4 November 2018

Creating Strategic Depth in the Army's Senior Leadership

By Kier Elmonairy & Joshua R. Storm

In recognition of the period of rapid technological change through which we are living and the challenges this change creates for today’s Army, the Army is taking a number of steps to make sure that it has the people, ideas, and material to succeed. From the establishment of a new cyber branch to the standing up of Futures Command, the Army has demonstrated a commitment to addressing the problems and seizing the opportunities presented by an increasingly networked world.

However, if we can characterize the time in which we live as one of rapid technological change, it is also one of strategic uncertainty unlike anything seen since the onset of the Cold War. Revisionist powers like China and Russia are rewriting the boundaries of their neighbors by force while regimes in Tehran and Pyongyang destabilize their respective regions. In the face of such an array of strategic challenges, is the Army preparing itself to provide the people and ideas needed to succeed in this complex new century?

There is an increasing sense in military circles that the answer to that question is no and that is due, in no small part, to the service’s recent track record.[i] While there is little question that the Army, which has borne the brunt of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has performed well at the tactical and operational level, there is also little doubt that neither conflict has been brought to a decisive and successful conclusion. This has led some to identify a strategic deficit at the highest levels of the Army command structure, resulting from the service’s failure to select, cultivate, retain, utilize, and advance officers who have focused on the strategic rather than the operational and tactical aspects of warfare in any systematic way.[ii] While the Army currently has a functional area for strategists (FA 59), these officers do not attain the rank of general officer and their careers typically culminate at Corps G-5 or Army Service Component Command (ASCC) Plans Chief and similar assignments.[iii]

The Army and the other services have successfully addressed a similar problem in the past. In the early 1980’s, sensing a deficiency in its development of operationally minded officers, the Army established the Advanced Military Studies Program to develop a cadre of officers who were experts at the operational level of warfare. The Marine Corps and Air Force would go on to establish similar programs.[iv]

Several observers have suggested that the Advanced Military Studies Program, or something modeled on it, could produce the type of strategic thinkers the service needs.[v] The Army even has developed a program, the Advanced Strategic Planning and Policy Program, or ASP3, which sends seasoned field grade officers to pursue doctoral degrees in a field of study related to strategy from civilian universities.[vi]

In our view, this starts too late in the officer career timeline for two reasons. First, the formulation of national defense strategy requires more of an analytical approach and different qualities than are required for addressing tactical problems. While tactical problems are largely bounded, solved within a military context, and often amenable to directive style leadership, the formulation of strategy deals with significantly more indefinite problem sets.[vii]

This analytical difference is compounded by a cultural one given that policy formation at the strategic level is driven more by consensus and coalition building than either tactical or operational decision-making. Put differently, military leaders at the strategic level must “speak the language” of their civilian counterparts in other agencies,[viii] and “frame[] the use of military force in a larger national and international framework of action.”[ix]

The current officer career timeline and Professional Military Education (PME) framework seeks and gets tactical and operational excellence from its officers. However, relying on the same system to advance officers possessing the different qualities and analytical skills associated with strategic excellence even while it does not actively select junior officers for these traits will not result in a critical mass of strategists at the highest levels of Army leadership. Put another way, assuming that a system geared towards producing tactical excellence will have preserved both tactically-suited officers as well as strategically-suited ones, without any conscious effort at identifying and retaining the latter, is likely to fail to retain many potential strategic experts, especially as a portion of this population opts-out or is screened out of the current office career track due to its emphasis on tactical skills.

Secondly, the practice within other professions suggests that those with the potential for service in positions dealing with the profession’s most far-reaching problems should be identified very early in their careers or before their careers have even begun. Law is one such profession. Even while still in law school, those law students who demonstrate the appropriate qualities compete and are selected for judicial clerkships, fellowships, or various honors programs at agencies such as the Department of Justice Honors Program. These clerkships, fellowships, and honors programs take newly graduated lawyers and place them in positions where they interact with judges, federal prosecutors, and agency heads, the “strategists” of the legal world. The new lawyers then assist the judges in the crafting of judicial opinions, legal memoranda, agency policies, and similar products. These interactions sharpen these new lawyers’ abilities to deal with highly abstract legal problems and concepts and prepare them for careers in these.

