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The Army's Framework for Character Development

Thursday, December 7, 2017

What is it?

The Army white paper The Army’s Framework for Character Development, approved Aug. 28, 2017, is the Army Leader Development Strategy implemented in accordance with the Army Ethic.

The Character Development Project initiative is led by the Center for the Army Profession and Ethic, part of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

The framework applies to the total force, affecting all Soldiers and Army civilians. Character development requires an Army culture of trust, professional climates in Army organizations and individual commitment to embrace a shared identity as trusted Army professionals.

What is the Army doing?

In 2015, the Army noted that a capabilities gap existed in the Army Human Dimension Strategy. The Army lacked a consensus and disciplined approach to developing character, prompting research and assessment of current Army efforts in character development. The Army’s Framework for Character Development describes what must be done to provide for character development within the process of leader development.

Strategic leaders, through their directives, policies and programs, strengthen the Army culture of trust. Organizational leaders certify that standards are met within professional climates. Direct leaders live by and uphold the Army Ethic and inspire, teach, coach, counsel, mentor and build mutual trust and cohesive teamwork.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

In fiscal year 2018, the Army will implement the framework through a planned set of eight initiatives, ranging from inclusion of character and trust concepts in education and doctrine to development of an assessment process to determine the degree to which the framework is having the intended effect. This mission is a top policy priority and will be managed through the Army Profession and Leader Development Forum.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Army must be able to fight and win the nation’s wars in the right way. Successful implementation of the character development framework supports mission command. This framework contributes to warfighting readiness by strengthening mutual trust and cohesion within the Army and with the American people.


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