Thu, November 7, 2013
The School of Hard Knocks: Combat Leadership in the American Expeditionary Forces
All lectures are held in the multipurpose rooms of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The building opens at 6:30 p.m., the talk begins at 7:15 p.m., and the question period concludes around 8:30 p.m. All are welcome, and the event is free! For further information, please call 717-245-3972
November 7, 2013 (Thursday)
Richard Shawn Faulkner, Ph.D.
As the Great War raged across Europe, America faced a wide range of challenges, including developing and training junior and non-commissioned offers (NCOs). Advances in warfare technology and training techniques evolved at an astounding rate, forcing the U.S. Army to maintain equivalence with, or even surpass, the professionalism in the armies of her allies and enemies. The U.S. rapidly adapted the Army's training methods to create the leaders the growing Army needed. In his book, The School of Hard Knocks: Combat Leadership in the American Expeditionary Forces (Texas A&M University Press), Dr. Richard Shawn Faulkner highlights the flaws and successes of the U.S. Army in preparing junior officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) for their positions on the front lines. With increased responsibility and a lack of necessary training, many Captains, Lieutenants, and Sergeants did not understand the skills required to excel at their deadly profession. Not until they experienced combat did these leaders emerge with the skill sets necessary to lead men into battle. Dr. Faulkner's lecture will review the flaws of officer training efforts during World War I and will closely examine the leaders, and the men they commanded, as we hope to glean important lessons about military leadership today.
Dr. Faulkner is an Associate Professor of Military History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Previously, he taught American History at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Prior to earning his Ph.D. in American History from Kansas State University, Dr. Faulkner served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army. While with the Army, he served twenty-three years as an armor officer during which he commanded a tank company during Operation Desert Storm.