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                  Servant Leadership in Basic Combat Training
 CPT Wendy Almengor
Fort Jackson is the largest training center
in the Army, with over 45,000 volunteer civilians entering yearly, hoping to become
part of the Army team. With such a vast number of Trainees transforming into the Army’s newest Soldiers, leaders within the installation must strive to be the best teachers, coaches, and mentors.
The installation mission states that Fort Jackson is “consistently recognized for excellence.” On an installation that is known for having the largest throughput of Trainees, this excellence is partly due to the professionalism and discipline of those working on the installation.
I have often heard and even used the phrase, “would I like to lead the Soldiers that I trained?” As a commander, I have asked myself the opposite, “am I the leader these new Soldiers would want to work for?” Leaders can impact a unit, and within Basic Combat Training (BCT), these impacts shape a new Soldier’s belief about the military.
The Army defines leadership as “the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the mission and improve the organization.” Leaders influence their subordinates using purpose, direction, and motivation. The Leadership Requirements Model from FM 6-22 further breaks down the essential components that center on what a leader is and does.
STYLES OF LEADERSHIP
Five leadership styles are found within the Army: transactional, transformational, servant, autocratic, and followership.
Transactional leadership focuses on results, rewards, and penalties. Goals are identified by leaders who track a subordinate’s performance and motivate subordinates through rewards. The leadership style is good for immediate action yet limits a person’s creativity and initiative.
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