Leadership SWOT Discussion US Military


LeadershipSWOT Discussion: US Military

LeadershipSWOT Discussion: US Military

TheUnited States military is one of the largest military organizationsin the world in terms of personnel, technology and expenditure. Thismeans that the organization requires an equal level of leadership toorganize the military and direct the efforts of all the humanresources towards the achievement of the goals for the United States.The leadership of the military is important for the management and tofacilitate the control of expenditure as well as the maintenance ofthe chain of command. This paper explores the United States militarywith a view of discussing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunitiesand threats that relate to the leadership of the organization.

Oneof the strengths of the U.S military is a strong chain of commandthat defines the leadership structure of the organization. Apart fromthe management structure that comes along with the organizational setup of the command line, the military’s chain of command providesthe positions that give the military its leadership structure. It isthe responsibility of the commanders and the generals in everyposition to offer the leadership for the sections of the militarythat they lead. Through such structures the junior officersexperience a sense of influence from the leaders who direct most oftheir decisions and actions.

Inaddition, the U.S military has strength in the existence of definitegoals and targets that the entire organization should achieve. Thisis done for every section for the military through what is defined asmission. The goals and targets provide the leadership of the militarywith a basis of influencing the behavior of all the people in themilitary. According Nahavandi (2014), the ability of the leadershipto instill a sense of purpose towards achieving a commonorganizational goal by all the members of an organization isimportant for the leadership to influence the behavior of themembers. This is particularly important for the U.S military sincethe goals and the targets are the most important for wholeorganization and the country as well.

However,the United States military experiences a weakness in the developmentof leaders and the human resource to attain consistent leadershipskills. One of the things that come along with the attainment of topmilitary leadership is the power that each commanding positionentails. The use of this power requires that the holder has thetalent and the capacity to utilize it for the goodness of the wholeorganization through good leadership (Nahavandi, 2014). However, theUnited States has over time grown short of the development of theleaders to be able to match the sources of power in the military andthe responsibility that comes along with each position.

Inaddition, the U.S military has a weakness in the control of theresources used by the organization. The military has spent a lot ofresources for missions that may not necessarily have contributed tothe final goals of the United States. Thompson (2013) argues thathigh military budgets are what President Dwight Eisenhower tried toreduce during his reign. Such expenditure should be directed towardsthe achievement of the organizational goals. According Nahavandi(2014), an organization should target the efforts of its humanresources and capital towards the goals that contribute to the largergood of the organization, in this case the country.

However,there are opportunities for growth and development of the U.Smilitary in terms of capacity and responsibility. With severalengagements of the U.S military in the current times, theorganization has the opportunity to grow its talents and developleadership structures. The training of the military has embraced newtechnologies in addition to the development of new skills thatpromote leadership. In addition, the military has the opportunity ofembracing an alternative of promoting the good leaders. According toThompson (2013), the commanders should hire and promote the mostappropriate and best personnel in the military. This will allow themto develop the leadership and decision making in the military.

However,the U.S military has a consistent bureaucracy that threats thedevelopment of the leadership in the military. According to Kane(2012), the management of talent and development of the humanresources in the military is limited by the processes and proceduresthat are implemented by the military in hiring and promotingofficers. For instance, the Defense Officer Personnel Management Actof 1980, or DOPMA, lays out the very strict rules and guidelines thatdirect the promotion of military personnel (Kane, 2012). Some of thepromotions depend on the number of years served in the military andnot necessarily the ability to lead or the talent of the candidates.

TheUnited States military has well laid structures that define theleadership of the organization, though its elaborate chain of commandand power. However, the U.S military has weaknesses in thedevelopment of human resources and managing the talents possessed byits personnel. Despite the weakness, the military can use itsmilitary engagements to train and develop leaders, especially withthe increasing use of technology in its operations. This shouldhowever be done objectively to avoid the historical bureaucraciesthat relate to the promotion of military officers into leadership.


Kane,T. (2012). BleedingTalent: How the US Military Mismanages Great Leaders and Why It`sTime for a Revolution.Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Nahavandi,A. (2014). TheArt and Science of Leadership, Seventh Edition.Upper Saddle River, New York: Pearson Prentice Hall

Thompson,M. (2013). WhyCan’tthe U.S. Military Grow Better Leaders?RetrievedFrom,&lthttp://nation.time.com/2013/01/21/why-cant-the-u-s-military-grow-better-leaders&gtAugust 19, 2014