Sunday, April 12, 2009

Teamwork and Discipline

Arguably more important than ever, teamwork and discipline are two key drivers of success in the military.

"Combat is a team sport, the best team wins." MG John M. Schofield

Teamwork in the military, as everywhere, is becoming increasingly complex and broader as the world flattens due to technological improvements. Today's soldier must act as a part of a team that may include UAV pilots in SW USA, Intel Analysts across the globe, headquarters units 100+KM away, Artillery and Radar assets 30KM away, and of course with their direct squad members.  They accomplish this through more effective communication tools, computing abilities, and processes that allow the correct information to get to the right people at the right time. As with everywhere, these processes must be standardized, practiced, and understood by all involved in order to make the communication seamless and effective.


Discipline is something that the military has always done well. The methodology behind creating a disciplined organization includes:
  • Developing standards that are meaningful (not abstract, vague, or pointless)
  • Communicating the standards effectively to ensure everyone knows what they are and how to implement them (written, posted, easily accessible)
  • Maintaining these standards at all times (By leaders and subordinates alike. Make all leaders responsible for the standards being upheld)
Discipline allows for teamwork to exist. All people in a well-disciplined organization know what is expected of them, and also know that their teammates will do the right things when the time comes. People are not innately disciplined, it is something that must be taught through clear rules and expectations.