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Chapter 3


Leading soldiers is hard work, long hours, often dangerous, under grueling conditions - and tempers the steel of the Nation's resolve

Be - Know - Do
Intended and Unintended Consequences
Putting it Together

For more information on Direct Leadership see FM 6-22 (22-100) Army Leadership, Chapters 1-5.

3-1. You are a Noncommissioned Officer - a leader. The stripes you wear set you apart from other soldiers. Every soldier must know and do his job, but not every soldier is an NCO. An NCO leads - from the front. The Army must fight and win the Nation's wars. It cannot succeed without qualified, tough and dedicated NCOs. Your unit may be called upon to execute a wide range of different missions from supporting relief operations to peacekeeping to actual combat in a war. Across the full spectrum of conflict, the Army's success begins with you, the NCO.

Figure 3-1. The Army Leadership Framework

Figure 3-1. The Army Leadership Framework

Leadership is influencing people - by providing purpose, direction and motivation - while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization.

FM 6-22, Army Leadership

3-2. As a noncommissioned officer, you are the first line of Army leadership. Considering the Army as a whole, NCOs outnumber commissioned officers nearly three to one. NCOs directly supervise about 80 percent of the soldiers in combat divisions. You will spend more time with soldiers than your officers do. With this in mind, you must always lead by example. Earn the respect and confidence of your soldiers, as well as that of your officers. Respect and confidence don't come automatically with the stripes - you will have to work hard at earning them.

"Think about what it means to be a sergeant. It boils down to two things . you have to train soldiers and you have to lead soldiers."

SMA Robert E. Hall

3-3. Noncommissioned officers gain the respect and confidence of soldiers in two basic ways - by demonstrating technical and tactical proficiency and by caring for soldiers and their families. You have to care for your soldiers and still accomplish the mission. This is not as hard as it seems at first - one naturally leads to the other. Understand that caring for your soldiers does not mean giving them more time off or allowing them to execute tasks below standard because they are tired. It does mean training them to standard, not to time. It means ensuring they know their individual skills and making hard but correct decisions. It means helping them through problems - personal and professional - so they can fully concentrate on their training and duties and, above all, it means leading by example - doing all that you require your soldiers to do and treating soldiers with dignity and respect. All these actions create in your soldiers the determination to win and that determination is essential to accomplishing difficult missions.

"The American soldier is a proud one and he demands professional competence in his leaders. In battle, he wants to know that the job is going to be done right, with no unnecessary casualties. The noncommissioned officer wearing the chevron is supposed to be the best soldier in the platoon and he is supposed to know how to perform all the duties expected of him. The American soldier expects his sergeant to be able to teach him how to do his job. And he expects even more from his officers."

General of the Army Omar N. Bradley


3-4. Leaders are not born, they are molded - by training, practice and experience. There are many excellent books and manuals on leadership; however, Field Manual 6-22 (22-100), Army Leadership, is the Army's capstone publication on leadership. You should study FM 6-22 and apply what it says, particularly regarding direct leadership. Read and reread books by or about combat leaders. Their experiences will give you some insights on how to approach problems you face. Knowledge of military history is a good confidence builder.

"A man cannot lead without determination, without the will and the desire to lead. He cannot do it without studying, reading, observing, learning. He must apply himself to gain the goal- to develop the talent for military leadership.. Leaders are developed! They are guided by others; but they are made- largely self-made."

MSG Frank K. Nicolas

3-5. Observe other leaders in your unit, especially those who are successful. Learn from them by observing and asking questions. Study yourself too, learning from your own successes and failures. Everyone who wears the uniform of the US Army must be a WARRIOR, first and last. In today's operational environment, there are no front lines; there is no secure rear area. Every soldier must be prepared to attack or defend and win regardless of the conditions. That means conducting full spectrum operations including offense, defense, stability and support. Our Nation depends on the NCO to prepare soldiers to do so.


3-6. Noncommissioned officers lead by example. You must BE, KNOW and DO to be effective. However, there are some basics involved here: Character - Competence - Actions.


3-7. Character is an inner strength that helps you know what is right and what is wrong. It is what gives you the desire and fortitude to do what is right even in the toughest situations and it gives you the courage to keep doing what is right regardless of the consequences.

