Accession Number : ADA325157

Title :   Operational Leadership: A Case Study of Two Extremes During Operation Watchtower.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI

Personal Author(s) : Dillard, Nancy R.

PDF Url : ADA325157

Report Date : 07 FEB 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 27

Abstract : Amid the fog and friction of war, operational leadership is an essential element of success. Never was this better demonstrated than in the South Pacific theater during World War II's Operation Watchtower (the American occupation of Guadalcanal and Tulagi), where an unforeseen change of command altered the course of history. Successful military theater commanders possess common traits that facilitate their operational leadership role. These traits include the intellectual ability and imagination to analyze situations, and to envision a future end state and the steps required to achieve it; communication skill to clearly articulate the vision to subordinates; enthusiasm and confidence to inspire subordinates beyond their known capabilities; boldness and audacity to take calculated risks decisively; good judgment to make the right decisions; and, when the going gets tough, strength of character and will to maintain the vision, stay the course, rekindle enthusiasm and keep hope alive. With the success of America's first major offensive operation against Japan in jeopardy, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN, Commander in Chief Pacific Ocean Areas, faced the soul-searching decision to relieve a subordinate commander. He replaced Vice Admiral Robert L. Ghormley, USN, Commander South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force, with Vice Admiral William F. Halsey, USN. Admiral Halsey's immediate positive impact on morale and readiness, coupled with his bold audacity, turned the tide and achieved victory in less than a month. Admiral Halsey proved to be the right leader in the right place at the right time.

Descriptors :   *MILITARY OPERATIONS, *LEADERSHIP, MILITARY HISTORY, THEATER LEVEL OPERATIONS, DECISION MAKING, SKILLS, MORALE, THESES, CASE STUDIES, MILITARY CAPABILITIES, STRENGTH(GENERAL), VISION, MILITARY COMMANDERS, JUDGEMENT(PSYCHOLOGY), PACIFIC OCEAN ISLANDS, SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN.

Subject Categories : Administration and Management
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE