Analyze Leadership Issues of Black Hawk Crash of 1996 – Case Study Example

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The paper "Analyze Leadership Issues of Black Hawk Crash of 1996"  is a worthy example of a case study on the military. The Black Hawk crash entails an accident that took place in June 1996 at the High Range Training site. It involved a collision and damage of two helicopters resulting in a death toll of eighteen Australia Army members and several others injured. The incident was highly aligned with leadership issues in the military. Leadership refers to a process that entails the deliberate exercise of control by an individual over another individual or other individuals as a way of trying to direct undertakings towards the achievement of a predetermined common objective.

Leadership in the military is considered to be a bit different from leadership in other social institutions especially in regard to the culture and context in the military in which leadership is practiced. This essay will analyze the leadership issues in the Black Hawk crash of 1996 based on Board of Inquiry findings, workplace culture and leadership responsibilities of junior officers. The Board of Inquiry Findings The BOI conducted a thorough investigation of the probable factors behind the accident and came up with several findings which it classified under command, general operational practices, and technical practices, administrative procedures, and personal responsibilities. Command Command in the context of military operations denotes the power that a commander legally practices over subordinates through the virtue of position or obligation.

It comprises of the power and accountability for successfully using existing resources along with planning for the application of, directing, organizing, synchronizing and controlling military personnel for the achievement of assigned tasks. It, in addition, includes liability for health, interests, self-esteem, and obedience to the assigned workforce.

The command needs composition, can simply be utilized down the hierarchy and needs conformity from subordinates. From this view, primacy is placed on finishing the mission while a secondary focus is laid on the workforce that takes part in the assigned mission. The most vital element of leadership which is influence on other people is excluded in this definition. From the BOI findings, it was found that insufficient supervision and control of the activities of the Counter-Terrorism and Special Recovery arms resulted in a lack of apparent lines of duty and power for the improvement of the capacity of the two arms.

All these led to a gradual difficulty of training past the capacity of a number of its constituent parts, an inclination towards the irrelevant invention of functional arrangements instead of following suitable established policy as well as an increasing gap amid the anticipation of the aviation element and its capacity. One of the key features of effective leadership is clearly defined responsibilities for every individual or group of individuals that take part in a given task.

Such a feature ensures that there is accountability in case of any failure or poor quality of work. In the case of the Black Hawk crash, the leadership issue that is evident at this point is the poor delegation of duties. It can thus be argued that this might have to some extent contributed to the accident through the negligence of the military forces since there was no clear way of holding the forces accountable for their actions.


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Black Hawk 221 Board of Inquiry 2008, August 2, The research methods knowledge base, Retrieved April 23, 2012, from

Central for Defense Leadership 1997, Black Hawk Board of Inquiry, Australia, Australian Defense College.

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