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Forging the Fighting Spirit: The Operational Commander's Role in Rebuilding Combat Effectiveness.
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This monograph examines the role of the operational level commander in rebuilding combat effectiveness in the force. For the purpose of this monograph, the author defined combat effectiveness as the ability of an army to impose its will on enemy forces through combat actions. The loss of morale in an army significantly impacts on the commanders ability to impose his will on the enemy. This monograph investigates Field Manual 22-103, Senior Level Leadership and Command and TRADOC Pamphlet 525-200-1, Battle Command, to determine if the doctrine sufficiently addresses this leadership challenge. Support for this study was gained through the detailed analysis of the role of Lieutenant General William Slim, commander Fourteenth Army in Burma and Lieutenant General Matthew B. Ridgway, commander Eighth Army in Korea. Both assumed command of defeated armies in complete retreat. Both commanders were successful in rebuilding the fighting spirit of their armies. Finally, this monograph concludes both commanders developed an organizational vision which focused on rebuilding confidence through training, patrolling, calculated low risk offensive operations, and a visible direct commander presence at all levels. Success in these operations led to larger combat actions. Recommendations for the manuals include discussion of organizational vision and operational vision in the context of a campaign. This monograph also recommends that more emphasis be placed on the operational commanders use of direct leadership to enhance morale. Lastly, this monograph recommends more emphasis be placed on the operational commanders leadership role with combined forces.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE