Debunking the Myth of the Strategic Corporal
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA JOINT ADVANCED WARFIGHTING SCHOOL
Pagination or Media Count:
In 1999 General Charles Krulak introduced to the United States Marine Corps the concept of the strategic corporal in the widely read essay The Strategic Corporal Leadership in the Three Block War . General Krulak indicated that , given the modern battlefield s new character, the actions of a Marine corporal have strategic impact. Over the last decade, the term strategic corporal became mythologized within the military culture forever associated with negative consequences. Leaders now are concerned with the perceived risk to a strategic outcome emanating from the lowest of levels . In an effort to manage this perceived risk, senior leaders have elevated decision authorities far away from anyone but themselves . A thorough analysis of a series of contemporary historical case studies debunks the myth of the strategic corporal and demonstrates that tactical level incidents alone do not alter the strategic outcome of a conflict . The conclusion of this paper restores balance and demonstrates errors in policy or strategic level decisions ultimately affect the outcome of an operation and because the strategic corporal is a myth, recommends joint and service doctrine must be purged while reinforcing the essential elements of mission command .
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics