Army Attributes

Persuasive essay on why character is the most important attribute of a NCO.

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23. Leadership attributes are characteristics internal to a leader. Character is the

essence of who a person is, what a person believes, how a person acts. The

internalization of Army Values is one type of character attribute. Empathy is

identifying and understanding what others think, feel and believe. Leaders of character

who embrace the Army leader attributes and competencies will be authentic, positive

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leaders. While character relates to the internal identity of the leader, presence

attributes relate how others see the leader and intellect relates to what abilities and

knowledge the leader possesses to think and interact with others.

24. Leadership competencies are groups of related actions that the Army expects

leaders to do—lead, develop and achieve. Core competencies are those groups of

actions universal to leaders, across cohorts and throughout organizations.


25. Attributes shape how an individual behaves and learns in their environment. The

leader attributes are character, presence and intellect. These attributes capture the

values and identity of the leader (character); the leader’s outward appearance,

demeanor, actions and words (presence); and the mental and social faculties the leader

applies in the act of leading (intellect). Attributes affect the actions that leaders

perform. Good character, solid presence and keen intellect enable the core leader

competencies to be performed with greater effect.


26. Leadership is affected by a person’s character and identity. Integrity is a key mark

of a leader’s character. It means doing what is right, legally and morally. The

considerations required in leader choices are seldom obvious as wholly ethical or

unethical. The Soldier’s Rules, which codify the law of war, outline ethical and lawful

conduct in operations and are useful for everyday conduct (see AR 350-1). Leaders

who unwaveringly adhere to applicable laws, regulations, and unit standards build

credibility with their subordinates and enhance trust from the American people they


27. Leaders of integrity adhere to the values that are part of their personal identity and

set a standard for their followers to emulate. Identity is one’s self-concept, how one

defines him or herself. Leaders who are effective with followers identify with the role

and expectations of a leader; they willingly take responsibilities typical of a leader and

perform the actions of a leader. Leaders who are unsure of themselves may not have a

strong idea of their identity.


28. The impression a leader makes on others contributes to success in getting people

to follow. This impression is the sum of a leader’s outward appearance, demeanor,

actions and words and the inward character and intellect of the leader. Presence entails

the projection of military and professional bearing, holistic fitness, confidence and

resilience. Strong presence is important as a touchstone for subordinates, especially

under duress. A leader who does not share the same risks could easily make a decision

that could prove unworkable given the psychological state of Soldiers and Civilians

affected by stress.

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29. The leader’s intellect affects how well a leader thinks about problems, creates

solutions, makes decisions and leads others. People differ in intellectual strengths and

ways of thinking. There is no one right way to think. Each leader needs to be selfaware

of strengths and limitations and apply them accordingly. Being mentally agile

helps leaders address changes and adapt to the situation and the dynamics of

operations. Critical and innovative thought are abilities that enable the leader to be

adaptive. Sound judgment enables the best decision for the situation at hand. It is a key

attribute of the transformation of knowledge into understanding and quality execution.