Five Things Every Army Leader Should Own

I spent about 11 years as an Army Officer and 15+ years total in the military.  During that time, I learned that there are a few things every Army leader should own.  I’d like to talk about those things below.

  1. A Good Watch: I believe every military leader should have a good watch.  Please keep in mind I did not say expensive.  Let’s face it, you need to know what time it is.  You should have a nice watch that is good quality, affordable and reliable.  You need something you can wear in combat and in peace time.  This will keep you on time.  You should never wonder what time it is.
  2. A Journal: Some people might not think of this one, but I believe every Army leader should own their own journal.  This can be a simple notebook or formal journal.  You should write down your thoughts and ideas whenever they come to mind, and you should keep a record of what happens each day. Call it your memoir if you want, but a good journal is a very valuable resource and reference, especially as you get older and move up through the ranks.
  3. running shoes
    Five Things Every Army Leader Should Own

    A Good Pair of Running Shoes: As Soldiers we are expected to stay fit.  Part of staying fit means being an active runner.  One of the worst things you can do is buy a cheap pair of shoes.  If nothing else, don’t skimp in this area.  Visit a reputable shoe store and get a good pair of high-quality shoes that fit your feet properly.  You will be glad that you did.

  4. A Day Planner: Having a day planner is vital.  This lets you map out your entire year, write down major training events and plan your time wisely.  You should schedule work time and family time in your day planner.  You should refer to it daily and update it whenever you learn about something that has a specific date or deadline.
  5. A Smart Phone: No, I don’t have a Smart Phone yet.  But I will soon.  A good smart phone gives you immediate access to information.  Between the internet access and applications, you can have access to any information you need with the push of a few buttons.  You can also send text messages and emails when needed.

These are the five things I think every Army leader should own.  If you think I missed something from my list, please leave a comment to this post and share your thoughts. If you have any questions, you can ask those here too. Thank you.

5 thoughts on “Five Things Every Army Leader Should Own”

  1. A day planner is something I absolutely CAN NOT live without! It is essential for me to get what I need to done throughout the day. Every evening I sit down with my planner and plan out my next day, or week, or month. I think that one of the best things I incorporated into my planning time is the organization of it. As my life become busier and busier with writing assignments, business plans and my son, I found that prioritizing and color coordinating everything in my planner helped me out. With the colors I used highlighters: Green meant it was a family event, Yellow meant it was a job related event, Pink meant it was a personal event, and Blue meant it was either a meeting or important phone call I needed to make. So in my planner I would highlight according to these subjects and it helped me prioritize and find the things I needed to get done.

  2. Amy Skalicky

    I would recommend this list for leadership anywhere, military or not. From a journal to a good watch, these are all items anyone in a leadership role would be well-advised to have for the very reasons you cited. Running shoes, especially, for making time for exercise is a recommended stress management technique. I would add a reliable laptop and headphones to the list, only because military leadership is always on the go, and a laptop provides access to information, documentation, and resources that may be difficult to access on a phone. Training, music and books may also be accessed via laptop, hence the headphones, which is especially helpful when making good use of time if you are travelling or otherwise not in your office. I\’ve gotten a lot of work done sitting in airports. Accessing Kindle Cloud gives me all of my reading material from my Kindle. One piece of technology–awesome! The headphones are also helpful with your smartphone, which personally I use for audiobooks and music.

  3. A good watch is both classy and practical. The running shoes also deserve their spot on this list. If you’re going to be running a lot you need to figure out what style shoe gives you the best support. I agree, don’t skimp if you’re going to be running regularly. It’s worth the extra dollars to save the pain and shin splints.

    1. So true. I bought cheap running shoes once and regretted it dearly. Within a week I had severe shin splints. Needless to say, I threw away the shoes and got a new pair of New Balance running shoes.

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