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SECOND SOUTH AFRICAN CONFERENCE ON STRATEGIC THEORY STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITY, SOUTH AFRICA 22 & 23 SEPTEMBER 2011 Major General (rtd) Pius Mokgware Lecturer:

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Presentation on theme: "SECOND SOUTH AFRICAN CONFERENCE ON STRATEGIC THEORY STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITY, SOUTH AFRICA 22 & 23 SEPTEMBER 2011 Major General (rtd) Pius Mokgware Lecturer:"— Presentation transcript:

1 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: mokgwarep@mopipi.ub.bw pmokgware@yahoo.co.ukmokgwarep@mopipi.ub.bwpmokgware@yahoo.co.uk

2 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.

3 OUTLINE  Definitions  History of the Botswana Defence Force  Contemporary Cultural Strains  The Botswana military culture for the 21 st century  Closing remarks

4 "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 our set of subconscious assumptions, an organization’s collective “state of mind.” As such, it is frustratingly difficult to describe and articulate. "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 Harvard Business School DEFINITIONS 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]

5 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)

6 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.

7 Safe and Secure Nation Mission:. Vision: BDF VALUES: Duty Integrity Espirit -decorps Discipline Operational Excellence Accountable & Transparent Timely & Decisive Response Mandate: Defend the Country, Provide for the Security of Botswana, Participate in External Security Cooperation Activities, and Contribute to Domestic Support Operations. To defend the country and provide for the security of Botswana, participate in external security cooperation activities and contribute in domestic support operations. 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 Botswana :: Leadership Integrity Commitment Collaboration Accountability Principles: Botho, Democracy, Development, Self-reliance, Unity

8 CULTURAL CHALLANGES Inability to recruit people with special skills Inadequate resources Revolution in military affairs Joint challenges High operational tempo Personnel turnover Many others

9 DUTY TO COUNTRY TRUST CAMARADIRIE SERVICE ETHICS WARRIOR ETHOS SELFLESS SERVICE PROOFFESSIONAL VALUES COMMITMENT TO ARMY PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT VS LEADER DEVELOPMENT OPERATIONAL PACE VS UNBALANCED LIFE MICROMANAGEMENT DIMISHED WELLBEING NOT TRAINING TO STANDARD COMPLAINTS BY COMMANDERS WHO RECEIVE THE NEW SOLDIERS CULTUREPRACTICES Indisciplined and rebellious They want money Lazy Concerned about their rights They question orders MORAL AND READINESS

10 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

11 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.

12 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 self- awareness 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.

13 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

14 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

15 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

16 NEW TYPE OF A SOLDIER In the past, many military occupational specialties were well suited to those who prefer the discipline of solving well- defined 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 Mark D. Mandels

17 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

18 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

19 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

20 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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