Citizen Warrior: Major General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain a Study in Command Leadership
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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An examination of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlains conduct during the Civil War is shown to meet the Clausewitzian criteria for military genius he exemplified in stressful and challenging situations temperament, courage, sensitive and discriminating judgment, skilled intelligence, intellect to include presence of mind and imagination, determination, and strength of character. There have been many successful command leaders over the ages. This study will conclude that military command leaders are made, not born, and a look at the traits of leadership as noted by the authors of military classics is still applicable to contemporary leaders. In particular, Clausewitzs material concerning Military Genius provides excellent material that one can test in a case study. An examination of Joshua Chamberlains conduct during the Civil War using the criteria established by Clausewitz allows us to determine if he could be classified as a genius. History has documented that Chamberlain is an exemplar at both the tactical and strategic levels of war. The tactical describes the Little Round Top action in terms relevant to contemporary battlefield leadership. This event characterizes Chamberlain as having synergy, simultaneity and depth, anticipation, balance, leverage, timing and tempo, operational reach and approach. At the strategic level, Joshua Chamberlain s greatest contribution to our nation may have been not at Gettysburg or Petersburg, but at Appomattox. Chosen as commander of troops at which the Confederate Army laid down its arms and colors, a noble salute by Joshua Chamberlain history has shown that it was an important and significant first step in the reunification of the country torn apart by war. Joshua Chamberlains superior command leadership, imaginative planning, and aggressive conduct during the Civil War provide a powerful example of exceptional combat leadership.
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics