Officers in the British Army need a huge range of skills. From understanding tactics to man-management skills, it’s all part of the job. But one of the most important skills for any Army officer is leadership.
Being able to lead and motivate soldiers, sometimes in potentially dangerous situations, is not something many people are born with.
As such there are a number of vital skills that officer cadets need to develop during training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS).
- Confidence: Officers must think quickly, and communicate clearly and confidently. It’s important that the soldiers under their command have complete trust in them.
- Improvisation: Even the best plans can go wrong. Officers must learn to think on their feet and remember to stay flexible.
- Teamwork: Soldiers are knowledgeable and have lots of experience, so officers must learn to ask them to contribute. Someone might just come up with an idea that no-one else has thought of.
- Belief: Officers must make decisions, and believe in them. They are likely to face some hard questions, so it is important that they understand the details. They must listen to others and be prepared to adapt their plan.
- Adaptability: Sometimes the best solution is overlooked at first. Good leaders know when they have made decisions that aren’t perfect and will alter their plans.
Camouflage (2014) How Officers Develop Leadership. Available from World Wide Web: http://army.mod.uk/camouflage/194.aspx. [Accessed: 12 January, 2014].