Field Manual FM 6-22: Army Leadership

What should you know about FM 6-22?  This is the Army Leadership Bible.  It is broken down into four major parts and contains 12 chapters of useful information.  I’ve provided a summary below.

The Basis of Leadership

  • Leadership Defined – This chapter talks about what leadership is.  It defines an Army leader as “anyone who by virtue of assumed role or assigned responsibility inspires and influences people to accomplish organizational goals. Army leaders motivate people both inside and outside the chain of command to pursue actions, focus thinking, and shape decisions for the greater good of the organization.”
  • The Foundation of Army Leadership – This chapter discusses how history has shaped leadership doctrine through the past 200+ yeas.
  • Leadership Roles, Leadership Levels and Leadership Teams – Learn what the role of the leader is, the different types of leaders and the role of command teams.

The Army Leader

  • Leader Character – Learn how character plays a vital role in leadership.  This chapter covers the Army Values and values it takes to be an effective leader.
  • Leader Presence – Learn how you must be emotionally and physically present.  This also covers your posture and how you handle yourself as a leader.
  • Leader Intelligence – Learn about the “common sense” and “intelligence” required to be a successful military leader, covering decision making, the thought process and much more.

Competency Based Leadership

  • Leading – Learn how to lead others inside and outside the chain of command, how to communicate effectively, and how to lead by example.
  • Developing – How to create a positive environment and develop others and how to prepare yourself for success as a leader.
  • Achieving – How to provide guidance and establish priorities so you can accomplish the mission.
  • Influences of Leadership – This chapter focuses on how to minimize stress is training and in combat.

Leading at the Organizational and Strategic Levels

  • Organizational Leadership – This covers leadership guidance at the tactical level from the Division and below.
  • Strategic Leadership – This covers leadership guidance at the “big Army” level.

FM 6-22 covers the big picture and the details of Army leadership.  Whether you are a Squad Leader or Commanding General, you should consider FM 6-22 a must read.  I highly recommend you get a copy for your leader’s library and refer it to it whenever you have a leadership question or issue.  It would also be a good reference for any OPD or NCODP Class you want to give.

Do you have any other things you would want to add to this post about FM 6-22? Do you have any questions about it? You can post them below. Thank you for visiting.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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6 thoughts on “Field Manual FM 6-22: Army Leadership”

  1. I honestly believe a manual such as this would be helpful in certain civilian jobs too. Is there ways civilians can obtain this manual and use it to develop a company manual? Would that be legal?

    There are many items the Army and other military branches have used that could be very helpful in business atmospheres. This is probably why so many ex-military do well in the business world.

    If you know where I could download a copy, I would greatly appreciate it.

  2. The Army is undergoing a period of tremendous change and FMs are no exception. When General Dempsey was the TRADOC Commander he was unhappy with the extensive list of FMs and directed TRADOC to significantly reduce the list of FM’s. This led to a change in doctrine and an attempt to get the list of FMs down to about 100 manuals. The Army has begun the transition and is now producing manuals called:
    • Army Doctrine Publications (ADPs), which are the 15 foundational manuals that capture the enduring principles inherent to land warfare in the 21st century

    • Army Doctrine Reference Publications (ADRPs) which will provide our Soldiers with more detailed information on each of the topics covered in the ADP

    • Field Manuals (FM) that codifies time-tested tactics and procedures and fully explains the most current ones used in the field

    • Army Technique Publications (ATPs) capture the rapidly changing techniques developed in the field and at training centers. These are on a MilWiki site and can be accessed and added to by anyone in the force, whether deployed or training at home station

    Personally was a fan of the Field Manual system. The downside to the new system is that a Soldier can no longer go to one manual to obtain the information about a given subject. For example FM 6.22 recently became ADP 6.22, ADRP 6.22, ATP 6.22, and ATTP 6.22. At the time of writing this post the ATTP or ATP 6.22 has been at the Army Publishing Directorate for months and still is not published. This causes a significant issue to the Soldier on the ground. For example: ADRP 6.22 contains a note at the bottom of the table of contents that states: This manual supersedes FM 6.22 except for appendix B. (meaning FM 6.22 appendix B “Counseling” is still current Army doctrine) ATTP 6.22 when published will replace Appendix B of FM 6.22. So here is my rub: the Soldier will still have to go to 3 different publications and 1 website to get information on Army Leadership!

    While I am all about technology and making information easier to access and understand I personally believe the unintended consequences of this new system has yet to be fully understood. In today’s world of digital technology it is far more important that Soldiers have information that is easy to access, easily digestible, and easy to find. I believe the vote on the effectiveness of ADPs, ADRPs, ATPs, and ATTPs system is still out

  3. What does the “Army Leadership Bible” suggest for minimizing stress in training and in combat? This must be so important to communicate, but it not so likely to get necessary attention, not only for and by the leaderships but also for and by the teams.

  4. Neil ODonnell

    The Army Leadership Field Manual is definitely comprehensive. The issue of a leader’s character certainly rings true from my experience. How a leader treats and interacts with subordinates goes a long way towards how orders are carried out. Subordinates will not be very enthusiastic to assist a leader who disrespects others. At that point, communication will likely break down and mission priorities will likely go unmet.

    Developing and maintaining a positive environment where everyone respects her/his colleagues is also vital.

    1. Treating others with respect is the Golden Rule for a reason. I’ve always believed that the way a senior person treats a subordinate is a true reflection of their character as a person. Most people will follow their boss’s orders regardless. But if they don’t respect the leader they won’t go the extra mile for him or her. Instead, they will do what they can to make their leader look bad, especially when they aren’t around. But leaders who treat their people with respect gain loyalty. Their people will go the extra mile to make them look good and help them succeed.

  5. Great breakdown. It’s extremely helpful to know exactly what will be covered in the book and I feel like this is a great way to summarize the points of the book. Extremely helpful and thank you for this.

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