Extrinsic incentives are frequently used by military leaders to inspire their troops. Weekend passes, movie or sporting event tickets, or even a trip to a neighboring resort are examples of extrinsic benefits. These kinds of motivators may be quite successful, particularly in the short term. However they can also become stale quickly if not repeated regularly.
Intrinsic motivation is another way for military leaders to motivate their troops. This type of motivation comes from within and is based on something a person finds interesting or enjoyable about their job. Activities that individuals find interesting or enjoyable will usually get done well enough that they won't need external motivators. However, in cases where an individual doesn't enjoy their work enough to do it intrinsically, they will need some form of extrinsic incentive.
For example, consider a soldier who loves fighting for his country. He would probably feel extremely motivated by a chance to go to war or engage in other active pursuits once per year. If this annual opportunity were removed, he might be less likely to face an enemy in battle or act as a scout. However, if his leader found a way to give this soldier more actively involved roles that brought out his combat skills but didn't require him to fight every day. Then he would be much more likely to remain enthusiastic about the mission at hand.
Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations can work together to provide maximum effectiveness.
Motivating an Army soldier to complete a mission is extremely difficult when the work is physically risky or exceptionally unpleasant. Motivation may be described as the driving force behind an activity. Human activity is energized by motivation. Without motivation, humans would not engage in any activity beyond their basic needs.
There are two types of motivations: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivations include interests that we find rewarding in themselves, such as enjoyment or curiosity. Extrinsic motivations include rewards such as money or recognition. These can be used to encourage people to perform actions that they believe will benefit them externally. For example, a person might be paid to complete tasks that are dangerous or difficult.
Intrinsic motivations are more powerful than extrinsic ones. This is because they are driven by desires which exist within us independently of external rewards. For example, someone who enjoys helping others would still do so even if they were not being paid for it. Extrinsic incentives can however trigger emotions such as pride or shame, which then lead to changes in behavior. For example, a soldier might feel proud after completing a dangerous task.
Intrinsic motivations are also more stable over time than extrinsic ones. This is because they are based on personal desires that tend to remain constant, while incentives must be renewed from time to time.
Top Ten Ways to Motivate Your Soldiers
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Strong emotional relationships between troops are essential for battle motivation and must be fostered by the military. Why They Fight contributes to the validation of the United States Army's change from an individual to a unit replacement system that recognizes the importance of creating ties amongst troops. The book also discusses other factors that may influence troop morale including rewards and recognition, food, clothing, shelter, medical care, safety, and freedom.
Here is how one reviewer summarized the book: "This is a superbly written account of warfare as seen from within the ranks of all three services. It is incisive in its analysis of why infantrymen, sailors, and soldiers fight, and what effects events outside the military have on combat motivation. This book will be essential reading for anyone interested in understanding why our wars end the way they do." - John Ferris, author of The First World War: A History of World War I
In addition to being a good read, this book provides valuable insight into military psychology. Why They Fight remains relevant today because many of the issues it discusses remain important factors in determining troop morale. For example, personnel policies such as the individual replacement system used by the U.S. Army until 1994 when it was changed to allow unit cohesion as well as attachment formation during peacetime remain relevant to current military operations.
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A voluntary military force necessitates a concerted effort to recruit and urge civilians to join. These most well-known Army slogans and mottos are only a few samples of the Army's attitude. A cavalryman's horse should be wiser than the cavalryman himself. A soldier's loyalty is always in question, but his devotion to his country is not.
Several countries have had great success with a volunteer army including: the United States, Israel, and Sweden. Some countries, such as China and Russia, prefer to call their armies "allvolunteer."
China has one of the largest volunteer armies in the world. In fact, according to some sources, 99% of all Chinese soldiers serve under contract. However, this figure is likely an exaggeration since it does not take into account those soldiers who may have served in the armed forces without contract or even voluntarily.
In any case, China has one of the highest rates of recruitment in the world with up to 30 million people aged 16-60 considered eligible for service. Only adults between the ages of 18 and 60 can be drafted but there is no minimum age. Recruits must attend training camps for nine months and after completing their duty they are granted economic benefits. Many see this as reason enough to avoid being recruited into the Chinese army.
Another country that uses a large number of volunteers is Russia.