13 Ways Military Organization is Better (Part 1)

By | September 2, 2019

[September 2, 2019]  The U.S. military is far better organized than most civilian companies.  You will find more structure, honesty, and focus in any military unit compared to their civilian counterparts.  This is the reason that today, I’m providing 13 methods the military organization is better than civilian businesses.

Yesterday, I was speaking with my neighbor whose son recently retired from the U.S. Army as a Captain and went to work for a New York City contractor.  The young Captain was appalled at the laziness of his fellow workers, how sloppy they were in dress, and how much time they wasted on personal affairs while at work.  Between the office gossip and the mental-physical laziness, he was disgusted.

The U.S. military has operational and organization practices that give it a boost over nearly every other organization.  What follows are some I carved out from my own experience.  However, much of the article is based upon work done by Christopher Littlestone, who is the editor in chief of Life is a Special Operation. 1  I highly recommend his work.

What follows is a list of 13 ways the military is better.  You too can use these to improve your work:

  1. Codified Codes of Behavior and Values: The first thing people encounter with the U.S. military is that they have codified behavioral standards and values.  Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage are just a few you will find in all their value sets.  They require all their members to memorize their values and live by them on and off duty.
  2. Standards: Military leaders make it clear what you have to do to achieve a particular task. If you do not meet the standards, you are counseled.  If you do not comply, you are removed.  Many organizations are slow to remove or fire under-performing employees.
  3. Equal Pay: Much has been said about how females and racial minorities are paid less than their white counterparts. The military has a written pay scale that is based on rank and time in service; there is nothing about race, gender, religious preference, etc. in their pay.
  4. Physical Fitness: All members are required to stay in good physical shape. Commanders schedule physical fitness tests several times a year and require weekly physical fitness training.  Healthy people are more efficient workers, are happier, and have fewer medical problems over their lifetimes.
  5. Open Honesty: The military calls it like it is. If you are a failure, they would tell you that and try to help you.  Honesty is part of the culture.  Direct communication is required.  If you made a bad decision, they would tell you.  If you’re fat, they would tell you.  They do this so they would not make this mistake again.

This article is Part 1 of 2 used to address ways the military is better organizationally.  Tomorrow, I will provide the remaining eight ways.  I hope you enjoyed the list.  Please comment on ways your organization has improved its mission.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

16 thoughts on “13 Ways Military Organization is Better (Part 1)

  1. Willie Shrumburger

    After getting my first cup of coffee in the morning and petting my dog, the first thing I do is open my bookmarked leadership websites. Gen. Satterfield’s web page is the first I read. This one, I liked, because it is simple and pragmatic. That is what most young folks need and want anyway. Great article for Part 1. Now, let’s see Part 2.

    1. Big Al

      I have a strong pot of coffee brewing right now. I appreciate your comments Willie. These help brighten my day.

    2. Albert Ayer

      Yep, waiting on part 2. I’m sure the second list will be just a valuable.

  2. Max Foster

    What Gen. Satterfield is beginning to lay out for us is a path to not just success as a leader but a way to be a person who rejects the evil within us all. His first method is to stop lying. Leaders today encourage lying. That in itself is a said state of affairs for any community. Begin by making yourself a good person. Then, if you can do that, move on to help make your family good and well. Then on to the community. Most of us cannot move beyond that but it still makes a difference. Free societies are based on good and well families.

    1. Fred Weber

      This is why socialism is doomed to fail despite its attractiveness on the surface. Socialism is not about the person or the family but about the government/state.

  3. Georgie B.

    Here we have good-old-fashioned leadership qualities. This is what it takes, not some new fangled “we love you”, squishy way of interacting with people. The old methods word because they’ve been worked on for thousands of years. What doesn’t work gets thrown out. Today, we are trying the failed methods of the past.

    1. Yusaf from Texas

      Well said, George. The socialist in the US are adopting older, rejected models of how to lead. They failed because they didn’t work in the past. Just look at the 20th century. If you cannot see the 100+ million dead from communism and its offshoots like socialism and fascism, then you are blinded by the leftist ideology.

      1. JT Patterson

        Excellent comment. I have to agree with you. Blindness (like lying to yourself and others) is the beginning of the fall of any great civilization.

    1. Gil Johnson

      Me too. I look forward to reading the who 13 items together. See you folks tomorrow on Gen. Satterfield’s leadership website.

    2. Doc Blackshear

      As typical of this website, we see clarity in the comments section. Doug Smith, I too find myself anticipating what will be the next 8 items. Thanks for making the first comment of the day.

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