Leadership is simultaneously the least expensive and the most expensive resource our military possesses. Its fiscal cost is minuscule in comparison to the acquisition budgets for high-end equipment, but its cost in terms of time is measured in decades and must be codified in consistent prioritization by our institutions. In the end, the price of failing to effectively resource the development of leaders can be enormous at both the personal and institutional level. No matter the domain in which a military service fights, leadership is the key to all successful military efforts. It is a factor that shapes organizational culture in ways that directly affect outcomes and the performance of both military units and their people.
We come to the issue of leadership at a time when the military services are reducing overall end-strength and consolidating programs. Simultaneously the military is re-focusing on its core missions of conventional, joint and combined arms combat after more than a decade of protracted warfare. Leadership will play a significant role in preparing both individuals and units for a future that will inevitably include combat and significant institutional change.
To assess the current state of leadership in the military and identify key elements that will be required of leaders in the future, we have collected dozens of articles from leaders across the services and from academics steeped in the theories of leadership. Over the next two weeks, The Bridge is proud to open our forum to these voices – from junior leaders to combat-tested general officers – to provide their analysis of issues and opportunities for leading men and women, on and off the battlefield. From the art of command to the science of control, developing subordinates to institutional education, our authors will delve into key aspects of military leadership that must be addressed to continue to improve our profession.
We are thrilled to welcome many new writers to The Bridge community with this first #series of 2016. The Bridge would love to see even more writers join our ranks. If you have responses or additional thoughts, please send them our way.