Annual Survey of Leaders Exposes ‘Crisis in Confidence’ Throughout Ranks as Army Suicides Reach Record High

Results of the Army’s annual survey titled “2011 Center for Army Leadership Annual Survey of Army Leadership” revealed that senior officers reported significantly lower rates of discipline problems in their units when compared to respondents serving in lower-echelon positions. Junior NCOs reported an unusually high rate of discipline problems in their units, 40 percent. However, when field-grade officers were asked the exact same question, only 10 percent reported they were aware of any discipline problems. Results may indicate that many senior Army officers are too insulated from problems impacting welfare and morale among their subordinates. (AP)

Army Morale Declines in Survey

Soldiers cite failings of senior officers and some worry service may be going ‘soft’

by Bryan Bender
Boston Globe, Aug. 19, 2012

WASHINGTON ­— Only a quarter of the Army’s officers and enlisted soldiers believe the nation’s largest military branch is headed in the right direction — a survey response that is the lowest on record and reflects what some in the service call a crisis in confidence.

The detailed annual survey by a team of independent researchers found that the most common reasons cited for the bleak outlook were “ineffective leaders at senior levels,” a fear of losing the best and the brightest after a decade of war, and the perception, especially among senior enlisted soldiers, that “the Army is too soft” and lacks sufficient discipline.

The study, ordered by the Center for Army Leadership at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, also found that one in four troops serving in Afghanistan rated morale either “low” or “very low,” part of a steady downward trend over the last five years.

But the most striking finding is widespread disagreement with the statement that “the Army is headed in the right direction to prepare for the challenges of the next 10 years.”

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