Crucially, these interactions also prepare the new lawyers to engage with senior members of their profession at a very early stage in their careers, providing a level of socialization. While clerkships and similar positions are not part of some mandatory cursus honorum for success in the legal world, a brief survey of the careers of the justices of the United States Supreme Court reveals that most of the justices left law school for federal clerkships.[x] At the completion of these positions, the gifted young lawyers will often take jobs at private firms and government agencies alongside their law school classmates.

Critically, the lawyers who take part in federal clerkships and similar programs continue to rotate between jobs at the highest levels of the legal profession throughout their career. Returning to the Supreme Court for an illustrative example, immediately following law school Justice Elena Kagan competed for and received two federal clerkships, the second of which with Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Justice Kagan followed her Supreme Court clerkship with a short stint in a Washington law firm before becoming a law professor at the University of Chicago and, later, Harvard. She served in the Clinton Administration in multiple capacities, became the Dean of Harvard Law School, and was made Solicitor General before being nominated to the Supreme Court herself.[xi] Identified as potentially well-suited for dealing with law’s most freighted theoretical issues while still in law school, Justice Kagan’s selection for two competitive clerkships changed the entire trajectory of her legal career. This contrasts with the typical law student who follows a well-worn path from law school and internships at a firm, to a junior associate at a firm she interned with, to junior partner, and so on up the ladder of the firm’s leadership structure perhaps making named partner. Both paths lead to success. Both paths require exceptional talent and determination. But these paths are different, they require different kinds of lawyers and the legal profession needs lawyers on both paths so it can carry out the responsibilities given to it by society. 

What follows is a proposal for another path, a new Army officer career track intended as a strategic expert development program. Dubbed here as the Strategic Staff Focus Track (SSFT), this program takes inspiration from civilian models and aims to select, cultivate, utilize, and advance officers demonstrating the potential for strategic leadership starting shortly before commissioning. The ultimate goal of the SSFT is to produce a critical mass of strategic experts who can serve alongside traditional command-track officers in key leadership positions at the highest levels of the Army. This proposal serves as a discussion framework and, while it is certainly in line with Secretary Esper’s statements[xii] on reforming the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act (DOPMA)[xiii] to move to a talent management based system, this article will not address interrelated issues such as the current career timeline or “up or out.” This proposal is also not about detracting from the Army’s programs for identifying and producing leaders who demonstrate tactical and operational excellence. Our Army needs those leaders as well as strategists to succeed in the complex conflicts of the future; this proposal seeks to complement, rather than replace, the Army’s system for officer management.
SSFT Overview

Through a separate development track focused on producing strategic experts, the Army can augment its current senior leader population, already highly adept at the tactical and operational level, with officers who have focused on the strategic level for most of their career. To meet this goal, a strategic expert development program like the SSFT must identify potential strategic experts early to maximize development time, provide selectees with focused educational and experiential development opportunities, and incorporate these officers into key staff positions throughout their career. At the same time, SSFT officers must not exist in a silo. Rather, they should have certain shared experiences with their traditional command track counterparts, to ensure that SSFT officers are inculcated with Army culture, and also to facilitate cross-pollination of ideas and connections between the two groups. Finally, a strategic expert development program should have multiple “on-ramps” and “off-ramps” to allow for effective force management. Inevitably, some selectees will fail to meet development targets or otherwise opt-out of the program, and some traditional command track officers may desire to opt-in to the program mid-career. The SSFT we propose here is designed with these criteria in mind, with the overall goal of producing seasoned strategic experts to augment the current senior leader population within the Army.
SSFT Phase I – Selection and Validation

In the first phase of the SSFT, certain commissioning officers would be selected for the program through a competitive examination process, and then would be “validated” for continuation in the SSFT both through successful completion of three years in a regular Army branch and through the completion of a pertinent independent research project.