"The test of character is not 'hanging in' when you expect light at the end of the tunnel, but performance of duty and persistence of example when you know no light is coming."

ADM James B. Stockdale

3-8. Others see character in you by your behavior. What you do speaks louder than what you say - set the example. Understand Army values and live them. Develop leader attributes and teach these to your soldiers. This may or may not be easy, but it is vitally important to the success of the Army, your unit and your soldiers.

"The Army [depends] on competent people who have the strength of character to secure our vital national interests and the foresight to continue change to remain the world's best."

GEN John N. Abrams

3-9. One of the most obvious ways to demonstrate character is to be honest. Tell it like it is - not how you think someone wants to hear it. The Army and your soldiers want, need and deserve the truth. If you make a mistake, admit it; don't sacrifice your integrity. If something is wrong, you must be willing to say so, even to superior NCOs and officers. Do so in an objective, straightforward manner; present the facts. This often takes moral courage. What you have to say may not be easy or even welcomed, but your candor is necessary to develop and maintain trust. It is also necessary for soldiers to know whether they have met the standard and for leaders to know the true status of units. A mark of loyalty is a burning desire to help the unit and one's soldiers get better at their tasks. That demands honesty. Make it a habit to be candid - in battle, lives will depend on it.

"It has long seemed to me that the hard decisions are not the ones you make in the heat of battle. Far harder to make are those involved in speaking your mind about some hare-brained scheme which proposes to commit troops to action under conditions where failure seems almost certain and the only results will be the needless sacrifice of priceless lives."

GEN Matthew B. Ridgway


3-10. You need to know a great deal to properly lead soldiers. You must have a number of skills to train soldiers and to lead them in tough situations. Know how to talk to your soldiers and get them to talk. Be able to think and plan ahead and be able to visualize events before they occur. Know everything about your equipment and tactics and how to make decisions based on the information you have available.

Know Your Job

3-11. To be a good noncommissioned officer you must know your job exceptionally well. This means you must be proficient in the employment, care, cleaning and maintenance of vehicles, weapons and equipment assigned to your unit - technical skills. As Army Transformation progresses, you may receive new equipment, learn new doctrine, or undergo organizational changes. You will certainly have to absorb and pass on larger and larger quantities of information. Know all the tactics your unit uses in battle. Realize that in the contemporary operational environment, there are no secure areas - an enemy might attack a logistics site in the rear areas as readily as a frontline combat arms unit. That means being adaptive to the situation and responding appropriately.

3-12. Understand and conduct the day-to-day requirements of soldiering in the field and in garrison. Show your soldiers each day that you can do everything they do. If you're a really good NCO you'll be better at all those things than any of your soldiers. This is the first step in leading by example.

Know Fieldcraft

3-13. Being an expert in fieldcraft reduces the likelihood your soldiers will become casualties. The requirement to do one's job in a field environment is one of the differences between soldiering and most civilian occupations. Likewise, the requirement that Army leaders make sure their soldiers take care of themselves and provide them with the means to do so is unique. The Soldier's Manual of Common Tasks lists the individual skills all soldiers must master to operate effectively in the field. FM 3-21.75 (21-75), Combat Skills of the Soldier is another good source. Those skills include everything from how to stay healthy, to how to pitch a tent, to how to run a heater. Some MOSs require other skills, too.

"Fieldcraft, fieldcraft, fieldcraft. Training your soldiers to fight the enemy and not the elements will keep them focused and conserve their energy for warfighting."

GEN Eric K. Shinseki

3-14. You gain proficiency in fieldcraft through schooling, study and practice. Once learned, fieldcraft skills are not difficult to accomplish. But they are sometimes neglected during exercises, when everyone knows that the exercise will end at a specific time, sick and injured soldiers are always evacuated and the adversary isn't using real ammunition. During peacetime, it's up to you to enforce tactical discipline to make sure your soldiers practice the fieldcraft skills that will keep them from becoming casualties later. Soldiers need to be confident in their ability to take care of themselves and their equipment in the field to continue the mission.

Know Yourself

3-15. As a noncommissioned officer your job requires you to accomplish tasks with your soldiers and your equipment under the most difficult conditions: uncertainty, confusion, stress and fear of battle. In those challenging circumstances your courage and that of your soldiers will be tested to the limit. You can also expect your own fear and that of your soldiers to complicate getting things done in crisis situations - in battle, in military operations other than war, or in training. But be positive, especially with your soldiers and always exhibit the determination to prevail no matter what the odds or how desperate the situation may be.

"Display the WILL TO WIN by your actions, words, tone of voice, by your appearance and by the look in your eyes. Pay no attention to the noise, the smoke, the explosions, the screams of the wounded, the dead lying around you. That is all NORMAL in battle!"

LTG Harold G. Moore

3-16. Courage in battle doesn't mean an absence of fear. Fear is a natural reaction to combat and unknown situations, but courage is getting the job done despite the presence of fear. This is a very hard thing to do. This ability derives from many contributing factors, but one of the most important is self-confidence. The hard work you do to master required skills and train your soldiers becomes a conviction that you'll act correctly and properly even under stressful conditions. Know your own capabilities and believe in yourself and your training. Understand right now that courage - yours and your soldiers' - is not a substitute for proper training, working equipment or firepower. Putting rounds on target quickly and accurately is the best antidote to fear, but it requires well trained, disciplined soldiers to accomplish.

3-17. The ambiguous nature of the operational environment requires Army leaders who are self-aware and adaptive. Leaders with self-awareness understand their operational environment, can assess their own capabilities, determine their own strengths and weaknesses and actively learn to overcome their weaknesses. Adaptive leaders must first be self-aware; they must have the ability to recognize change in their operating environment, identify those changes and learn how to adapt to succeed in their new environment. Self-awareness and adaptability work together. A leader who fails to adapt cannot learn to accept change and modify behavior brought about by changes in the operational environment.

3-18. Today's operational environment demands more from Army leaders than ever before. The Army needs adaptive leaders-leaders that can successfully operate across the range of military operations. It needs adaptive leaders who can be home one day and, within hours, conduct military operations anywhere in the world. The Army needs adaptive leaders who can operate in all dimensions of the operational environment-from hand-to-hand combat to offensive information operations.

Know Your Soldiers

3-19. A key part of your job as a noncommissioned officer is to know your soldiers. It is essential that you know how your soldiers will behave in battle under stress and uncertainty. To do this you must know how well trained they are, how well they work together as team members and how they react to fear, uncertainty and stress. As a leader, you should demonstrate genuine concern for the well-being of your soldiers and for their personal and professional development, progress, problems, concerns and convictions. Know them. Know their goals and meet their families. This is not to coddle or cater to the soldiers but that you might, in a soldierly way, build a team of confident, well trained individual soldiers who operate as one and whose dedication to accomplishing the mission overrides any other concern.

"There is only one way for NCOs to get to know their soldiers and that is through constant communication and not putting up invisible walls that soldiers are afraid to pass. We must let our soldiers know that we are always there for them and they must know they can come to their leaders with any problem. Bottom line: NCOs must be user friendly."

CSM Mary E. Sutherland


3-20. Do means to take action.

"As an NCO, you have to make split-second decisions. When you're a combat oriented NCO, you don't have to stop and think - you're thinking all the time."

MSG (Ret.) Roy Benavidez

3-21. You make decisions every day. You rely on your judgment and experience to do so but you also have to consider the information you have available on any specific problem. While new technology and information systems provide larger amounts of information more quickly than ever, leaders must sift through all that information and ultimately make accurate assessments and timely decisions.

Troop Leading Procedures

3-22. The decision making tool for direct leaders is called The Troop Leading Procedures. These steps help you organize your efforts in planning and executing your mission. A copy for your leader book is in Appendix C.

a. STEP 1. Receive the Mission. This may be in the form of a warning order (WARNORD), an operation order (OPORD), or a fragmentary order (FRAGO). Analyze it using the factors of Mission, Enemy, Terrain, Troops, Time available and Civilian considerations (METT-TC).

(1) Use no more than one third of the available time for planning and issuing the operation order.

(2) Determine what are the specified tasks (you were told to accomplish), the essential tasks (must accomplish to succeed) and the implied tasks (necessary but not spelled out).

