Accession Number : ADA274423

Title :   Leadership of the Operational Commander: Combat Multiplier or Myth?

Descriptive Note : Monograph

Corporate Author : ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MIL ITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s) : Ritter, George P.

Report Date : 27 MAY 1993

Pagination or Media Count : 58

Abstract : The exercise of operational leadership becomes increasingly difficult as technology makes the battlefield more lethal, as the pace of combat accelerates, and as combat forces become more joint and combined. U.S. Army senior level leadership doctrine states that high level leaders exercise leadership through indirect methods. This monograph answers the question: Is it possible for the modern, operational commander to exercise leadership as a combat multiplier, or have battlefield conditions made operational leadership a myth? The monograph examines two case studies of operational commanders in the modern era: General Erwin Rommel in the North African Campaign of 1941 - 1942 and General Matthew Ridgway in the Korean campaign of 1951. The case studies analyze the leadership, or lack of it, in terms of the four functions of leadership as described by U.S. Army doctrine and expanded upon by U.S. Army Brigadier General Huba Wass de Czege: providing purpose, establishing direction, generating motivation, and sustaining force effectiveness. To determine the effectiveness of these functions as exercised by Rommel and Ridgway, the analysis uses battle outcomes, casualty/loss rates, and condition of forces at the conclusion of operations. The evidence cited shows that much of Rommel's defect can be attributed to his failure to exercise leadership at the operational level. In contrast, Ridgway's victory, in greet part, was the result of this successful, operational leadership. The monograph concludes that operational leadership is a combat multiplier, but that the functions of leadership--as demonstrated by these two commanders--are not equal in importance to operational outcomes.

Descriptors :   *LEADERSHIP, *MILITARY COMMANDERS, *TACTICAL WARFARE, *MILITARY DOCTRINE, MILITARY OPERATIONS, LETHALITY, WARFARE, ARMY, JOINT MILITARY ACTIVITIES, MILITARY HISTORY.

Subject Categories : Administration and Management
      Personnel Management and Labor Relations
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
      Government and Political Science
      Humanities and History
      Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE