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May 26, 2023

The primary role of Óglaigh na hÉireann is ‘To provide for the military defense of the State, contribute to national and international peace and security and fulfill all other roles assigned by Government’.1 The professional identity, credibility, conduct, and standards of the Defense Forces in carrying out these roles, making the organization a fundamental institution of the state, are predicated on the quality of leaders.

This foundation is based on confident leaders of character and competence with a unique culture underpinned by the values of respect, loyalty, selflessness, physical courage, moral courage, and integrity. This principle is aligned to the concept of Mission Command, an organizational leadership philosophy that promotes decentralized command, freedom, speed of action, and initiative, responsive to superior direction.

The Defense Forces has continually adapted to emerging political, societal, economic, and technological developments, challenges, and threats. As leaders, we are part of a transforming organization that has been fundamental to maintaining our effectiveness. This Defense Forces Leadership Doctrine (DFLD) supports transformation and is nested within the Capstone Doctrine which states that ‘every member, regardless of rank or appointment, is a leader’. It is similarly nested within the Transformation Agenda under the requirement to transform the strategic and operational management of the force, by ‘maximizing strategic leadership skills among Senior Officers and NCOs and embedding a deep understanding of the Defense Forces Leadership Philosophy throughout the Defense Forces.2

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