Accession Number : AD1019378

Title :   Becoming Curt Lemay: The Formative Experiences of an Air Force Icon

Descriptive Note : Technical Report

Corporate Author : Air University School of Advanced Air and Space Studies Maxwell AFB United States

Personal Author(s) : McElvaine,Charles A

Full Text :

Report Date : 01 Jun 2011

Pagination or Media Count : 100

Abstract : LeMay's remarkable life and military career offer an informative case study that illustrates the role formative events and personal relationships play in shaping ones character and worldview. For LeMay, military advancement and operational successes grew from his uncanny ability to solve complex problems and the positive feedback cycle stemming from his relationships with senior leaders. LeMay successfully navigated a nuanced and competitive selection process to earn a pilot training slot. That experience validated fundamental aspects of his emergent character. As LeMay developed into a military leader, combat experiences and his sponsors positive influence refined that character and legitimized his belief system. LeMay emerged from World War II as the most successful operational commander of the war. His formative journey was complete; he had become Curtis LeMay. During the subsequent 20 years, the formative lessons learned before the end of the war both aided LeMay's successful stewardship of Strategic Air Command and contributed to his struggles as chief of staff of the Air Force.

Descriptors :   air force personnel , leadership , military history , lessons learned , warfare , military commanders , military training , military operations , decision making

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE