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By Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL
/ Published April 27, 2017
Prior to the first jointly sponsored course in March 1987, the Army and Air Force developed and conducted individual yet similar courses, for flag officers from their respective Services.
The Chiefs of Staff of the Army and Air Force introduced Joint Initiative #37 of the Joint Force Development Process that directed the US Army War College and Air University to jointly develop and sponsor a warfighting course for flag officers. The initiative was approved in the fall of 1986.
The Service Chiefs implemented this course because:
Course attendees represented all services since course inception. Course support reflects formalized co-sponsorship from the four Services through the Naval War College, Marine Corps University, the Army War College and Air University.
The Joint Flag Officer Warfighting Course prepares selected flag officers for leadership responsibilities in planning and executing joint theater-level and joint task force warfare operations.
Primary methodology will be interactive seminars:
Guest speakers include:
Attendees will develop key elements of a theater campaign plan. The objective is to:
A theater campaign planning exercise enhances attendee understanding and appreciation of operational-level warfare. These discussions will:
Evening dinner sessions will be an integral part of the course. They provide an opportunity, while in a social environment, to discuss subjects of historic significance and current relevance, contentious issues that face today's theater commanders and an opportunity to exchange joint warfighting perspectives.
The four Service Chiefs share ownership of the course. The Commandant, Army War College; President, Naval War College; President, Marine Corps University; and the Commander, Air University, are designated as the Service Chiefs' executive agents for development and conduct of the course. As executive agents, they are responsible for ensuring each course is developed and conducted in accordance with this guide. Each Service provides one or two course directors.
These officers are charged to develop the course curriculum, arrange for guest speakers, facilitate discussions and coordinate staff actions to make the course as meaningful and enjoyable as possible.
This course will be funded by the respective Services. Executive agents will ensure course requirements are fiscally supported on an equitable basis. Monies will be designated specifically for course support. Responsible course directors will develop annual budgetary requirements to support the course.
This is a critical portion of the course ground rules. Open and frank discussions will occur when speakers know their statements will not be linked to them outside the room or to other speakers. When making a point with a follow-on speaker, based on issues raised by a previous speaker, attendees are instructed to limit the association by saying only, "A previous speaker stated..."