Qualities of a Troop Commander on Operations Today
‘A leader is a dealer in hope’ (In the Service of the Sultan) is perhaps the most effective quote from the set reading for summing up the role of a troop commander on operations today.
Obviously the task, that is, the job that needs to be accomplished by the troop commander and his troop vary on a day to day basis and (depending on the conflict or situation) can be incredibly diverse. Despite this fact the responsibility of the troop commander remains the same whatever the job, to control and motivate those under his command to get the job done. The key to achieving this responsibility is the ability to ‘deal hope’ or perhaps a better term is ‘to inspire’.
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A high level of determination is another essential quality of a troop commander. Determination is the ability to continue with the mission regardless of adverse conditions of situations. This should not be misunderstood as recklessness. Determination is essential in inspiring those around a troop commander as it ensures that the troop commander first and foremost leads his troop by example in adverse conditions and situations. Along with leading by example, a high level of determination is important for ensuring that the mission remains the priority despite setbacks. Again this should not be confused with recklessness, a troop commander has a specific mission to achieve without gambling with the lives of his men, determination and judgement are qualities essential in ensuring that this remains the case.
Confidence is the final essential personal quality of a troop commander. Confidence is an important quality as it ensures that the troop commander remains faithful in his ability to utilise his troop to the best of its ability. Self-confidence is also reflected in the troop, seeing that a troop commander is confident in his orders and own ability leads to confidence in the mission in hand. How a commander exudes confidence is unique to every troop commander and must be done in a way that ensures that confidence is not miss-interpreted as arrogance. It must be noted that confidence