(3) Plan preparation activity backward from the time of execution.

b. STEP 2. Issue a Warning Order. Provide initial instructions to your soldiers in a WARNORD. Include all available information and update as often as necessary. Certain information must be in the warning order:

(1) The mission or nature of the operation.

(2) Participants in the operation.

(3) Time of the operation.

(4) Time and place for issuance of the operation order.

c. STEP 3. Make a Tentative Plan. Gather and consider key information for use in making a tentative plan. Update the information continuously and refine the plan as needed. Use this plan as the starting point for coordination, reconnaissance and movement instructions. Consider the factors of METT-TC:

(1) Mission. Review the mission to ensure you fully understand all tasks.

(2) Enemy. Consider the type, size, organization, tactics and equipment of the enemy. Identify the greatest threat to the mission and their greatest vulnerability.

(3) Terrain. Consider the effects of terrain and weather using observation, concealment, obstacles, key terrain and avenues of approach (OCOKA).

(4) Troops available. Consider the strength of subordinate units, the characteristics of weapon systems and the capabilities of attached elements when assigning tasks to subordinate units.

(5) Time available. Refine the allocation of time based on the tentative plan and any changes to the situation.

(6) Civilian considerations. Consider the impact of the local population or other civilians on operations.

d. STEP 4. Start Necessary Movement. Get the unit moving to where it needs to be as soon as possible.

e. STEP 5. Reconnoiter. If time allows, make a personal reconnaissance to verify your terrain analysis, adjust the plan, confirm the usability of routes and time any critical movements. Otherwise, make a map reconnaissance.

f. STEP 6. Complete the Plan. Complete the plan based on the reconnaissance and any changes in the situation. Review the plan to ensure it meets the commander's intent and requirements of the mission.

g. STEP 7. Issue the Complete Order. Platoon and smaller unit leaders normally issue oral operations orders. A format for the five paragraph field order is in Appendix C.

(1) To aid soldiers in understanding the concept for the mission, try to issue the order within sight of the objective or on the defensive terrain. When this is not possible, use a terrain model or sketch.

(2) Ensure that your soldiers understand the mission, the commander's intent, the concept of the operation and their assigned tasks. You might require soldiers to repeat all or part of the order or demonstrate on the model or sketch their understanding of the operation.

h. STEP 8. Supervise. Supervise preparation for combat by conducting rehearsals and inspections.

(1) Rehearsals. Use rehearsals to practice essential tasks, reveal weaknesses or problems in the plan and improve soldier understanding of the concept of the operation.

  • Rehearsals should include subordinate leaders briefing their planned actions in sequence.
  • Conduct rehearsals on terrain that resembles the actual ground and in similar light conditions.

(2) Inspections. Conduct pre-combat checks and inspections. Inspect-

  • Weapons, ammunition, uniforms and equipment.
  • Mission-essential equipment.
  • Soldier's understanding of the mission and their specific responsibilities.
  • Communications.
  • Rations and water.
  • Camouflage.
  • Deficiencies noted during earlier inspections.

3-23. In planning and preparing for missions you supervise the execution of tasks and insist on meeting the standard. You ensure your soldiers have what they need to do the job and make sure they take care of their equipment and themselves. This really means checking. You check your soldiers and subordinate leaders before, during and after operations; not to "micro-manage" them, but to get an accurate status of your soldiers and because their well-being is important to you.

The Five P's: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance


3-24. Well trained soldiers know what they are supposed to do, but under stress, their instincts might tell them to do something different. The tired, hungry, cold, wet, disoriented or scared soldier will more often do the wrong thing-stop moving, lie down, retreat-than the soldier not under that kind of stress. This is when you, the leader, must step in-when things are falling apart, when there seems to be no hope-and get the job done. A leader develops soldiers' pride in themselves and in the unit to get through the tough jobs.

"Pride gets you up the hill."

CSM Clifford West


3-25. You counsel and mentor your soldiers to develop their leadership abilities and soldier skills to their full potential. You spend time and effort to build the team you lead and improve unit cohesion and foster an ethical climate. You continue to learn and adapt to a changing world and Army.


3-26. Mentorship is an informal, personal and proactive commitment to foster growth in soldiers based on mutual trust and respect. The relationship is sustained through active listening, caring and sharing of professional knowledge and life experiences for the betterment of the individual and the Army. It is a one-on-one way of helping a subordinate develop into a better leader. Mentorship is more than fulfilling a soldier's responsibilities as a leader. It is helping our great NCOs get even better. After all, today's corporals and sergeants will be the first sergeants and sergeants major of the Objective Force.

3-27. Mentorship begins with setting the right example by showing soldiers a mature example of values, attributes and skills in action. Setting the example encourages them to develop their own character and leader attributes accordingly. Seeking advice or assistance from a mentor is not a sign of weakness, but is evidence of a desire to become a better soldier and leader (See Chapter 5 for more on mentorship).

"A mentor should be someone you respect. It should be someone you feel you can go to and admit you've done something wrong and expect them to give you good recommendations on how to fix it. If you've picked your mentor, you're not going to be thin-skinned when they help you see your own shortcomings. You're going to them to get help; that's the whole reason for having a mentor. When criticism is coming from someone you look up to and respect, you're going to be more receptive to your mentor's suggestions and advice on how to fix the problem."

CSM Anthony Williams


3-28. To be an Army leader, you also must be a teacher. You give your soldiers knowledge and skills all the time: in formal classroom settings and through your example. To be an effective teacher, you must first be professionally competent then create conditions in which your soldiers can learn. However, teaching is not easy. Just because you can pull the engine out of a tank doesn't mean you will be any good at teaching other people to do it. Good teaching techniques and methods may not correspond with how good you are on the job; you must know both the skills related to the subject and another set of teaching skills.

3-29. You must also be able to train your soldiers to high levels of proficiency in their individual and team skills. You are the coach; your soldiers are the team; success in battle is the payoff. Think ahead to the day one of your soldiers or subordinate leaders has to replace you. That is the way combat is; soldiers at all levels must pick up, carry on and get the mission done as their leaders become casualties. Make sure your soldiers are ready if you die in battle - one of them has to lead the others or they could all be casualties and the unit will fail in its mission.

Build the team

3-30. The Army is a team. Each of its organizations and units are themselves teams making up the Army. You build teamwork and unit proficiency to prepare for the day when your unit will have to fight. It's important to realize that the national cause, the purpose of the mission and other larger issues probably won't be evident from the battlefield. It's therefore equally important to know that soldiers will perform their duties for the other people in their squad, section or team. Your job as an NCO is to bring each member into the team because you may someday ask that person for extraordinary effort.

3-31. Teambuilding starts with your competence as a leader. Training together builds collective competence and trust is a product of that competence. Soldiers learn to trust their leaders if the leaders know how to do their jobs and act consistently - if they say what they mean and mean what they say - and that trust builds confidence. Continued training to standard makes your soldiers confident in themselves and - this is key - confident in each other because they know they can depend on each other.

"You must give [soldiers] reasons to have confidence and pride in themselves, in their leaders and in their units. Only then will you have loyalty."

SMA George W. Dunaway

3-32. Leaders and soldiers all have contributions in teambuilding. Figure 3-2 lists actions you must do to pull a team together, get it going in the right direction and keep it moving. And that list only hints at the work that lies ahead as you get your team to work together. Teambuilding also occurs in athletics, social activities and unit functions like a Dining-In or Dining-Out. Ultimately, each of your soldiers must know that their contribution is important and valued. They must know that you'll train them and listen to their concerns. They don't want you to let them get away with substandard performance. So constantly observe, counsel, develop and listen; you must be every bit the team player you want your soldiers to be - and more.


Figure 3-2. The Teambuilding Stages

Figure 3-2. The Teambuilding Stages

NCO Recognition

NCOs who demonstrate the highest qualities of leadership, professionalism and regard for the welfare of their soldiers may be recognized in unit and MACOM NCO of the Month, Quarter or Year competitions or by induction into elite organizations - the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club and the Sergeant Morales Club. This is a privilege earned by a few exceptional noncommissioned officers. Winners of such boards or members of these clubs exemplify leadership characterized by personal concern for the needs, training, development and welfare of soldiers and concern for soldiers' families.

Those NCOs selected by these boards or inducted into these clubs are not 'punching tickets'. Rather, it is recognition of outstanding NCOs. These NCOs have contributed significantly to the development of a professional NCO Corps and a combat ready Army.


