The Things They Carried
by Tim O'Brien
Character Role Analysis
Jimmy Cross is ostensibly the leader of the group, but he's a weird kind of leader. While he's the officer, and therefore tells the group where they need to be and what they need to do, that is the only way in which he leads.
He's not a moral leader, a social leader, or a remotely inspirational leader. He's not the leader because he's best suited for that role; he's the leader because the army chose him to be the leader.