Page 27 - FSJ - 070812

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J U LY - A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L
27
F
OCUS ON
FSI /FS T
RA INING
T
HE
A
RMY
S
A
PPROACH
TO
L
EADER
D
EVELOPMENT
ny look at the State
Department’s professional education and training pro-
grams may benefit from a corresponding review of how
other agencies handle this important career development
requirement. Such comparisons may help bring into
sharper focus the unstated assumptions and invisible or-
ganizational values on which the programs are based, as
well as the more visible techniques and methodologies
they employ. With its long history of support for profes-
sional training and education, the U.S. Army’s approach
may be particularly instructive for the Foreign Service.
As an institution, the Army develops leadership skills
and traits in its personnel through a continuing program
of professional military education that starts the first day
an individual enters the Army, and provides appropriate
functional training and professional education through-
out a soldier’s career. By comparison, the State Depart-
ment’s method for developing professional diplomats,
with the exception of language training, is episodic and ad
hoc.
Unlike the Army, State concentrates on developing
managers, not leaders. Leadership development at State
is largely a function of on-the-job training, which has a
long history of mixed results. For this to change, the State
Department needs to alter its approach to developing
leadership skills in its personnel as part of their overall
professional development.
The State Department and the U.S. Army differ in
many important respects, but the need for leaders to be
well-educated, adaptable and innovative is common to
both institutions. A look at how the Army meets that
challenge may be instructive for evaluating how to im-
prove education and training at State.
A
LOOK AT HOW THE
A
RMY
S PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION
SYSTEM DEVELOPS LEADERSHIP SKILLS OFFERS POSSIBLE
LESSONS FOR THE
F
OREIGN
S
ERVICE
.
B
Y
J
EFFREY
L
A
M
OE AND
T
ED
S
TRICKLER
Jeffrey LaMoe is chief of staff for the Command and Gen-
eral Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. A retired
Army colonel, he previously served as commandant of the
National Geospatial-Intelligence School for the National
Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. He was also an associate
professor at the United States Military Academy and di-
rector of training at the U.S. Army Engineer School.
Ted Strickler is executive director of the Simons Center
for the Study of Interagency Cooperation at Fort Leaven-
worth. During his 34-year Foreign Service career, he
served in Somalia, Ethiopia, Germany, Sudan, Egypt,
Switzerland and Italy. He is the 2002 winner of AFSA’s
Christian A. Herter Award for constructive dissent by a
Senior Foreign Service officer.