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Senior Service College: A Pillar of Civilian Senior Leader Development

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Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States

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The development of a dynamic civilian senior leadership corps within the Department of Defense DOD is a critical yet unrealized item on the strategic agenda. The involvement of this sector of the nations largest federal employer in supporting a constantly changing, increasingly intensive warfighting mission is vital to the achievement of the Departments unique goals within the homeland defense apparatus. The attendance of DOD civilians at senior service colleges SSCs serves as a formidable and necessary link between two diverse cultures that must unite to perform a challenging national security mandate. Unless it concentrates its efforts with a holistic, results-oriented leader development strategy that exposes more civilians to this experience, DOD will continue to minimize a valuable resource and will not fully manifest its potential to develop a well-rounded cadre of senior leaders who can thrive within the Total Force and contribute to fulfilling joint, enterprise, interagency and national security objectives. DOD supports the National Security Strategy NSS of the United States, which identifies the security of the United States, its citizens, and U.S. allies and partners as one of Americas four enduring national interests. Inherent in achieving this interest, the NSS alludes to the necessity of applying the whole-of-government approach, which incorporates comprehensive use of the diplomatic, informational, military, and economic instruments of power. These national instruments of power are interdependent and their judicious, strategic application underpins a well-executed national security plan. The NSS asserts, Collaboration across the government and with our partners at the state, local, and tribal levels of government, in industry and abroad must guide our actions.

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