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Cultural Assessment of the United States Army

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Cultural Assessment of the United States Army

Jackie Micklo

Brie Schumacker

Cesar Larrainza

Tiffany Jones

Evan Rothenberg

Human Relations and Organizational Behavior

ORG/502

James Patton

January 12,2005

Be all you can be. An Army of one. These two phrases are recognized by almost everyone. The United States Army is one of three military departments (Army, Navy and Air Force) that make up the Department of Defense. The organization holds a strong set of core values. Each soldier is also required to instill that same set of values and beliefs. The Seven Core Army Values define what being a soldier is about. These values include Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. Soldiers are expected to not only know the meaning of these words, but to live up to them every day.

“The Army’s mission is to fight and win our Nation’s wars by providing prompt, sustained land dominance across the full range of military operations and spectrum of conflict in support of combatant commanders. We do this by:

! Executing Title 10 and Title 32 United States Code directives, to include organizing, equipping, and training forces for the conduct of prompt and sustained combat operations on land.

! Accomplishing missions assigned by the President, Secretary of Defense and combatant commanders, and Transforming for the future (www.army.mil.com, January 07, 2005).”

These statements say a lot about the Army and shows that the organization is extremely structured. It holds its soldiers up to the highest standards. According to Margaret Wheatley, an organizational consultant for dozens of Fortune 500 companies, “There is more interest in learning in the military than in most organizations I've seen. Generals take time to think” (Smith & Rao, 1994).

This solid structure isn’t the only unique aspect to this organization. The physical

workspace of the Army is quite different than that of your typical organization. Soldiers are located in about 120 countries and consist of roughly 295,000 men and women. Their workplace may vary in many different ways. But regardless of location, the organization makes every effort to train, equip and deploy all of its forces. Soldiers are provided with both the military skills and the professional education to help them succeed.

Finding such dedicated individuals can be a difficult task. As mentioned previously, the U.S. Army has had several slogans to assist in the recruiting process. For over twenty years this slogan was “Be all you can be,” which was ranked second on the “Top Ten Jingles of the Century” list from Advertising Age (Derbyshire, 2001).

Today, the Army’s slogan is “Army of one.” Derbyshire states that, “One of the most fundamental truths about soldiering is that a single warrior acting alone is of very little use to the cause he is fighting for (Derbyshire, 2001).” However the Army feels this new slogan portrays a different view. After several surveys and focus groups, they found this would appeal to today’s youth. A survey suggested that young people aged fourteen to twenty-four see military culture as a threat to their own individuality...” With this new slogan in place, it offers a sense of individuality in that joining the Army lets you keep your own identity (Derbyshire, 2001).

To fully prepare soldiers for what they might have to endure, the Army puts them through extensive training. The first step for this training is a nine-week Basic Combat Training session. Each week focuses on a different element the soldier needs to accomplish in order to become a fully trained soldier. When the Basic Combat Training is complete, the soldier then moves on to Advanced Individual Training where the soldier prepares for their Army job. There are many

paths a soldier can take, but either way, “Soldiers continually strengthen themselves mentally and physically through Ongoing Training” (www.goarmy.com, January 09, 2005).

This training prepares soldiers for a list of positions, including enlisted men and women, officers, army reserves, and civilian employees. There are many rewards that come from joining the Army in any of these positions. Every soldier receives money for their service, housing, meals and education benefits. The Army will help pay for a soldier’s education or even assist in paying off existing student loans. And these

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