Air and Space Power Journal. Volume 25, Number 1, Spring 2011
AIR AND SPACE POWER JOURNAL MAXWELL AFB AL
Pagination or Media Count:
Over the past 10 years, I have directly supervised more than 90 colonels in a diverse array of staff, command, and combat environments. It has become obvious to me that the vast majority of them fall into two distinct categories good colonels and great colonels. The year that I recently spent as commander of the 321st Air Expeditionary Wing in Iraq served to reaffirm that certain tangible attributes do indeed separate the great colonels from the merely good ones. In my new duties as commandant of the Air War College, my goal is to help officers understand these attributes and, more importantly, inspire them to become truly great colonels. The difference between a good or great colonel can be as discreet as the simple courtesy of a kind word of thanks or as obvious as a display of personal and professional courage and leadership necessary to ensure a tough missions success. What is a great colonel, and how does an officer become one This article begins to answer those questions, considers some of the attributes of great colonels, and provides a framework for colonels to think about colonelship-the art of being a great colonel. No great colonel school exists in the professional military education system. Colonels become great by understanding what it means to be a colonel, mentoring, observing other great colonels, reflecting on personal experience, working hard, and practicing colonelship.
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