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 Posted: Fri Mar 28th, 2008 10:03 am
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ashbel
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Joined: Fri Jan 25th, 2008
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I agree there are qualities of great generals that overlap with the qualities of good junior officers.  I think that is inevitable.  For example, both need to have the ability to motivate their men.  On the other hand, there are some qualities that don't overlap very much. For example, a captain does not have much of a need for strategic ability.

There is a missing ingredient in this list.  One might call it - "it."  There is a presence that great men (generals) have that separates them from the rest.  We can sense "it" when we around people who have it but I am not sure anyone can describe what "it" is.  I suppose we could add "it" to the list.

The fact that many junior officers have the same qualities of great generals is the core of John Boyd's theories on warfare.  That is why in today's modern american military the emphasis is putting decision making at the lowest effective level.  Generals do not have a monopoly on making good decisions.  Many of the disasters in the Civil War could have been avoided had generals allowed their subordinates to operate within the limits of broader strategic objectives rather than micro-managing every move.


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