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

Michael James Kirchner, Mesut Akdere



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.

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JMSS is a publication of the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

JMSS gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.