Leadership in the Military


In the military, adult education is described as a “process that mandates individual growth, maturity, and learning in order to achieve the collective goals of the organization” (Zacharakis and Van Der Werff, 2012, p. 90). In such way, this is comparable when developing leadership skills where the leader hopes to achieve a goal collectively with its members. Adult education in the military is currently incorporating leadership skills as one of their key learning objectives. Higher ranking staff members found that there is a positive relationship between leadership skills and critical thinking skills. The characteristics of critical thinking skills and leadership skills were very similar and that they both possess the attributes of being “open-minded, patient, and confident…flexible and creative…and realistic in the way they worked and communicated together to troubleshoot the problem while keeping their goal in sight” (Zacharakis and Van Der Werff, 2012, p. 96). In the military, “the group’s leader, is to first set forth and explain the learning objectives or goals, then facilitate the learning through dialogue and critical questioning with the understanding that there may be multiple pathways toward the set goal or establish outcome” (Zacharakis and Van Der Werff, 2012, p. 91). Within the military workforce, members hope that through dialogue and critical questioning, adult learners are able to learn better from their peers and teachers. Hence, military education is increasing and teachers are eager to incorporate critical thinking skills into their leadership development and learning. In this way, they are able to hone their communication skills when members are communicating instructions, ideas and emotions with one another. Overall, the main goal of the military workforce is to strengthen the overall capacity of their organization through leadership development and conduct more research in the future.


Zacharakis, J., & Van Der Werff, J. A. (2012). The future of adult education in the military. New Directions For Adult & Continuing Education, 2012(136), 89-98. doi:10.1002/ace.20038

Citation: (Zacharakis and Van Der Werff, 2012)


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