3-33. If leadership is the lifeblood of the Army then discipline is its heart. Discipline isn't just responding to orders or imposing punishment for infractions but is something leaders and soldiers build together. It is the desire to do what is right even if it is difficult or dangerous. It doesn't matter if the 'boss' isn't watching; the task will be done; and done properly. It is the desire to accomplish the task well, not because of fear of punishment, but because of PRIDE in one's unit and oneself. Discipline means putting the task of the unit - the team - ahead of personal desires.

"Our troops are capable of the best discipline. If they lack it, leadership is faulty."

GEN Dwight D. Eisenhower, quoting LTG Leslie J. McNair in 1941

3-34. Discipline in the Army is important because of the stakes involved. In civilian life, a lack of discipline may cause some discomfort or, at worst, get one in trouble with the law. In the Army, however, poor discipline could result in the loss of soldiers' lives. That is too high a price to pay.

The discipline on which a successful Army must be built is a kind that will endure when every semblance of authority has vanished. When the leaders have fallen.... When the only power that remains is the strong and unconquered spirit of the team.

The Old Sergeant's Conferences, 1930

3-35. Discipline in the Army is one of the most basic elements of warfighting. Its purpose is to make soldiers so well trained that they (and you) will carry out orders quickly and intelligently even under the most difficult conditions. Insistence on doing things properly adds and enhances military discipline. Ensuring your soldiers wear their uniforms properly, march well or repeat tasks until they do them correctly are part of military discipline. This is not harassment or nit picking. Proper and prompt execution of orders will save lives in combat. Don't walk by a deficiency - do something about it. Know the rules of engagement and ensure your soldiers know them.

Men like to serve in well-disciplined units; it is a guarantee of an increased chance of survival...

TGGS Special Text No. 1, Leadership for the Company Officer (1949)


3-36. Discipline in the little things - saluting, police call and physical training - leads to discipline in the big things: advancing under fire, refusing an illegal order and moving a wounded soldier to safety. That is why you must insist on training to standard. It starts with self-discipline but grows with pride in the unit and confidence in the leader's and other soldiers' abilities. A disciplined unit is made up of soldiers who trust each other and know they can accomplish any mission they are given. A disciplined unit is made up of soldiers who will not let each other down nor even consider failure.

C Company 3-504th PIR at Renacer Prison

C Company, 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry was given the mission to seize Renacer Prison and secure the prisoners. The plan called for a simultaneous air assault and amphibious landing at H-Hour. At 0100, 2 Helicopters with 11 paratroopers each landed in the cramped prison yard. The troopers off-loaded and began to search and secure the two major buildings within the fenced enclosure.

SGT Schleben of C Company and his team moved into the dark headquarters building and were met with a cloud of CS gas. They donned protective masks and reentered to press the attack. SGT Schleben spotted a blood trail and followed it outside where he was met by two Panamanian Defense Force (PDF) soldiers. As they swung their weapons towards him, Schleben fired first and killed both. At the same time, SGT Wilson and his squad were clearing the final buildings. Hearing a woman cry, "Don't shoot!" the squad held fire and discovered a PDF lieutenant, his wife and child inside. None were injured. At 0600 the prison was secured with all prisoners accounted for and unharmed. Five PDF were killed and 22 captured while only four US soldiers were wounded.

3-37. You and your soldiers will receive varied missions in varied environments and you will have to adapt to the environment while training your soldiers to perform many different tasks. Infantry could be supporting relief operations after a natural disaster or a Quartermaster unit could be defending its perimeter against a terrorist attack. But because of the speed that information travels now and in the future, you and your soldiers can have an impact far beyond your actual area of operations. Remember this - success or failure of an operation could be determined by one sentry, patrol leader, truck driver, or gunner. And that soldier could be one of yours.

"Discipline is based on pride in the profession of arms, on meticulous attention to details and on mutual respect and confidence. Discipline must be a habit so ingrained that it is stronger than the excitement of battle or the fear of death."

GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

3-38. Discipline results in accomplishing all tasks well, even the routine, simple ones.

The Deployment

An infantry battalion had convoyed to an assembly area in preparation to be airlifted. The Air Force crew had difficulty getting the S-1 section's vehicles - two HMMWVs with a water buffalo between them - loaded and properly secured on the C-130. When the crews finished loading and securing the vehicles and cargo, they let the passengers board.

