The United States military spends a great amount of time building leadership qualities within its ranks. Donald Trump, as the elected president of the United States, is the commander-in-chief of all U.S. military forces. The basic tenet of leadership is to lead by example. As the commander-in-chief, Trump is expected to adhere to the qualities of a United States military leader.

As such, it is important to see how Donald Trump stacks up against the leaders developed by the United States military to lead its missions across the world. The United States Army has published FM 6-22, Leader Development manual used for training Army leaders. The June 2015 version of the manual states that “An Army leader, by virtue of assumed role or assigned responsibility, inspires and influence people to accomplish organizational goals.” [original emphasis] The manual adds, “Army leaders motivate people both inside and outside the chain of command to pursue actions, focus thinking, and shape decisions for the greater good of the organization.”

There are many business courses and self-taught books adopting the U.S. military leadership doctrine for business use. As such, and because Donald Trump is a businessman, it is fair to critique him on the leadership skills he has exhibited since he assumed office. This is more important as he is the leader of the most advanced military force in the world.

So how does Donald Trump rank according to Army’s military leadership expectations?

FM 6-22 includes an Army leadership requirements model based on two sections, leader Attributes and Competencies. Each of these has three sub-sections. For Attributes, they are Character, Presence and Intellect. For Competencies, the three are: Leads, Develops and Achieves. The leadership course spells out the Principals of Mission Command and their Army Leadership Requirements. These are the ten important skills expected of Army leaders:

1. Develops others – the Army expects its leaders to build effective teams and expand knowledge.

FAIL – Trump is consistently undermining his underlings, especially his spokespeople and the White House is consistently in inner-turmoil.

2. Builds trust – the Army expects its leaders to lead by personal example and to sustain a climate of trust. It also expects leaders to use the appropriate methods of influence to energize others.

FAIL – The Trump administration is under cloud of untrustworthiness with many examples of outright lies uttered by the administration.

3. Creates a Positive Environment – the Army expects its leaders to foster teamwork and to support learning.

FAIL – there is consistent fighting within the White House and with members of Congress, including Trump’s political party, the Republicans.

4. Communicates – the Army expects its leaders to create shareable understanding and employ engaging communications skills.

FAIL – Donald Trump, through Twitter and public comments, consistently contradicts his spokespeople and undermines the ability of his legal team to mount a legal defense.

5. Leads Others – the Army expects its leaders to balance subordinate needs with mission requirements, provide purpose, motivation and inspiration as well as to influence others to take the initiative. Additionally, the Army commander is expected to provide purpose without excessive and detailed direction.

FAIL – Donald Trump undermines his underlings publicly and consistently places blame on them for mission failures.

6. Gets Results – the Army measures success by results. Army leaders are expected to designate, clarify, deconflict roles and prioritize tasks. Army results are accomplished by making good decisions and executing plans to accomplish the mission the right way.

FAIL – The Donald Trump administration is rife with palace intrigue, an inability to deliver on promises and the decision-making process is publicly haphazard.

7. Demonstrates Army Values – the U.S. Army has an organizational ethic and expects all its members to adhere to it. The ethic is centered on duty. The Army defines duty as honorable servants of the nation, the competency of its professionals and leaders committed to the Army profession.

FAIL – Donald Trump has consistently displayed immaturity with women, displays a lack of ethical decision-making processes and has a penchant for questionable actions and activities that not only embarrass the nation but puts into question the Trump administration’s ethical standards.

8. Demonstrates self-discipline – the Army expects its commanders to maintain a professional bearing and conduct.

FAIL – one word, Twitter.

9. Demonstrates mental agility – the Army expects its commanders to anticipate uncertain or changing conditions.

FAIL – there are many examples of Trump’s inability to anticipate uncertain or changing conditions. Case in point is the administration’s inability to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act after numerous attempts.

10. Demonstrates interpersonal tact – the Army expects its leaders to use tact in their interaction with others.

FAIL – his various treatment of women.

As you can clearly see, Donald Trump has miserably failed on all aspects of an effective commander as expected by the United States Army. The Army would rid itself of any commander failing so badly. Instead, the United States commander-in-chief holds the codes to the country’s nuclear weapons.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

7 replies on “Top Ten Commander-in-Chief Trump Failures”

  1. Those of us who experienced various Army leadership trainings may find the current presidensity daunting due to its incompetencies. Today’s foolishness from the WH will surprise many of us, probably me, too. It is obvious to most of us, that although Business can be a ‘tough game’, it is simple compared to RULING, which is the rare state that all leadership training prepares us to move toward.

    Mr. Trump’s inadequacies and short-comings in the current office he and his allies have usurped have brought us to a sorry point in American history, where he and his ilk are striving to worsen the lives of many millions of citizens entrusted to their care. The actions of his EPA ‘secretary’ and Education ‘secretary’, for instance,are consciously aimed to negatively affect the native intelligence and pure curiosity of Americans, where the earlier upright presidents had fostered and led the country to greatness, Mr. Trump’s actions, to rip away and steal funds set aside for civic improvement and funnel them wholesale into pockets already overflowing, have disgraced the Constitution and the American people, as well as robbing the weakest and poorest….as our hallowed Declaration of Independence reminds us, these actions are unbefitting the ruler of a free people. Fortunately the nation yet has honorable men and women of high capability, many who have been trained by our military, to lead, truly. Our nation is even now being set aright from the recent disastrous experiments of allowing the greedy and grabby ignoramuses into the rarified levels of policy setting and execution. Duty, Honor, Country. De Oppresso Liber….

  2. If the Army is teaching folks to rule rather than lead something is pretty wrong with the training system. Rulers dictate, leaders motivate.

  3. Leslie Piper
    But the Tit tard left had zero issue with a person like Hillary who sold her office ,pay to play, even to the Russians. Who sold 20% of our uranium stockpile to Russia who on the campaign trail she painted as such an evil enemy. Who lied and tried to steal her way to the presidency but people like you think she would have been so much of a better trust leader as she sold her office to the highest bidder. Who at every turn tried to profit from her time in office and endangered the American people by allowing our enemies access to our state securities by her share arrogance.
    Yep the tit tard left had zero issues with this type person leading America. You Leslie Piper are a hypocrite like most on the left with your double standards of what is acceptable leadership. Action and behaviors that are just down right peachy out of those you support but draw your whining, bitching and wringing of hands when it’s only perceived being done by the other side, not proven but only perceived. Yep the left deserves Mike Pence as President! Hope you idiots get Pence!
    Martin civilian commander and chief vs military commander and chief think about it.

  4. There are some very naive people on this blog. Ideally the military leads but more often than not it directs ! The followers are fully aware of assements and promotions plus the ucmj.

    The President is suppose to inspire the country and develop a consensus. In time of national emergency he becomes the Commander. Then he will do more directing than consensus.

    Naive folks, the military IS a dictatorship in order to respond in a timely matter. Not set up booths and the troops decide whether to accept the mission orr take the hill. If you have no experience in the military, at least watch a movie. The general directs and his subordinates support his decisions and implement the plan. Anyway they can, leading or kicking.

  5. The military is not a dictatorship. It has a top down management structure that requires adherence to orders, but there is huge difference between that and a dictatorship. Case in point, screw up in the North Korean military and you’ll face an anti-aircraft gun firing squad or a pack of wild dogs. Screw up in our military and you’ll face a court martial. While a military depends of folks rapidly following orders under fire, good commanders at every level recognize that maintaining esprit de corps is also part of the mix. I already have a father buried in Arlington who served 33 years and had a lot of command assignments including three installations. I will shortly be inurning a husband there as well. So, yes, I understand how the military works. And as a career executive with a Master’s degree in management, I also understand the behavior issues that arise when leadership and dictatorship concepts get confused.

  6. And finally, to your last take the hill comment, study the Korean War and Vietnam and you’ll a number of situations where poorly led troops voted with their feet or worse, fragged their leader. Chain of command and UCMJ are only part of the equation. If the troops don’t believe in the rightness of what they are doing, a percentage of them will become very undependable in stressful situations. Our punishments are way to light for a dictatorship, so motivation needs to be part of the equation.

  7. So you studied and you had family that served. I’m an my Brat,. I thought I knew and understood the Army. I learned it’s a lot different once you’re on the inside. It’s also a lot different once commissioned !

    Wasn’t it McNamara the numbers expert and management wizard that micromanaged the war into a mess ? He studied and had experience in management as. well.

    My parents, in laws and friends arre buried in Arlington.

    I don’t know where you get these stories that were mass fleeing frrom the battlefield. There was ONE case of mutiny and those men had consequences. WS it poor leadership, maybe. Commanders are not infallible.

    Strong adherence ? Oh really so the military “managers” issue an order and you don’t have an option unless it is considered an illegal order. Dictator tells you do it, he kills you for refusal to obey. That’s not always the case. Marshal Tito was once a good dictator. His death and no more smart and strong dictators led to the breakup of Yugoslavia.

    Fragging was usually as result of poor leadership, resistance to war movement, lack of support in the US, the weed culture. Btw, the guy next to you had better not be high on patrol-your own people will take of you in a way weed is no long desirable. Korea was a disaster because of politics and lack of readiness. Not military command decisions.

    A well trained soldier does his job and is unstoppable machine not a debater as to whys of the mission. He may not like it but he will do it !

    Stick to your books, it’s a lot different when adding book and actually doing it.

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