The purpose of this website is to provide an overview of what People First means in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and how it is operationalized in our formations.

Within both this Website and the Eagle Tribe Cohesion Guide you will find information and  resources to help build cohesive teams and support holistic wellness throughout your formation with a special emphasis on the platoon and squad level. These resources will help you develop your Eagle Day, Eagle Tribe Time, and Eagle Family Time activities so that you can meet the unique needs of your teams, squads, and families.



We at the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) define “People First” as the new and ongoing commitment to empowering engaged leaders and Soldiers to build cohesive teams that are lethal on the battlefield, ethically strong, and devoted to one another.

The key terms in this definition are important and are defined as follows:

  • People: Our Soldiers, Civilians, Families, and Retirees

  • First: Prioritizing our people while we prepare for Large Scale Combat Operations

  • New: Not doing business as usual

  • Cohesive Teams: Closely united platoons, squads, and families where every person believes they matter to their Tribe and the Tribe matters to them.

  • Engaged Leaders: Leaders who know their Soldiers and are devoted to their success in every aspect of their lives.

  • Engaged Soldiers: Soldiers who are passionate about, and actively participating in, the positive development of themselves, their squad, and their families.

  • Empowered Leaders: Leaders who are provided with the training, resources, and time necessary to be successfully engaged in the lives of their subordinates.


People First is a bold change, not a continuation of the status quo. What worked 20 years ago is, in many cases, not effective today. People First requires that we are open to innovative approaches, many of which may come from unexpected sources. Innovation always involves risk, but it also provides us the opportunity to set an example for the rest of the Army to follow.

People First is most effective when executed by empowered leaders at the lowest level. Within the 101st, this is at the level of squad leaders, platoon sergeants and platoon leaders. This group of leaders makes People First a reality for the majority of our Soldiers and therefore requires their full commitment to the planning and execution of all future initiatives.

People First is founded upon engaged leaders who know their Soldiers and demonstrate that they care about them. Leaders invest in knowing their Soldiers and understand their situation both professionally and personally. Soldiers with engaged leaders believe they matter. Teams where every member believes they matter to the team, and the team matters to them, become Tribes. This is what it means to have a cohesive team and it starts with engaged leadership.

People First believes that Tribes are both more lethal and more resistant to harmful behaviors. Success in combat requires Soldiers to put the needs of the unit ahead of their own. Tribes do this instinctively because of their devotion to one another. For Tribes that live the Army Values, this same devotion makes them more resistant to harmful behaviors. Membership in a Tribe is something so special that its members steadfastly refuse to engage in any behavior that would bring dishonor the Tribe or threaten their position within it.

Sometimes People First means prioritizing long term readiness and retention over short term readiness. We recognize that sometimes, we will need to prioritize the needs of the Soldier over the needs of the unit. This will ensure that high performing Soldiers have the time for their professional development and ability to work through unique family challenges. This might lead to a short term decrease in performance, but will lead to retention of high quality Soldiers and ensure their ability to contribute to our mission over many years.