A competitive examination process would serve as the initial entry point into the SSFT for commissioning officers. Although the exact components of the examination and their respective weighting would need to be identified through a deliberate design process, the examination should evaluate traditional academic skills like critical thinking and analytical reasoning, knowledge of the Department of Defense’s role in national policy, and the ability to craft effective responses to decision problems. The examination process need not be entirely novel; it could utilize an existing academic skills test like the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) as a primary component, along with separate standardized testing on military and national security knowledge and decision-making. The decision-making portion could be loosely modeled on the essay portion of the Law School Admissions Test, which “presents a decision problem” and requires the examinee “to make a choice between two positions or courses of action,” evaluating the response based not upon which course of action is selected, but rather on the effectiveness of how the examinee defends the selection.[xiv] An additional benefit of incorporating either the GRE or GMAT as a component would be to ensure that SSFT selectees will be competitive for the civilian graduate programs that they will pursue during SSFT Phase II, infra. 

After being identified through the examination process, SSFT selectees would be required to complete 36 months as a junior officer in a traditional basic branch. In this manner, SSFT selectees would serve alongside their peers for the initial three years of their career. Selectees would still go through the normal branching process, attend their branch’s Basic Officer Leader Course (BOLC), and then post to a brigade combat team. This will provide SSFT selectees with the same baseline introduction to Army culture as regular command track officers. As junior officers in combat formations, they will gain an awareness of the critical roles played by non-commissioned officers and soldiers and the effect that command decisions have on these populations. Importantly, this initial period will also ensure that SSFT selectees understand and can endure the basic rigors of field operations, given that the upper echelon staffs with which the SSFT selectees will spend most of their career will inevitably sometimes deploy and operate in austere forward locations.

Capped at 36 months (inclusive of BOLC), SSFT selectees’ initial tours would be shorter than their traditional counterparts, who often remain at their initial duty stations until promoted to Captain (typically 48 months from commissioning). The rationale for the abbreviated tour during Phase I is to provide a baseline of Army experience before returning SSFT selectees to civilian graduate programs in Phase II at a similar age and with a similar amount of work experience as their civilian peer counterparts. Moreover, an additional 12 months at the tactical level is unlikely to produce any additional information about an SSFT selectee that is worth delaying their development as a strategist for that length of time.

Concurrently with this initial 36-month period, SSFT selectees would be required to complete an independent research project on a relevant national security strategy topic. Although the exact requirements would need to be deliberately crafted, in theory, the completed project would be on par with an undergraduate honors thesis at a selective institution. The research projects could be evaluated by Army War College or USMA faculty, perhaps augmented by some senior staff officers. Similar persons could also be assigned as mentors for the independent research project.

Successful completion of the project would be a prerequisite to continuing on the SSFT; those selectees who fail to complete the project or whose projects fail to meet qualitative requirements would revert to the normal officer development path (since these officers would already be completing the normal key developmental (KD) positions as their peers, they would in theory not suffer a career set-back). To facilitate a competitive process and high-quality projects, continuation in the SSFT could be limited to a fixed proportion or number of selectees, who would be chosen based on the ranking of their projects. 

The independent research project requirement would serve several key program design objectives. First and foremost, because selectees must complete the project simultaneously while serving in regular junior officer positions, the requirement would ensure selectees have the discipline and drive to engage in the extra-curricular educational self-development required to build deep strategic thinking. Further, the independent research project requirement would help validate the results of the initial SSFT selection by measuring those academic skills that are difficult to test in a standardized examination, such as developing a research plan, and drafting and revising a comprehensive product. The project requirement would also provide the first “off-ramp” through which selectees could opt-out of the track voluntarily and through which those who do not demonstrate the research and writing skills of a future strategic expert would revert to the traditional command track. Finally, in years in which a significant number of SSFT selectees fail to complete the project, certain traditional command-track officers could compete to fill the remaining slots, such as those who are conducting independent research as part of a fellowship program.

