Thursday 26 April 2018

Top brass must bite bullet if disgruntled soldiers are to have a fighting chance

Minister of State Paul Kehoe. Photo: Tom Burke
Minister of State Paul Kehoe. Photo: Tom Burke

Earnán Naughton

The most recent 'wellbeing' climate survey of Defence Forces personnel has been published by Minister of State Paul Kehoe. The report represented a quantitative measurement of the extent of satisfaction or otherwise across a wide range of issues and contains many positive outcomes.

Nevertheless, it would be an attempt at sugar-coating not to admit that the report also contains some very alarming findings. This is particularly the case in the results relating to 'commitment to service'.

The commitment of those in its service is a crucial component of a successful military force. Put simply, the commitment of personnel is key to achieving any military mission or objective. This commitment is dependent on the 'psychological contract' between the employer and those who serve the State. The psychological contract is the unwritten element of the contract in a military leadership scenario. It must be managed effectively to foster mutual trust and respect and to ensure that objectives are shared.

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