5 Qualities of Good Army Units

When you study successful military organizations, or any successful organization for that matter, you notice trends.  They have certain things in common.  These organizations do certain things in a certain way.  What I would like to offer in today’s post is share five qualities of good Army units.  These are five things that ALL good Army units have in common.  They are listed in no particular order.

# 1 Unified Leadership

Good Army units have a unified leadership team with the commander and senior NCO.  These two leaders work together and compliment each other, always working to accomplish the mission AND take care of their Soldiers.  They are joined at the hip, they put their personality differences aside, and the success of the unit is always the top priority.

# 2 Clear Purpose and Direction

Good units know their mission and purpose.  The leadership sets a vision for the organization and they share their vision with their team.  Soldiers know where the unit is headed, why they are doing what they are doing, and what their ultimate purpose is.  They also know how their specific job ties into the bigger picture.

# 3 High Discipline

Discipline is the foundation of success in the Army.  Without discipline, nothing else really matters.  Good Army units enforce the Army standards equally.  When Soldiers fail to meet the standard, they are held accountable.  Good units do the basics very well: following orders, honoring customs and courtesies, following regulations, talking to their superiors with respect, etc.

# 4 Opportunity to Make Mistakes and Learn

No one is perfect.  I’m far from it and so are you.  Good Army units let their Soldiers, NCOs and Officers make mistakes and don’t crucify them for it.  I’m not talking about mistakes like sexual harassment or drinking and driving.  Those are CHARACTER mistakes.  I’m talking about leadership mistakes.  Soldiers are encouraged and empowered to make decisions.  If they mess up, they learn a lesson and become a better leader.  They are encouraged to take calculated risks.  Good leaders are always trying to make their unit and Soldiers a little bit better than they were yesterday.

# 5 Pride

Pride is a good thing.  Some people will tell you otherwise, but if you don’t have pride in what you do, you won’t accomplish much in life.  The best Army units take pride in their mission, their appearance and their reputation.  They are proud to be Soldiers and proud to be affiliated with their specific unit.  They always go the extra mile and never want to do anything that tarnishes their reputation. This mindset starts at the top and it is instilled in everyone in the organization.

Final Thoughts

These are the top five qualities of good Army units as I see it.  I honestly believe that GOOD LEADERS create good Army units.  A good leader can turn the Bad News Bears into a unified group of warriors.  And a bad leader can quickly ruin a good unit.  Ultimately, everything rises and falls on leadership.  What do you think are the qualities of good Army units?  Leave a comment and let us know.

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6 thoughts on “5 Qualities of Good Army Units”

  1. I believe that you got all of these things right. They are all most likely the expected outcome of good leadership, which is what you need to start with. Without your number one, unified leadership, the next three qualities could not exist. But when they do, then pride should naturally follow. This was a good post.

  2. As I read this post again I noticed just a couple things more. First, the #1-Unified Leadership; I believe if you have this, all else will fall neatly into place. It seems the units that have terrible reputations are the ones without unified leadership.

    The other point I need to make is on the mistake point. You called things like sexual harassment and drinking, etc… mistakes. I don’t think they are mistakes, they are stupid choices. I look at a mistake as something we were trying to attempt to help but it failed.

  3. These are all great points. Unified leadership is very important. If leaders don’t work hand in hand, how can they expect the soldiers to work as a team? Clear direction says it all. If we know where we are going, the steps to get there will be easier. Discipline is a no-brainer. I really love the part about opportunity to make mistakes and learn. So many feel that mistakes shouldn’t happen. The fact is…they do. Learn from them. As for pride, there is a good pride and a bad pride. If it is the good pride in the team and their abilities, that is a wonderful thing!

    Great post Chuck.

  4. There must be a sense of pride within a unit. If the soldiers have pride, everything else they do will reflect that. From their uniforms to how they treat themselves and others. A good commander will allow the soldiers in his unit to be human, make and learn from their mistakes without kicking them when they are down. This instills confidence in soldiers and the unit will be stronger because of it.

  5. I believe you got the pride thing wrong. Pride (as in honored to belong, admiration for something superior) is the by-product of a unit that has indeed accomplish something, and not the other way around, as you propose. You can have all the pride of the world for your unit and it may still an average or a bad one. However, when one humbles, and all the right things and conditions are applied and maintained, then that is when "pride" occurs. Always be careful with it, as it can take you to arrogance, over-confidence, and other character flaws that come with it.

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