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Military Issues sample essay

My interpretation of ” Military Leadership” before I was enrolled into SF0002 was to conveniently associate the word “Leadership” with “Leader” as it is how majority of us (superiors and peers) interpret it to be and I do not know the definition of “Military and Non-military Leadership”. After going through just lesson one of SF0002, to my astonishment, I realized that the wrong definition of “Military Leadership” have became a gospel truth to most of us. The first insight that I have gained from SF0002 is, that Leadership is not equivalent to a Leader. With the aid of the Leadership concept, I’ve identified that Leadership is not about me or my superiors; it is about a process involving my ability to influence my subordinates to accomplish missions and achieve outcome in various tasks/projects with a common purpose. In comparison, both Military and Non-military Leadership similarly defines leadership as a process to influence. However, to differentiate them, military leadership uniquely employs the use of doctrinal methods to explain leadership in a military context.

In Singapore, it is identified as the “Leadership 24/7 framework”. To translate the framework into a personal context, I must influence my peers and commanders to understand the SAF’s Mission and Purpose, our operating environment (airspace constraints and concerns) and achieve Mission success, be it high level events (NDP, international conferences etc.) or daily operations (routine controlling). Having said that, I must first align my values to the RSAF core values, sharpen my leadership competencies. With knowledge, charisma and determination, I will be able to command respect and influence those around me to work towards a common objective. I am currently a Cardinal Officer in my unit. Two of my primary objectives are to organize cohesions and team building programmes. The Cardinal team’s interpretation of Cohesion is similar to Team Building. After going through SF0002, I realized that the Cardinal team is heading towards a wrong direction.

When tasked to organize a team building programme, we will associate it with team bonding and unity. The second insight which I have gained from SF0002 is the differences between Cohesion and Team Building. Cohesion involves what the my team is working on, such as building bonds and uniting people. However, Cardinal is all about having fun and getting together to know each other better. Team Building differs greatly from Cohesion. There are altogether 2 dimensions and a team outcome in the military team building framework.

The “task related dimension” develops the team’s ability, to understanding the individual roles and functionalities of the team as well as formulating plans and strategies to achieve common objectives. The “teamwork dimension” develops the team’s relationship and establishing rules to govern the team’s behavior and conduct. Team outcome defines the team’s vision and goals, which can be tangible or intangible. Viewing the context of the military team building framework, it makes understanding team building more comprehensive and I’m able to share with my superiors and peers on how to organize a team building programme more effectively.

Judging from “The Five Factor Model of personality”, under “Correlation with Leadership criteria” Extraversion and Conscientiousness factors predicts leadership emergence well, Agreeableness and Emotional Stability however are leaning towards Leadership Effectiveness and neutral for Openness. In my case, I score an average for Extraversion and low for Conscientiousness. With regard to Extraversion, I am very sociable and assertive when it comes to peers whom I am close to and I tend to be more reserved and quiet during the initial “get to know” phrase. Likewise for Openness, I will only open up to close friends and never to strangers. Therefore, my score for Openness is slightly low. As for Conscientiousness, I do not agree with my score because my superiors and peers think of me as a hardworking and dependable person. However, I do agree that I am not a very organized person as I find it challenging to juggle my work.

I believe that my score should be somewhere around average. My score for Emotional Stability is very low, I can agree with that as I tend to feel very nervous, lack of confidence and I get depressed very easily. I believe it’s because of my desire to be a perfectionist therefore I tend to put all the blame on myself when certain things does not go my way (attain only silver for IPPT etc.). As for Agreeableness, I scored an average. I am a caring and cooperative person in general. However, I tend to disagree a lot with my peers and superiors’ ideas and way of handling situations because I always feel that there has to be a better way out. This constant need for a “better way out” coincides with my desire to be a perfectionist under Emotional Stability. Leadership emergence defines that the emergence of a leader is being decided by others purely based on his performance; typically temporary and lack of concrete facts. Leadership Effectiveness defines the performance of a leader in influencing his peers and soldiers to work towards a common goal. I believe my Leadership potential is leaning more towards Leadership Effectiveness.

