Soldiers are just farmers

The concept of inner guidance

Inner leadership is the indispensable foundation for individual and collective action in the Bundeswehr, as it recognizes the conscience of each and every individual as a moral authority. In the area of ​​tension between personal democratic rights on the one hand and the soldier's principles of duty and obedience on the other hand, the Inner Leadership offers orientation.

Because for soldiers of the Bundeswehr the basic rights apply as for all other citizens. However, individual basic rights are restricted by military laws due to military requirements. One example is the right to physical integrity. This article is restricted by the obligation to tolerate measures to maintain health, such as vaccinations, enshrined in the Soldiers Act.

Basis of values ​​for the citizen in uniform

Inner leadership forms the basis of values ​​for responsible action in the Bundeswehr. All members of the Bundeswehr are also “citizens in uniform”. This means that they have the same rights and obligations as any citizen. However, they are particularly committed to the values ​​and norms of the Basic Law.

Inner leadership conveys these values: These include human dignity, freedom, peace, justice, equality, solidarity and democracy. They are always an integral part of the training and further education of soldiers, because in the worst case the soldiers risk their lives for these values.

The conscience as the final decision-making authority

The inner leadership concept is binding for every soldier. It serves as the basis for his actions. In addition, however, it obliges every soldier to think for himself and not just to blindly follow: the Bundeswehr knows no absolute obedience. The final decision-making body remains the conscience of each individual.

The principle of Inner Guidance is unique in the world. Many countries have adopted parts of it for their own armed forces. Inner Leadership, however, is not just a subject. It is related to the personality of every soldier: He must be able to lead himself. That means he must be well informed historically, politically and ethically. Only then can he make decisions and lead others.

Inner Guidance Center

The center of excellence for all questions and fields of action of the “corporate philosophy” of the Bundeswehr is the Center for Inner Leadership (ZInFüZentrum für Innereführung) in Koblenz. It offers over 50 types of courses with over 220 courses per year. The topics are diverse. They range from leadership, law, care and welfare to intercultural competence, ethics and international cooperation with soldiers from other armed forces.

Concepts for educational work are written here. They are constantly being adapted so that the ethics training in the Bundeswehr also remains compatible with young soldiers. In the Center for Military History and Social Sciences of the Bundeswehr in Potsdam and in the Center for Inner Guidance itself, the content of historical and political education is developed.

"Inner Leadership Today" program

To strengthen Inner Leadership, the “Inner Leadership Today” program was started under the direction of the Inspector General. The first thing to do here is to gain a comprehensive picture of the situation as to how leadership issues in the Bundeswehr are and where the problems or obstacles lie. All management levels of the Bundeswehr are considered from the bottom up. In a further step, measures are to be developed that are then implemented "top-down".

Political education in basic, advanced and advanced training for members of the armed forces should be given more priority at all levels. The values ​​for which the soldiers of the Bundeswehr stand up are to be given even more importance.