Lewis and Clark


The Corps of Discovery

The Corps of Discovery

Staff Ride Handbook for the Lewis and Clark Expedition

By Charles D. Collins, Jr.

299 Pages

Published: 2010

The Lewis and Clark staff ride presented in this booklet, by contrast, focuses on a US Army mission to explore the unknown during a time of peace. By studying the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-1806, traveling the route, and visiting the places where key decisions were made, the military professional can gain a greater appreciation of what it means to be a leader in today’s Army and gain an enhanced understanding of the time-honored leadership principle of Be, Know, Do. The captains had commendable character, the “Be” of Be, Know, Do.

They had the courage to do what was right regardless of the circumstances or the consequences. In short, they lived the Army values of honor, loyalty, and selfless service. The Lewis and Clark Expedition 1804-06 is an effective vehicle for a staff ride. It raises a variety of teaching points that are relevant to today’s officer. In addition, the expedition exemplifies the values that have guided the American soldier to the present day. The Staff Ride Handbook for the Lewis and Clark Expedition provides a systematic approach to the analysis of this key operation.

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Into the Unknown: The Logistics Preparation of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Into the Unknown

The Logistics Preparation of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

By Major Donald L. Carr

123 Pages

Published: 2004

Two hundred years ago, a 30-man US Army party—the “Corps of Discovery”—ascended the Missouri River and conducted the most extensive exploration yet attempted of the North American continent’s interior. Their accomplishments in the two-year journey were remarkable, and bear testimony to the leadership acumen of Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. The results were also a testament to the courage and fortitude of the soldiers they led. No successful operation, however, occurs in a vacuum. Detailed planning and preparation are often key elements in the eventual overall conclusion.

In that vein, the preparations for the Lewis and Clark expedition were exhaustive. President Thomas Jefferson, father of the expedition, ensured Lewis was well prepared for his task by coaching, mentoring, and teaching the young officer for two years. Lewis and Clark then spent the better part of a third year planning and organizing for the journey. As a result, they had plans for almost every contingency imaginable. In addition, their mental preparation and agility enabled them to react to and take advantage of unforeseen circumstances.

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