The Future of the U.S. Military Rests on Innovative Leadership

An Army Captain advocates for a rethinking of the way the U.S. military trains and promotes its leaders. He vouches for flexible planning, adaptive learning, and a stronger meritocracy.

In a guest post over at Tom Ricks' National Defense blog at ForeignPolicy.com, Captain Justin J. Belford of the U.S. Army proposes a new step forward for how the military should prioritize leadership selection. Belford, an active duty company commander, advocates for a more innovative and adaptive brand of leaders and explains how an investment in better leadership is really an investment in the future of the U.S. military.


Belford, who writes with a soldierly concision and conviction, details his ideas at the outset of the piece:

"The idea of flexible planning that incorporates learning is an important concept, and is a break from the predictable doctrine of the past. But in order for it to work, today's military must identify talented leaders, properly incentivize them, and provide them with the resources they need to drive change. Additionally, I would argue that Western militaries must break from the established idea that time equals rank, and focus on promoting its leaders based on their talent and initiative."

What's interesting here is that Capt. Belford vouches for a similar change in pedagogy as folks like Dr. Madhav Chavan, whose focus is educating young children rather than soldiers. The common refrain is that institutions should strive to instill in their pupils the abilities to adapt, problem-solve, and learn from experience. With how technology has shifted operating procedures for industries ranging from charter schools to the U.S Army, the traditional manner of learning via memorization doesn't quite cut it. The modern world, whether it be in the classroom or on the battlefield, is far too dynamic to rely on the same old by-the-book training.

For more from Capt. Belford (his piece is well worth a read), check out the link below.

Read more at ForeignPolicy.com

Photo credit: Monkey Business Studios / Shutterstock

Technology & Innovation
  • 3.1 million individuals could lose their job to self-driving cars.
  • But A.I. is not a monolith: it makes a lot of mistakes.
  • To better understand how to navigate our economic future, we should pay attention to these mistakes.
Keep reading Show less

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

(VL.ru)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
Keep reading Show less

NYTimes exposé reveals how Facebook handled scandals

Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
  • It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
  • On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
Keep reading Show less