Exploring the applications of U.S. Army leader development model in nonmilitary organizations: Implications for training



The United States Army’s leader development program offers new opportunities to examine how leaders are developed within the traditional workforce. Leader development is at the forefront of Army training and is coordinated through an institutional, operational, and self-development domain. Each domain contributes toward a holistic leader development program which prepares soldiers to be lifelong leaders. Veterans transitioning out of the military are often credited as possessing the leadership skills employers seek, though exploration of the process used to develop leadership attributes in soldiers has been minimal. Upon comparing the Army’s leader development program with other private sector leadership development training, similar goals were identified though the Army’s approach is distinguishable. This paper is an analysis of the U.S. Army’s leader development process and makes comparisons with leadership development in the traditional workplace. Three propositions are presented and discussed for leadership scholars and practitioners to consider. The authors also call for increased research and exploration of leader development in the military for transferability into the traditional workplace.

Author Biographies

Michael James Kirchner, Indiana University Purdue University-Fort Wayne

Assistant Professor-Organizational Leadership


Mesut Akdere, Purdue HRD Virtual Lab, Purdue University

Mesut Akdere is an Associate Professor of Human Resource Development in the Department of Technology Leadership & Innovation at Purdue University, West Lafayette. Currently, he is a research fellow at the Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment, and Research. As the director of the Purdue HRD Virtual Lab and Purdue Human Analytics Lab, Dr. Akdere’s research focuses on simulated training in augmented reality and virtual reality platforms, workforce development in STEM fields, human resource analytics in the age of big data, and leadership through training and organization development. He published in business, management, human resources, technology, training, organization development, and education journals. He teaches courses in human resource development, leadership, training, organization development, cross-cultural management, and strategic planning. Dr. Akdere is the faculty champion and coordinator of the Future Work & Learning Research Impact Area at Purdue Polytechnic Institute and he is serving on the editorial boards of several international journals including Human Resource Development Quarterly and Total Quality Management & Business Excellence.