Status: 24.09.2023, 11:00 a.m.
By: Claudia Becker
Visiting: Major General Markus Kurczyk, Commander of the Center for Inner Leadership, gave a lecture at the Air Force Officers' School in Fürstenfeldbruck. © Claudia Becker
Fürstenfeldbruck - How important is the Bundeswehr today, what status does it occupy in society and how does the topic of education fit into the military context?
Major General Markus Kurczyk asked himself these and other questions during his visit to the Air Force Officers' School in Fürstenfeldbruck. Kurczyk is commander of the Center for Inner Leadership in Koblenz. As a leadership and organizational culture, this determines and sets the framework for all members of the Bundeswehr. It determines the actions and shapes the citizens in uniform, bound by the oath of loyalty and bravery for our right and freedom. The task of the Centre is to prepare the members of the Bundeswehr mentally and to bring the "mindset of national and alliance defence" into the troops.
New Handbook and Graphic Novel
The Major General used the summer to discuss this mindset with the soldiers as well as the civilian members of the Bundeswehr at the training facilities of the armed forces and to present the new "Handbook on Inner Leadership". The predecessor, Kurczyk reveals, dates back to 1957. There had been no need to adapt it before. Now it is time to make Innere Führung "fit for the 21st century". In November, the official presentation of the new handbook will come – modern with an app and a graphic novel. Putin's war of aggression on Ukraine proves that a lot has happened since then: convincing young people to join the Bundeswehr, to commit themselves and to stand up for the values it embodies.
More soldiers are needed again
"Civic education as an important part of personality development must begin in schools and our public sphere and be practice-oriented, with relevance for the individual. The Bundeswehr cannot do this alone," he says, referring to society. The imprint begins in the parental home, but friends, school and the media are also in demand. Terms such as loyalty and bravery have taken on a negative connotation, norms and values are no longer
known to many people. Over the next few years, more soldiers will be needed again. As a result of the war, national and alliance defense has come into focus. But catastrophes such as the flood in the Ahr valley have also shown that it is not possible to do without the Bundeswehr at home, according to the Major General. More than 2,000 soldiers were deployed.
Rebuilding the sense of value
With the war in Europe, the threat situation has moved closer to one's own feelings. "80 percent of Germans say we need a Bundeswehr, only 25 percent would be willing to join," says Kurczyk. However, he does not think much of conscription, in his eyes it is important to talk to the young people, to find out under what conditions they would be willing to join the Bundeswehr. "We've relied on our allies for 45 years, now they have to rely on us," he says. He considers a common sense of values to be the cornerstone, which must first be rebuilt.