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Major General George Gordon Meade and the Philosophy of Mission Command at the Battle of Gettysburg

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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This research studies Meades leadership during the Battle of Gettysburg through the lens of the Armys 2019 leadership doctrine, specifically the philosophy of mission command. Gettysburg was Meades first battle as commander of the Union Army of the Potomac and occurred only three days after he assumed command. This paper explains the Army doctrine on the philosophy of mission command from the March 28, 2014 version of ADRP 6-0 which contains change two. It then assesses Meades leadership during each of the three days of battle and how it enabled his corps commanders. Each of these days provided Meade with different and difficult problems. While acknowledging that the philosophy of mission command was not Army doctrine or formally codified for several more decades, the analysis of Meades leadership during Gettysburg shows that he led in a matter that resembles modern doctrine. This historical example can be useful when envisioning leadership in a communications degraded environment.

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Technical Report,01 Aug 2018,01 Jun 2019



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Approved For Public Release;

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