In summary, to continue along the SSFT, during Phase I an officer must sit for a competitive examination while still a cadet and then be selected for the program before commissioning. Then, once commissioned, the officer must be “validated” for continued inclusion in the program through completion of an initial 36 months with a basic branch, and to concurrently complete an independent research project. Having completed competitive exam-based selection and demonstrated their fitness for continued inclusion in the program, SSFT selectees would then proceed to Phase II.
SSFT Phase II – Graduate Education and Initial Staff Utilization Tour

Phase II is where the development for SSFT officers begins to differ dramatically from the traditional officer career timeline. Rather than attending a Captain’s Career Course (CCC) and returning to a line unit to prepare for and undertake company-level command, SSFT officers would attend a civilian graduate program and serve on a senior level staff. This program is loosely modeled on the current Joint Chiefs of Staff / Office of the Secretary of Defense / Army Staff Intern Program (“JCS/OSD/ARSTAFF Intern Program”), with longer education and utilization periods. SSFT officers under the current promotion timeline would be senior First Lieutenants at the beginning of Phase II and mid-grade Captains at the end of Phase II.

There are a wide variety of graduate programs and institutions that could provide the desired education during this phase, and not all SSFT officers would necessarily need to complete the same one. Two of the most suitable are probably Master in Public Policy (MPP) or Master in Public Administration programs. Regardless of the specific degree or institution, however, permissible programs should be traditional and full-time in nature, in contrast to the accelerated programs seen in some current fellowship programs. Although there is value in accelerated programs like the Master in Public Management (completed by current JCS fellows), a traditional, full-time program will provide SSFT officers with increased exposure to their civilian classmates and allow for greater networking opportunities with future government officials—crucial for military strategic experts given the realities of the interagency policy-making process and the importance of civilian control and oversight of the armed forces.

Following completion of their degree program, SSFT officers would proceed to complete a senior-level utilization tour for 2–3 years as assistants and then as action officers within the Joint Staff, OSD, or ARSTAFF. During this period, they would gain critical exposure to the senior-level policymaking process. SSFT officers would be required to brief and interact with senior military and civilian decision-makers, building the skills that they will need as senior staff officers during subsequent SSFT phases. Focused evaluation during these positions would be critical; officers identified as ill-suited to working at these high levels would be removed from the SSFT and returned to their initial branches.

The most striking trade-off presented by this phase and SSFT Phase III, infra, is that SSFT officers would forego the time spent on battalion staffs and in company-level command by their traditional counterparts and instead spend additional time serving on senior level staffs. Although battalion staff service and company command provide additional experience in small-unit tactics and battalion operations, SSFT officers will already have basic exposure to these concepts from SSFT Phase I. An additional 36–48 months at CCC and in these roles would come at the expense of early civilian graduate education and exposure to senior leaders and strategic decision-making, both crucial to developing future strategic experts. In this manner, SSFT Phase II is similar to the judicial clerkship model in that it would have officers intentionally forego certain traditional developmental positions to cultivate different qualities.
SSFT Phase III – Basic Strategic Art Program and Second Staff Utilization Tour

Following completion of their initial utilization tour, SSFT officers would complete the Army War College’s 16-week Basic Strategic Art Program (BASP) followed by a second utilization tour. This would occur when SSFT officers are mid-grade captains, the time in which their command-track counterparts are in or have completed company command and are proceeding on to broadening assignments. Because civilian graduate education is front-loaded for SSFT officers, they could not need to complete additional broadening opportunities at this point beyond BASP.

Currently designed as the qualification course for FA 59 strategists, the Basic Strategic Art Program seeks to equip graduates “with the tools and perspective to bridge the gap between their tactical/operational background and the challenges of operating at the grand-strategic and theater-strategic level of war and policy.”[xv] As Michael Shekleton has observed, the BASP is a program that could be expanded from its current role in producing FA 59 officers to also train other officers in strategic art. Unlike Shekleton’s proposal, however, which would send officers to BASP following completion of Intermediate Level Education (ILE), our proposed SSFT would send officers well before ILE to allow for additional time to build upon the skills garnered from BASP. Finally, at 16 weeks, BASP would be short enough to allow SSFT officers to complete the course as well as their second utilization tour before promotion to major. 