It is hard for someone to determine my personal traits initially, but in a long run, my demonstration of concern and determination will inspire and motivate them to work towards a common goal of improving the organization. Leadership behavioral skills revolves around Task, Relation and Change (TRC) Behaviors. Task behavior is short term and focused; those who relies heavily on resources (people) and technologies to achieve high productivity. Relations behaviors rely on a person’s ability to establish strong bonds with their peers and inspire commitment to work towards a common goal. Change behaviors; those who aims to develop and improve the organization. TRC analysis provides a comprehensive guide to define a leader’s behavior. 14 behavioral skills organized into 5 main competencies in the “SAF Leadership Competencies Framework (LCM)” develops a leader’s ability to influence, think critically and creatively in a stressful environment, make decisions effectively and execute them efficiently, develop junior leaders, teams and improve organization. Most importantly, a leader must first master the “Self meta-competency” in order to develop the other 4 competencies because it develops one’s will and determination to learn.

Task behavior can be related to Mission and Conceptual Thinking Competencies. A leader must possess the ability to plan and make critically decisions, and display ethical reasoning to convince people instantly in order to develop a high level of efficiency. Likewise, Relation behavior can be related to Social and Self (Meta) competencies. A Leader must first self-manage and have a high level of self-awareness in order to be able to sensitively communicate with their followers at their level, inspiring the followers’ commitment and cooperation to develop a common goal. Finally, Change behavior can be related to Developmental competency. A leader must encourage the people and team to develop innovative and creative thinking, with the common intent to aim to develop and improving the organization.

After going through SF0002, it definitely enhanced my knowledge on Leadership. I now perceive Leadership in terms of doctrines and academics. Academically, Leadership is a process rather than solely about the leader or someone who holds a management or executive position. Leadership is a process whereby a leader is highly adaptable, in whatever context assigned to him, is able to influence his followers to achieve outcomes and purpose of the context. Doctrinally, Leadership is about understanding the context and development of oneself. To further elaborate on self-development, a SAF Leaders must align their personal values with the SAF core values, have a good understanding on individual competencies and style of leading, and must be self-aware and manage oneself accordingly. SAF leaders must also be able to influence his/her followers to understand the SAF’s Mission and Purpose, introduce the type of environment we are operating in and the desired outcomes or goal we must achieve.

Thus far, majority of our tasks are peacetime operations. It’s easier to lead and influence in peacetime, where there is minimal stress and lives are not directly at risk. It gives a leader more time to make decisions and think. Leadership is important in the SAF because we are a military organization, and someday, we might be activated to go to war. All of us, Leaders, will be foreign as of how to lead our soldiers on the battle field. In a war, what seems to be the most important to most people out there is the equipment, power and size of combat force. However, many neglect the most “essential tool” which is Leadership! Leadership inspires a leader’s commitment to lead and influence the soldiers by providing them with a clear direction and purpose towards their goals or objectives through determination and perseverance which are the main sources of victory.

Before attending SF0002, my purpose as a military leader in the SAF is about helping soldiers to understand why they ought to serve the Nation. In turn, helping them to fully utilize the duration of their liability as an National Service Freshmen (NSF). After attending SF0002, my purpose as a military leader in the SAF is to assume responsibility of my soldiers’ training, morale, discipline and fighting spirit. This involves maintaining/upgrading their skills and proficiency level therefore, developing a high state of operational readiness. My purpose is also to develop a good relationships with my soldiers and the team, so as to ensure that they are committed and determined to achieve a common goal; be it completing a task or securing mission objectives.

1. For me, a significant insight from SF0002 is, Military Leadership is not equivalent to a Leader. 2. For me, a significant insight from SF0002 is, the differences between Cohesion and Team Building. 1. Lesson 1 entitled: The Science and Practice of Military Leadership. 2. Lesson 7 entitled: Science and Practice of Leading Military Teams.

Leadership means to lead, excel and overcome. Firstly, in order to lead effectively, I must gain the repect of my men. With that, can I exercise command and control, effectively and efficiently. Without leadership, a leader will lead with the power of the rank. Men under me will follow orders unwillingly and blindly, instead of understanding the rationale behind why orders are delivered so as to execute them more efficiently. My purpose as a military leader is to ensure the welfare and safety of my men during peacetime training and ensure that I lead them by example. Military leadership matters in the SAF because there will always be men enlisting and recruited into the force, these people need a leader to guide them through their career or 2 years of their National Service liability. Without a leader with leadership qualities, men will not realise the importance of serving the force, they do not have a goal or a clear vision. In general, as leaders, we should try our very best to align our men’s values with the SAF core values. It is also my duty to ensure they have a meaningful and purposeful time with the SAF.

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