Commandant recognizes Dean Johnsen's 10-year leadership, announces next dean for Army War College
December 7, 2011
After ten years of magnificent service as the dean of the U.S. Army War College, Dr. Bill Johnsen has decided to step aside. I look forward to the opportunity this June to honor and celebrate the extensive contributions of this masterful College leader.
Dr. Johnsen's leadership set a wise course for the College throughout the extraordinary post-9/11 period. Despite the enormous demands of an Army at war, our Army leaders signaled the value they placed in the Army War College by sending top officers here to study and develop professionally for future requirements and challenges.
It is with our thanks and admiration that Dr. Johnsen will complete his tenure as dean through the graduation of the resident class of 2012. I look forward to standing with him in June as we congratulate the 10th student body to have benefited from the vision and leadership with which he has shaped this great institution. Dr. Johnsen will then take a well-earned sabbatical.
The next years for the Army War College must be marked by continued commitment to excellence and innovation as the nation and the Army War College adapt both to new fiscal realities and to a changing strategic environment.
As I look back in admiration on Dr. Johnsen's contributions, I look forward in anticipation to the contributions of the next dean of the Army War College, Lance Betros.
Col. Betros is currently Professor and Head of the Department of History at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY. After this year's USMA graduation, he will retire at the rank of brigadier general, and then take the lead for the College. We expect that he will join the distance education students at their graduation in July 2012, get to know the faculty this summer, and welcome the class of 2013.
Dr. Betros was selected from among a highly competitive pool of almost 50 gifted candidates. The selection process was supported by a panel of senior Army War College leaders and academic professionals. Through a multilayered selection process, Dr. Betros emerged clearly as the finest candidate among an extremely talented group of finalists.
Lance Betros will bring to Carlisle a passion for intellectual and leader development, as well as leadership and administrative skills honed during 35 years of commissioned service.
Since his commission into the Infantry at the U.S. Military Academy in 1977, Dr. Betros has gained the military experience and academic credentials that made him an ideal choice to be the new dean. As he spoke to the selection committee about his background, he demonstrated wisdom in identifying the lessons and values of each experience. Following battalion command, he served as the senior military aide to the Secretary of the Army. The assignment gave him a better understanding of the civil-military interactions at the highest levels of government. As well, he gained greater insight about how the Army operates within joint and combined environments.
His doctorate in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is consistent with a lifelong respect for the value of history to the military professional. He holds master's degrees from the School of Advanced Military Studies at the Command and General Staff College, and from UNC-CH. He elected to stay in D.C., after working with the Secretary of the Army, to pursue his military education at the National War College, where he was a distinguished graduate.
In recent years, he refined his skills in leading faculty, developing curriculum, and building programs to develop leaders and enrich education. For example, he restructured the core curriculum in history to better integrate and align the USMA cadet's experience with regional studies, foreign language and culture. Additionally, he founded the West Point Center for Oral History, an online archive of first-person interviews with soldiers and other national security professionals.
Dr. Betros exhibits the commitment to excellence and innovation that must be the hallmark of the Army War College. I find inspiration in his humility and enthusiasm about the opportunity to guide our institution, our faculty and our students. Our shared future will be founded on his deep respect for the professional excellence of the staff and faculty of the Army War College.
Dr. Betros and his wife, Laurel, will be a great fit and a significant addition for this institution. They look forward to joining our community and are already aware of its appeal. Dr. Betros has a love for Carlisle's historic roots and an appreciation for the historical collection of USAHEC's Military History Institute.
I am absolutely certain that Lance Betros is the right leader to guide our Army War College in providing wise, innovative and inspired leader development at this critical point in our history.
"Prudens Futuri " -- Wisdom and Strength for the Future.