In their second utilization tour, SSFT officers would serve for 2–3 years on staffs at echelons ranging from division to Army Service Component Command (ASCC). At the division level, for example, the SSFT officers could serve as an assistant to the division chief of staff. This second utilization period would provide SSFT officers with exposure to operations at these echelons. In addition to skills developed during BASP, SSFT officers would also bring to bear the experience with senior level decision-making gained during the first utilization period. Further, this utilization tour would continue to build on the broadening training SSFT officers gain during their graduate education and the initial senior-level utilization tour.
SSFT Phase IV – Intermediate Level Education and School of Advanced Military Studies

Phase IV brings together SSFT and command-track officers to attend resident Intermediate Level Education (ILE) at the Command and General Staff College (CGSC). SSFT officers who complete resident ILE and the thesis requirement for the accompanying Masters of Military Art and Science Degree (MMAS) would also go on to attend the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) with those command-track officers selected for the Advanced Military Studies Program (AMSP). Resident ILE, a highly competitive course, would need to be expanded to accommodate the relatively small pool of SSFT officers. 

Participation in these existing programs would provide several benefits for SSFT officers. Focused on operational thinking, resident ILE and SAMS will build on the experiences gained from working on senior level staffs during SSFT Phases II and III. Although SSFT officers are being trained with the end goal of developing strategic thinkers, an understanding of how military operational art links tactics to strategy is essential in producing effective strategists, particularly strategists who must be able to understand and can speak the operational language of command-track officers. Moreover, participation in resident ILE and SAMS will foster the cross-pollination of ideas and experiences between SSFT and command-track officers.

Optional for command-track students undergoing resident ILE, making the concurrent Master in Military Art and Science program mandatory for SSFT officers would help validate the SSFT population and ensure that they remain committed to their educational development. The MMAS program requires minimum grades during resident ILE and, importantly, a supervised graduate-level thesis.[xvi] This provides an additional “off-ramp” for SSFT officers who fail to complete the thesis, helpful in identifying those participants whose research and writing skills have not kept pace with their peers since completing the individual research project during SSFT Phase I and the graduate program requirements during SSFT Phase II.

At the same time, successful completion of resident ILE and SAMS could serve as an “on-ramp” into the SSFT for competitive command-track officers who wish to transition between the two pathways, foregoing battalion command in favor of more accelerated senior staff positions. This mid-career “on-ramp” could also be used to jumpstart the pipeline of SSFT officers early in the implementation of the SSFT so that junior SSFT officers would have more senior mentors within the program. Selection criteria for this “on-ramp” would evaluate the quality of writing produced during the CGSC programs, the nature of an officer’s broadening assignments as a senior Captain, and the overall service record. Selection would be especially appropriate for those command-track officers who participated in the traditional JCS Intern Program or other broadening assignments that resulted in a pertinent master’s degree and utilization.

SSFT Phase V – Continued Staff and Joint Service

Following completion of resident ILE and SAMS, SSFT officers would return to serving on upper echelon staffs, rather than the traditional battalion-level KD positions for Majors. These upper echelon positions would be similar to those filled by command-track AMSP graduates during their utilization tour.[xvii] However, SSFT officers would continue in these positions for several years, whereas command-track AMSP graduates only perform short utilization tour before returning to the battalion and brigade level for their KD assignments. SSFT officers would rotate between different echelons and would assume positions of increasing authority within these staffs. They would also compete for and participate in the Joint Duty broadening positions that the traditional officer career track emphasizes in the period between an officer’s completion of the KD positions for majors and battalion command.

SSFT officers would not compete for or complete battalion command. This is a necessary function of the SSFT pathway, which sacrifices time in company command and senior battalion staff positions in favor of accelerated experience on higher-echelon staffs. Traditional command-track officers, who have spent most of their careers at the battalion and lower echelons, are simply better suited for battalion command due to their years spent mastering small-unit tactics, direct leadership, and managing personnel and equipment requirements.

By contrast, at the 16 to 18-year window, when traditional officers complete battalion command, SSFT officers would assume upper-echelon staff and Joint Duty positions with significantly-increased responsibility. It is true that filling these positions with SSFT officers would displace a certain population of command-track officers who may otherwise desire these positions as broadening opportunities. Such displacement should not be seen as a drawback, however, and should instead be used to allow battalion commanders to remain in command for longer periods. After all, command-track officers prepare for years for these coveted positions—better to leverage their skills in command for a longer period and let SSFT officers, with their years of high-level staff service, fill senior staff positions instead.
SSFT Phase VI – Senior Service College and Beyond

In the final unique phase of the SSFT, officers would again converge with their traditional track counterparts to attend one of the Senior Service Colleges (SSC). Like the rationale for attending resident ILE and SAMS during SSFT Phase III, having SSFT officers attend an SSC will provide for cross-pollination of ideas and networking between the two groups.

Following SSC, the two tracks would essentially merge as both SSFT, and command-track officers compete for the senior staff and broadening assignments available at the senior lieutenant colonel and colonel ranks. Just as SSFT officers would not become battalion commanders earlier in their careers, they similarly would not participate in the competitive selection process for brigade command. However, SSFT officers would be highly qualified for command or deputy command positions at the division level and above, where the value of tactical expertise diminishes, and the demand for strategic depth emerges. This is the end goal for a strategic leader development program like the SSFT—to produce a population of officers with a multi-decade depth of experience at the operational and strategic level who would complement, rather than replace, command-track officers in filling the most senior positions within the Army. 

The Army these officers will lead is one facing increasingly complex problems at all levels of conflict and thus one that requires officers with different skill sets. Even as the Army has already taken steps to ensure that it will have the tools and technologies demanded by this uncertain future, it is critical that the Army also ensures that it has the people to succeed by deliberately developing some of its officers for strategic expertise, in the same manner, that the current-command track emphasizes tactical and operational skill. As in other professions like the American legal system, this means cultivating excellence at all levels of the profession and doing so from the early stages in the career timeline.

Captain Kier Elmonairy, U.S. Army. Kier Elmonairy served as a Scout Platoon Leader and Company Intelligence Support Team Leader in OEF XII-XIII, Troop Executive Officer, and Deputy Strategic Planner at 7th Army. He currently attends the Georgetown University Law Center and will be assigned to the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. He is a student editor of the Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy. This article represents the opinions of the authors alone; it does not represent the opinions or policies of the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, or the United States Government.

Captain Joshua R. Storm, U.S. Army. Joshua Storm served as a Troop Fire Support Officer, Field Artillery Platoon Leader, and Battalion Logistics Officer in the 4th Infantry Division. He is a 2018 J.D. graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and will be assigned to the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He served as a student managing editor on the Journal of National Security Law & Policy for 2017–18.

This article represents the opinions of the authors alone; it does not represent the opinions or policies of the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, or the United States Government.

[i] The observers include numerous senior Army officers and academics. See, e.g., Major General (Ret.) Robert H. Scales, Are You a Strategic Genius: Not Likely, Given Army’s System For Selecting, Educating Leaders, Association of the United States Army Magazine (Oct. 13, 2016), https://www.ausa.org/articles/army-system-selecting-educating-leaders; Michael Shekleton, Developing Strategic Leaders: An Option, The Strategy Bridge (Dec. 6, 2016), https://thestrategybridge.org/the-bridge/2016/12/6/developing-strategic-leaders-an-option (noting the concerns of Major General Scales, former Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno, and Lieutenant General William Rapp). For concerns about whether the officer corps is attracting the sort of recruits required to succeed on tomorrow’s battlefields, see Arthur T. Coumbe, Steven J. Condly, Lieutenant Colonel William L. Skimmyhorn, Still Soldiers and Scholars? An Analysis of Army Officer Testing, Strategic Studies Institute (Dec. 15, 2017) http://ssi.armywarcollege.edu/pubs/download.cfm?q=1374; Matthew F. Cancian, Officers Are Less Intelligent: What Does It Mean?, Joint Forces Quarterly (Apr. 2016) http://ndupress.ndu.edu/JFQ/Joint-Force-Quarterly-81/Article/702026/officers-are-less-intelligent-what-does-it-mean/.

[ii] See Scales and Shekleton, supra note 1.

[iii] Officers selected for FA59 typically enter the program as senior captains or junior majors and are counted on to “lead multidisciplinary groups and facilitate senior leader decision making by assessing, developing, and articulating policy, strategy, and plans at the national and theater levels.” Headquarters, Dep’t of the Army, DA Pamphlet 600–3, Commissioned Officer Professional Development & Career Management, 416–418 (2014).

[iv] Kevin C.M. Benson, Educating the Army’s Jedi: The School of Advanced Military Studies and the Introduction of Operational Art into U.S. Army Doctrine, (Mar. 25, 2010) https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/bitstream/handle‌/1808/‌7716/Benson_ku_0099D_11120_DATA_1.pdf?sequence=1.

[v] See, e.g., Shekelton, supra note 1 (suggesting that the 14-week long Basic Strategic Art Program, the pre-requisite course for FA 59, could be combined with a 12-month utilization at HQDA, ASCCs, or ACOMs to lock in the academic gains as a solution).

[vi] ASP3 is a five- to six-year program taking senior majors and junior lieutenant colonels, having them complete all requirements for a doctorate in a strategy related field of study except the dissertation, complete either command at brigade or battalion or serve a developmental assignment with a DOD, joint, or service headquarters, followed by a year of work on a dissertation. Jim Tice, Army seeks officer for elite military studies doctoral program, Army Times, (Feb. 15, 2016) https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2016/02/15/army-seeks-officers-for-elite-military-studies-doctoral-program/.

[vii] See Shekelton, supra note 1.

[viii] See Shekelton, supra note 1 (noting that a tendency to revert to directive style leadership sometimes results in the military strategist being “voted off the island” in the multi-agency policy formation context).

[ix] Major General William E. Rapp, Civil-Military Relations: The Role of Military Leaders in Strategy Making, 45 (3) Parameters 13, 17 (2015).

[x] Current Members, Supreme Court of the United States, https://www.supremecourt.gov/about/‌biographies‌.aspx (last visited Aug. 23, 2018).

[xi] Id.

[xii] Master Sergeant Brian Hamilton, Talent management enhances total force readiness, U.S. Army (Apr. 6, 2018), https://www.army.mil/article/203537/talent_management_enhances_total_force_readiness

[xiii] Defense Officer Personnel Management Act, Public Law 96-513, 94 Stat. 2835 (1980).

[xiv] Law School Admission Test (LSAT) Writing Sample, Law School Admission Council, https://www.lsac.org/‌jd‌/‌lsat/prep/writing-sample (last visited Aug. 23, 2018). Unlike the more general prompts used on the LSAT, the prompts for an SSFT selection examination could be tailored to strategic decision-making at the national level.

[xv] United States Army War College, Basic Strategic Art Program, https://csl.armywarcollege.edu/DSLD‌/BSAP/‌Default.aspx (last accessed Aug. 23, 2018).

[xvi] U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Master of Military Art and Science (MMAS) Program Information, https://usacac.army.mil/sites/default/files/documents/cace/MMAS_handout.pdf (last accessed Aug. 23, 2018).

[xvii] See U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, School of Advanced Military Studies, https://usacac.‌army.‌mil/‌organizations‌/‌cace/cgsc/sams (last visited Aug. 23, 2018) (“Following graduation, officers will generally serve twenty four month utilization tour in critical battle staff positions at a division, corps, or Army Service Component Command.”).

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