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Can my Chain of Command or Leader force me to do Self Development?

Can a Soldier be forced to do self development by their leadership?

Company Command: The Bottom Line - Army Leadership Guide

There is nothing I can find in Army Regulations that directs Leaders to force Soldiers to do Self Development.  Now with that understood I can understand how this happens.  Usually a Commander will say I want to emphasis a program or skill.  The Leaders then attempt to motivate their Soldiers to become involved.  Other times Leaders may be required to track attendance in a program.  Then a unit commander looks bad if his status are low.

 I think the bottom line here is that they are just trying to make you better. I fully understand where you are coming from.  Nobody enjoys feeling forced to do anything.  I would encourage you look at this from the Leaders perspective and more importantly how it will help you grow as a Soldier but more importantly as a person. If you plan on staying in the Army it would be wise to complete it as the Army will only maintain the best over the next few years.

 Now if you still do not want to do it, request a meeting with the 1SG/CDR on open door policy and state your case.  I can see no way they can force you to do.  I do not believe they can order you to do it.  Unless of course it is an Army Requirement but I can find anything that specifically directs this as a mandatory program.  If you are struggling in your MOS I would also see how they could push it.

 If you decide this is a battle you want to fight I would encourage you to jot down your concerns, make sure they are factual, have another course of action to recommend, be calm, and professional.  Emotions will destroy your argument.

 I have attached the Self Development Handbook.  Perhaps this will be of assistance.

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  1. SDev_Handbook20

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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

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