In view of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the concept of the Bundeswehr's internal leadership has become even more important. The commander of the Koblenz Center for Internal Leadership, Major General Markus Kurczyk, told the German Press Agency that this model of a citizen in uniform who acts responsibly and is anchored in society is a basic requirement for national and alliance defense.
"We always talk about weapon systems for the Ukraine and their procurement for the Bundeswehr, but too rarely about the soldiers. For example, what is a battle tank without a commander willing to fight?"
"What does it mean to serve faithfully today?"
The Ukrainian army shows how important the inner attitude of soldiers of all ranks is, the commander added. "We were surprised at the motivation and love for the homeland with which the Ukrainian army is fighting. No matter how much military material and money you have, Ukraine could not defend itself without such conviction."
The Center for Internal Leadership trains military leaders in courses on the leadership culture of the armed forces and on the ethical foundations of the military profession. According to the company, the central question is: "What does it mean today to serve faithfully and to bravely defend the rights and freedom of the German people?" The concept of the inner leadership developed after the Second World War is unique of its kind in the world.
Realization that "sometimes only violence helps against violence"
Major General Kurczyk said that after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the suspension of conscription in 2011, the Bundeswehr had largely disappeared from the public eye until the outbreak of war in Ukraine. The 58-year-old commander added:
"But now we have a discussion about armed forces and weapons systems that reminds me of the rearmament debate in the 1950s. Today, performance parameters of main battle tanks and armored personnel carriers are the subject of television talk shows." Above all, society recognizes the "necessity of national and alliance defense and that sometimes only violence can help".