A systems approach to leadership and soldier health and discipline in the United States Army
Author(s)Sapol, Stephen J. (Stephen John)
System Design and Management Program.
MetadataShow full item record
The United States Army is entering a period of strategic reset after more than a decade of intense combat operations. One of the most critical areas of this reset is ensuring the health and discipline of the force remains intact. There are factors, both health and discipline, which drive high-risk behaviors by soldiers. Therefore it is critical to understand if the system is adequately structured in order adequately prepare leaders to not only ensure soldiers complete their work functions, but also maintain a healthy personal life. Leadership and solder welfare systems are the primary drivers of this research. The research explores how leaders ensure soldier well-being in a garrison environment and identifies some of the structural causes for the difficulties in achieving this. It attempts to holistically analyze both how the system is designed, but also its implementation and the properties which emerge from it. The research first outlines Army doctrine to establish the baseline for how the Army operates. Next, it identifies a series of policies and processes which relate directly to soldier welfare to identify the structure in which leaders operate. At the same time this develops the framework to identify how the system operates through a series of interviews with leaders at the company level in order identify the perspective of leaders at the company level and some of the emergent behaviors which evolve from the design of the system. In conclusion, this research determines that a multi-leveled approach must be taken. Senior leaders must ensure the system is designed to foster the development of leaders and provides flexibility to these leaders. Leaders at the company level must not only prioritize short-term operational goals, but also invest in people for the long-term viability of the Army.
Thesis: S.M. in Engineering and Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, 2013.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 118-121).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.; System Design and Management Program.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering Systems Division., System Design and Management Program.