has described the attributes of leadership and professionalism as well as anyone I have ever heard or read. Read this and then compare this to TPG's list above of the attributes or leadership and professionalism. That is what you are training to be - regardless of the source of your commission. RIP Frank Callahan and all of those leaders who loved and led their people thru the worst.

    Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company
     
  5. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    So what you are saying is that:

    Air Force - More "management" in that they have to be in charge of people doing multiple tasks

    Navy - Mainly management but depends on career. Some traditional leadership

    Coast Guard - Some management but emphasizes on leading small groups

    Army/USMC - more leadership

    I like the 3 C's idea...I should be utilizing those to rebuild my school's chapter of NHS! (Our chapter has not really done anything for the past 5 years)
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    There are also different aspects of the job. You will lead people, mainly to accomplish some goal. You can "manage" their work, make sure paper work (and there is always paperwork) goes where it needs to go. You need an element of both.
     

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