Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 94

In a different example, the period of transition at the conclusion of the Vietnam War was more complex because of the suddenly increased pace of technological change due to the advent of computers, military culture shock due to a transition from a draft army to the all-volunteer Army, and pervasive negative views of the armed forces in general held by many in the civilian society. Though the domestic environment and internal military culture are very different than today, studies on leadership from the Vietnam era nevertheless remain pertinent to the discussion of the ongoing changes in the current Army. Sociologist Dr. Morris Janowitz conducted extensive studies of the military before and during the Vietnam War and published several books on the military in transition. His analysis and findings are as relevant today as when first published. One of his works, titled The Professional Soldier, presented a timeless characterization of the military professional. Janowitz conducted his research amid concerns that the rapid advancement of technology, to include the introduction of nuclear weapons during World War II, would deplete what Janowitz categorized as the “fighter spirit.” Admitting that this spirit was difficult to define, he offered that “it is based on a psychological motive, which drives a man to seek success in combat, regardless of his personal safety.”12 This definition reflects the intent of the Army’s current formulation of its warrior ethos. Janowitz studied the warrior (fighter) spirit in combat and concluded that “under these conditions [combat] authority is based less on formal rank and legal authority and more on personal leadership and the ability to create primary group solidarity and small unit effectiveness.”13 His studies also concluded that different leadership characteristics exist, and that increasing technology would transform military leadership toward management and away from the heroic, inspirational leader that united units in combat.14 Of special note, he observed that the application of managerial leadership, necessary to deal with rapid technological change, threatened to decrease the warrior spirit and carry the Army away from the values that historically had won the nation’s wars. Comparing leadership styles, he observes that a positive characteristic associated with managerial leaders, besides a facility for effectively introducing 92 technological change, is the ability to innovate common practices to increase effectiveness and efficiency. In contrast, “the heroic leader is a perpetuation of the warrior type, the mounted officer who embodies the martial spirit and the theme of personal valor.”15 The downside to heroic leadership, according to Janowitz, is a reliance on traditionalism that forges ahead in face of the enemy without embracing technological innovation. The truth of the matter is that the Army needs both kinds of leaders to succeed. The reemergence of the warrior spirit in Iraq and Afghanistan would not have occurred without the presence of heroic leadership, but the presence of military managers maintained the fighting force by forcing technological change that ultimately decreased stress on the soldier. From the improvement of basic Army system processes, through networked communications to the introduction of vehicles that better survive an explosive blast, the managerial leader enables the heroic leader the opportunity to better lead soldiers in direct combat with the enemy. Not only does the Army require both kinds of leaders, but the leaders who can exercise both managerial and heroic leadership have the capacity to maintain the warrior spirit at the conclusion of combat operations. Retired Army Lt. Gen. Walter F. Ulmer Jr. 6