1. Leadership is based on knowledge of men.

  2. Man is the fundamental instrument in war; other instruments may change but he remains relatively constant. Unless his behavior and elemental attributes are understood, gross mistakes will be made in planning operations and in troop leading.

    In the training of the individual soldier, the essential considerations are to integrate individuals into a group and to establish for that group a high standard of military conduct and performance of duty without destroying the initiative of the individual.

  3. War places a severe test on the physical endurance and moral stamina of the individual soldier. To perform his duties efficiently, he must not only be well equipped and technically trained but he must also be physically qualified to endure the hardships of field service and be constantly fortified by discipline based on high ideals of military conduct. Strong men, inculcated with a proper sense of duty, a conscious pride in their unit, and a feeling of mutual obligation to their comrades in the group, can dominate the demoralizing influences of battle far better than those imbued only with fear of punishment or disgrace.

  4. In spite of the advances in technology, the worth of the individual man is still decisive. The open order of combat accentuates his importance. Every individual must be trained to exploit a situation with energy and boldness and must be imbued with the idea that success will depend upon his initiative and action.

  5. The dispersion of troops in battle caused by the influence of modern weapons makes control more difficult. Cohesion within a unit is promoted by good leadership, discipline, pride in the accomplishments and reputation of the unit, and mutual confidence and comradeship among its members.


  1. Leading troops in combat, regardless of the echelon of command, calls for cool and thoughtful leaders with a strong feeling of the great responsibility imposed upon them. They must be resolute and self-reliant in their decisions, energetic and insistent in execution, and unperturbed by the fluctuations of combat.

  2. Troops are strongly influenced by the example and conduct of their leaders. A leader must have superior knowledge, will power, self-confidence, initiative, and disregard of self. Any show of fear or unwillingness to share danger is fatal to leadership. On the other hand, a bold and determined leader will carry his troops with him no matter how difficult the enterprise. Mutual confidence between the leader and his men is the surest basis of discipline. To gain this confidence, the leader must find the way to the hearts of his men. This he will do by acquiring an understanding of their thoughts and feelings, and by showing a constant concern for their comfort and welfare.

  3. A good commander avoids subjecting his troops to useless hardships; he guards against dissipating their combat strength in inconsequential actions or harassing them through faulty staff management. He keeps in close touch with all subordinate units by means of personal visits and observation. It is essential that he know from personal contact the mental, moral, and physical state of his troops, the conditions with which they are confronted, their accomplishments, their desires, and their needs.

  4. The commander should promptly extend recognition for services well done, lend help where help is needed, and give encouragement in adversity. Considerate to those whom he commands, he must be faithful and loyal to those who command him. A commander must live with his troops and share their dangers and privations as well as their joys and sorrows. By personal observation and experience he will then be able to judge their needs and combat value. A commander who unnecessarily taxes the endurance of his troops will only penalize himself. The proper expenditure of combat strength is in proportion to the objective to be attained. When necessary to the execution of the mission, the commander requires and receives from his unit the complete measure of sacrifice.


  1. A spirit of unselfish cooperation with their fellows is to be fostered among officers and men. The strong and the capable must encourage and lead the weak and less experienced. On such a foundation, a feeling of true comradeship will become firmly established and the full combat value of the troops will be made available to the higher commander.

  2. The combat value of a unit is determined in great measure by the soldierly qualities of its leaders and members and its will to fight. Outward marks of this combat value will be found in the set-up and appearance of the men, in the condition, care, and maintenance of the weapons and equipment, and in the readiness of the unit for action. Superior combat value will offset numerical inferiority. Superior leadership combined with superior combat value of troops constitutes a reliable basis for success in battle.

  3. A poorly trained unit is likely to fail in a critical moment due to demoralizing impressions caused by unexpected events in combat. This is particularly true in the first engagements of a unit. Therefore, training and discipline are of great importance. Every leader must take energetic action against indiscipline, panic, pillage, and other disruptive influences. Discipline is the main cohesive force that binds the members of a unit.

  4. A wise and capable commander will see that the men assigned to the component groups of his unit are compatible and that the composition of the groups is changed as little as possible. He will provide each group with a leader in whom its members have confidence. He will so regulate the interior administration of the unit that all groups perform the same amount of work and enjoy the same amount of leisure. He will see that demonstrated efficiency is promptly recognized and rewarded. He will set before all a high standard of military conduct and apply to all the same rules of discipline.

  5. Good morale and a sense of unity in a command cannot be improvised; they must be thoroughly planned and systematically promoted. They are born of just and fair treatment, a constant concern for the soldier's welfare, thorough training in basic duties, comradeship among men and pride in self, organization, and country. The establishment


    and maintenance of good morale are incumbent upon every commander and are marks of good leadership.

  1. The first demand in war is decisive action. Commanders inspire confidence in their subordinates by their decisive conduct and their ability to gain material advantage over the enemy. A reputation for failure in a leader destroys morale. The morale of a unit is that of its leader.

    A commander must bear in mind that physical unfitness will undermine his efficiency. He owes it to the men under his command to conserve his own fitness. Neglect renders him unable to bring a normal mind to the solution of his problems, and reacts unfavorably on his whole command.


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Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Jerry Holden for the HyperWar Foundation