CARLISLE, Pa. -- Decisions have serious consequences at the strategic level, said the director of the Army's Program Analysis and Evaluation Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G8. That's why the educational investment in Army War College students prepares them to understand, think critically, and solve problems in managing the Army's priorities of manpower, readiness, and modernization.
Maj. Gen. John Ferrari spoke to the joint student body of the War College in Bliss Hall Feb. 14. Ferrari's talk corresponded with the students' Defense Management course.
Ferrari illustrated his point about the consequences of defense management decisions with historical examples linked to the Battle of Kasserine Pass in World War II, Task Force Smith in the Korean War, and Desert One during Operation Eagle Claw in 1980. Defense management decisions had severe costs for soldiers in each of these operations, he said, as he urged students to learn the lessons of the past.
Shifting to contemporary issues, he characterized Army modernization as a priority to give senior leaders future options. Investment in new invention, science and technology development, will fuel future innovation.
Ferrari directed all of his comments to the immediacy of the challenges that the leaders in the class will face upon graduation. It will be up to them to drive change because change is hard and requires leadership. They will need to invest time in developing the organization and the leaders who will one day take their place. And, they will need to spend significant time communicating and interacting outside of their organization, and develop relationships with government officials, state representatives and community leaders to understand the environment they operate in and drive change within their organization.
The ability to communicate clearly and concisely will be a critical leadership skill, he concluded, before addressing the students' questions about artificial intelligence, China's technological advances, and the U.S. economy's implications for the Army.