"There were 10 of us and there wasn't much room," says the NCOIC. "I warned my guys, 'don't sit around these vehicles; I don't trust them.' I had a clerk move from between the water buffalo and the rear HMMWV. As the aircraft started to taxi, I woke another soldier who was lying in the rear of the forward HMMWV with his legs hanging out the rear of the truck and had him move his legs inside the vehicle."

Just as the C-130 lifted off the ground, the water buffalo broke loose, rolled back and slammed into the rear HMMWV, breaking its chains and causing both to slam into the rear ramp of the aircraft. The aircrew quickly alerted the flight crew. The pilot immediately set the aircraft back down and braked hard. Both loose vehicles rolled forward, slamming into the truck in the front of the cargo bay.

"There was no serious damage to the vehicles," said the NCOIC, "but I was glad that our soldiers had not been between the trucks or trailers."


3-39. The actions you take as a leader will most likely have unintended as well as intended consequences. Think through what you expect to happen as a result of a decision. Some decisions set off a chain of events; as far as possible, anticipate the effects of your decisions. Even small unit leaders' actions may have effects well beyond what they expect.

3-40. Intended consequences are those results of a leader's decisions and actions the leader anticipated. For example, a convoy has come to a bridge and the convoy commander, concerned about the weight capacity of the bridge, orders his convoy across one vehicle at a time. The intended consequence is for all vehicles to cross safely without damage to the bridge.

3-41. Unintended consequences are unanticipated results of a leader's decisions and actions. For example, if a convoy is lined up in front of the bridge waiting for each vehicle to cross, an intended consequence (because you could foresee it) is that the civilian traffic on the road gets backed up. An unintended (and unforeseen) consequence is that some civilian drivers begin passing the convoy in an unsafe manner.

3-42. All leaders' decisions and actions result in consequences, both intended and unintended. So as a leader you must think through decisions and then do your duty. Try to foresee as far as possible what will result from actions and decisions you take. The leader of a small unit can and often does have an effect on much bigger events.

"In today's operational environment, tactical actions by lieutenants, sergeants, corporals and their commanders can have strategic consequences with lasting impact on national policy."

LTG William M. Steele


3-43. The Army leadership framework (Figure 3-1) is the Army's common basis for thinking about leadership. There is a lot to think about, but the framework gives you the big picture and helps put your job, your people and your organization in perspective. The values, attributes, skills and actions that support BE, KNOW and DO each contain components and all are interrelated; none stands alone. For more information on how it fits together and the pieces that comprise the Framework see FM 6-22 (22-100), chapters 1-5. Its pieces work in combination to produce something more than the sum of the parts. BE the leader of character: live Army values and demonstrate leader attributes. Study and practice so that you have the skills to KNOW your job. Then act, DO what's right to train and care for your soldiers while accomplishing the mission.

"One of the things that makes our Army great is that we train and plan for all of our soldiers to be leaders. When the time comes, whether at peace or at war, the American soldier has and will rise to the occasion. Over the years we have seen many changes in our Army - vehicles, weapon systems, uniforms and organizations. However, one thing has not changed- the responsibility entrusted to US Army noncommissioned officers to lead, train, take care of and serve as role models for our soldiers. The greatest privilege is the honor of leading America's finest men and women both in war and peace."

SMA Julius W. Gates

3-44. Leadership in combat is your primary and most important challenge. It requires you to develop in yourself and your soldiers the ability and the will to win - mental toughness. Check your soldiers' mental toughness. An example of a gut check of mental toughness is taking the formation past the barracks at the end of a four mile run. Army values contribute to a core of motivation and will. Without such motivation and will, your soldiers may die unnecessarily. You are leading a part of the force that will fight and win the Nation's wars and serves the common defense of the United States. In the years ahead, you will be called upon for a variety of missions under extreme conditions. In some cases you'll be doing things you've never done before. But you can and will succeed.


As a noncommissioned officer, you have been chosen to be a leader; be a good one. Good leadership throughout the Army is the glue that holds units together. Training, practice and experience build good leaders. Be proud you are a leader; strive to be one of the best!

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