Senior Military Leadership: A Contemporary Analysis
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Over the years the subject of leadership, and particularly the disciplined variety practiced by the military, has been of obvious interest to the military community. Much of the research dealing with leadership during periods of conflict has been directed to analyzing the successes and failures of the leaders of World War II and earlier. However, because the technology of the battlefield has changed so significantly, media coverage so rapidly influences public opinion, and warfighting has become so directly influenced by civilian leadership, it was felt that a need existed to study leadership in a more contemporary setting--the Vietnam era. This paper attempts to define the attributes of the senior leader by referring to the Clausewitzian traits of the military genius, detail some effects of external influences as senior leaders functioned during the era studied, and through the use of the Military History Institute Oral History products, attempts to obtain first-hand experiences of such senior leaders as Generals Michael Davidson, Bruce Palmer and James Polk. The paper concludes that, while external influences have changed over the years, the qualities inherent in successful leadership have changed little.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics