Bdf culture

Report
SECOND SOUTH AFRICAN CONFERENCE ON
STRATEGIC THEORY
STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITY, SOUTH AFRICA
22 & 23 SEPTEMBER 2011
Major General (rtd) Pius Mokgware
Lecturer: Political and Administration Studies
University of Botswana, Private Bag UB00705 Gaborone
Botswana
Tel: (00267) 3552730 Fax: (00267) 3170706
Cell: (00267) 71306315
Email: [email protected]
[email protected]
PURPOSE
This paper illustrates the Botswana military culture and its
interrelation to the ideal, model military culture. It also seeks
to explain how it has evolved over the years in response to
social changes. Secondly I will discuss how the military’s
combat, masculine-warrior culture conflicts with the current
security challenges that require leaders to think differently
and adopt an evolving model of culture.
OUTLINE
Definitions
History of the Botswana Defence Force
Contemporary Cultural Strains
The Botswana military culture for the 21st
century
 Closing remarks
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
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
DEFINITIONS
"Culture is a longer lasting…, more
complex set of shared expectations than
climate. While climate is how people feel
about their organization right now,
culture consists of the shared attitudes,
values, goals, and practices that
characterize the larger institution. It’s
deeply rooted in long-held beliefs,
customs, and practices."
FM 22-100, Leadership
"Culture is not something that you manipulate
easily. Attempts to grab it and twist it into a new
shape never work because you can’t grab it.
Culture changes only after you have
successfully altered people’s actions, after the
new behavior produces some group benefit for
a period of time.”
John Kotter
Culture is our set of subconscious
assumptions, an organization’s
collective “state of mind.” As such, it
is
frustratingly difficult to describe and
articulate.
Culture may be said to be
complex of distinctive spiritual,
material. Intellectual and
emotional features that
characterise a society or social
group. It includes not only arts
and letters, but also modes of
life, the fundamental rights of
human beings, value systems,
traditions and beliefs. [Ismail
Serageldin, 1992. p18]
What everybody agrees on?
Culture is an integrated system of:
 Beliefs (about God or reality or ultimate meaning)
 Values (about what is true, good, beautiful or normative)
 Customs (how to behave, relate to others, dress etc)
HISTORY
•The Botswana Defence Force was formed
in April, 1977 by an Act of Parliament
known as, The BDF Act of 1977.
• This was in response to acts of
destablisation that were perpetuated by the
Smith regime (the then Rhodesian Army).
•They were other threats to the security of
the nation, emanating mainly from the then
minority regimes neighbouring Botswana.
• Nationals of those countries fled into
Botswana.
•The influx of refugees made those
countries believe Botswana was a
launching pad for attacks on their soil and
thus their incursions into Botswana.
• The then Police Mobile Unit that was
charged with responsibility of protecting the
nation was not in a position to deal with
such attacks.
Mandate: Defend the Country,
Provide for the Security of Botswana,
Participate in External Security
Cooperation Activities, and Contribute
to Domestic Support Operations
Mission:
.
To defend the country and provide
for the security
of Botswana, participate in external security
cooperation activities and contribute in domestic
support operations.
Principles: Botho,
Democracy, Development,
Self-reliance, Unity
Vision:
Shall be a professional, modern, affordable and accountable force, contributing to national
security through prompt and decisive response to a wide range of both internal and
external defence and security related
BDF VALUES:
Botswana :: Leadership
Duty
Integrity
Integrity
Espirit -decorps
Commitment
Discipline
Collaboration Accountability
Safe and Secure Nation
Accountable &
Transparent
Timely & Decisive
Response
Operational Excellence
CULTURAL CHALLANGES
• Inability to recruit people with special skills
• Inadequate resources
•Revolution in military affairs
•Joint challenges
•High operational tempo
•Personnel turnover
•Many others
COMPLAINTS BY COMMANDERS WHO RECEIVE THE NEW
SOLDIERS
PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT VS
LEADER DEVELOPMENT
DUTY TO COUNTRY
TRUST
OPERATIONAL PACE VS
UNBALANCED LIFE
CAMARADIRIE
SERVICE ETHICS
WARRIOR ETHOS
MICROMANAGEMENT
SELFLESS SERVICE
PROOFFESSIONAL VALUES
DIMISHED
COMMITMENT TO ARMY
WELLBEING
NOT TRAINING TO STANDARD
PRACTICES
Indisciplined and rebellious
Lazy
They question orders
MORAL AND READINESS
CULTURE
They want money
Concerned about their rights
PRACTICE AND CULTURE OUT OF BALANCE
PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT VS LEADER DEVELOPMENT: – those
who are supposed to be providing the leadership are now managing. They
don’t know where the army is going.
OPERATIONAL PACE VS UNBALANCED LIFE: - complaints on
lengthy tours of duty, bad working conditions at operational camps i.e. on
poor diet , lack of medical care and unserviceable equipment,
MICROMANAGEMENT : - every thing is centralised, NCOs and
Company commanders not allowed to perform their duties. Battalion
commanders complain that it is difficult to develop a work schedule
because of direct orders from above
DIMINISHED WELLBEING: - High staff turn over: Officers and soldiers
are leaving the military for various reasons among others they cite; Lack of
career advancement, poor salaries, unconducive work environment, lack of
welfare schemes. Simply stated, the organisation unable to meet the
soldiers needs
PRACTICE AND CULTURE OUT OF BALANCE
NOT TRAINING TO SET STANDARDS: - Graduate recruits are not physically fit
and they do not know the basics drills. There is no quality control in basic training –
units receive the same products like civilians. Recruits should join the army not the
army joining recruits – Training should be challenging.
.
THE SPIRIT OF SELFLESNESS: - where the soldiers expect the country to
provide for them not them providing for the country. They ask what the country can
do for them not what they can do for the country – that is why they want money
THE RECRUITING STRATEGY IS SERIOUSLY FLAWED: - This is the same
strategy since 1977 they are no standards on ethics, behavior and performance.
Recruits who do not pass the rigid standards should not be allowed into the army.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SERVICE IDENTITY IS DEAD: - the current trend is that
juniors identify with individual senior officers. Previously people identified with
their service or units .
LOW MORALE AND COHESION: non undertaking of serious operations like
peace keeping lead to idle minds and unalertnes. If soldiers spend more time
performing civil duties they risk loosing alertness.
NEW CULTURE
Establish the mindset and culture that will ensure the defence force is ready
and relevant, now and into the future: - so that the defence force can be agile,
ready to learn, continually changing and improving.
Create an institutional culture of innovation that supports the defence force
today while designing and building tomorrow ‘s future force: - where people at
all levels proactively develop and implement new ways of achieving individual,
unit, and institutional excellence and effectiveness.
Institutionalise learning in the defence’s culture and systems to increase selfawareness and adaptability: - Self-awareness is the ability to assess abilities,
determine strengths and weakness in an operational environment and learn
how to sustain strengths and correct weakness. Adaptability is the ability to
recognise changes to the environment, to determine what is new, what must
be learned to be effective, and includes the learning process that follows that
determination, all performed to standard and with feedback .
NEW CULTURE cont’d
Culture of discipline: - The lack of discipline in a civil sense result in political
catastrophes such as Antwerp, as well as a general military ineffectiveness.
Culture of professionalism
DRIVERS OF THE NEW CULTURE
 Technology – communication , equipment
 Military sociology – abuse is defined by the soldier (subordinate) not
the institution. The environment we operate in is difficult and has
varying challenges. It requires those in leadership to always tread
carefully . Schofield’s venerated definition of discipline is often quoted to
justify this position: “the discipline which makes the soldiers of a free
country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh or tyrannical
treatment” . Nowhere in this statement does Schofield indicate that the
private soldier should define “ harsh and tyrannical”
 Gender
 Demands by the soldiers
 The operational environment
 Future threats
NEW LEADERS
The complex and challenging demands of the future require officers
who are self-directed, autonomous, and open to continuous growth –
psychologically mature people , comfortable in making increasingly
substantial and difficult decisions on the spot, with minimal guidance.
They will have an internal compass that lets them impose order on
ambiguous, unstructured situations. They must be men and women
who can decide what is right and wrong without waiting for others to tell
them how to behave. Character will remain the central focus because
character defines the officer – it draws attention to who the officer really
is at the core
Don M. Snider
NEW TYPE OF A SOLDIER
In the past, many military occupational specialties were well
suited to those who prefer the discipline of solving welldefined problems and fulfilling clear organisational roles,
and who have a lower tolerance for uncertainty and
ambiguity. A completely different mind-set and personality
profile may be required to operate effectively within a C4ISR
{command, control, communication, computers, intelligence,
surveillance, and reconnaissance} type force. Interaction in
such organisations will require personnel who are more
comfortable with higher levels of uncertainty and ambiguity,
and who have highly developed skills in negotiation and
coordination
NEW TYPE OF A SOLDIER cont’d
Given the current and future demanding security environment, junior
personnel will make battlefield decisions that may have strategic impact
( hence the term “Strategic corporal “} and they will expect to be valued
and to be treated well.
Military of heads versus a Military of hands
CONCLUDING REMARKS
As the BDF transform they have to change the doctrine, organisation
structure and equipment. The BDF need a new culture to harness the
skills, knowledge and attributes required for a leader to be successful in
dealing with future security challenge. The emphasis should be people.
They have to develop new leadership doctrine which will capture
leadership framework , that is the character, competence required and
provide a single instrument for leader development.
“The new operational environment, with unknown, poorly defined and
asymmetrical threat elements, combined with a standing requirement to
operate successfully across a full spectrum of operations, has produced
new challenges for tomorrow’s army leadership. Training soldiers and
growing leaders in the new operational environment will require army
leaders with more capabilities than today “. To address this difficult task,
the BDF has to commission a study to asses the BDF training and leader
development doctrines and practices so to determine their relevance or
applicability and suitability for future operations.
CONCLUDING REMARKS cont’d
1. Engaging in regular operations to ensure the soldiers maintain
alertness and discipline.
2. Restoration welfare schemes – always balance health, job
satisfaction and family which are keys to a soldiers ‘s performance
3. Empower NCO and Company Commanders and limit non Battalion
essential tasks
4. Develop an effective performance appraisal system – The current
system is seriously flawed and open to abuse
5. Develop and adopt clear career progression path
CONCLUDING REMARKS cont’d
6. Efficiency and effectiveness are a bed rock of any high performing
army.
7. Develop ways of retaining NCO’s , Captains and Majors. – these are
organisational memory
THANK YOU

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