Staff Ride Team Page Banner

A staff ride is a historical study of a campaign or battle that envisions a systematic preliminary study, an extensive visit to campaign sites, and an opportunity to integrate lessons derived from each. A significant component of this detailed study is the analysis of the terrain over which the action took place and the effect of that terrain upon the battle or campaign. It is this three-dimensional visualization of the battlefield that separates a staff ride from a battle analysis.

The Staff Ride Team develops and conducts live and virtual staff rides as an educational tool for the US Army. By focusing on the timeless and universal aspects of warfighting, staff rides provide important insights into military operations, leadership concepts, and the face of battle through vignettes and topics for discussion. The Staff Ride Team also provides information and guidance to US Army organizations on how to conduct staff rides for the purpose of educating leaders.

A virtual staff ride (VSR) follows the same methodology as a "live" or "field" staff ride, but because travel restrictions preclude a trip to battlefield sites, the historical terrain is replicated in a virtual environment. The Army University Press model of a virtual staff ride envisions a detailed replication of terrain based upon satellite imagery, digital terrain, and the construction of three-dimensional models. This virtual simulation is then projected in front of an audience to immerse the participants in the virtual terrain, thus providing the most realistic vision of the battlefield possible.

Staff Ride Offerings

Click on this button below to display the complete list of field offerings or zoom in and click on a marker. Red markers correspond to the American Revoution. Blue markers correspond to the American Civil War. Yellow markers correspond to Indian Wars. Green markers are other miscellaneous wars and battles.

Staff Ride Program Offerings

Virtual Staff Ride Offerings

Since 2005, CSI has provided the Army with a new platform for leader development with VSRs to augment our numerous field staff ride offerings. Featuring 3D imagery produced largely from satellite imagery, photographs, video, and first-hand accounts from participants, the VSR leverages current technology to conduct an effective staff ride without leaving the classroom. Initially utilized to capture lessons learned from Afghanistan and Iraq, the eight VSRs and wide array of supporting publications currently offered by CSI continue to assist Army units in pre-deployment preparation and universal leader programs. CSI Staff Ride Team instructors actively provide VSR support to Active and Reserve Components at CONUS and OCONUS installations, supporting leader development programs from the ROTC to the Corps level.

Download a Virtual Staff Ride Program Brochure

The Marne Campaign (1914) Screenshot

The Marne Campaign (1914)

This staff ride is a study of the opening campaign of WWI in the west, culminating with the First Battle of the Marne. The VSR examines the operational and strategic levels of warfare, highlighting issues in the multinational coalition and warfighting, the impact of new technology on doctrine, the influence of personality on decision making, and the planning and execution of operations at all three levels of war. This 12 hour staff ride can be tailored to a variety of audiences and can be shortened based upon the requesting organization’s training objectives.

Battle of Stalingrad (1942-1943)

Battle of Stalingrad (1942-1943)

The Stalingrad VSR examines the pivotal World War II battle from multiple levels of command to highlight the challenges and complexities of large scale operations, operations in dense urban terrain, and their relevancy to the modern operating environment. The staff ride is tailorable for use from the company through ASCC level. The Stalingrad VSR is fully exportable to any unit or organization which has access to the Army-licensed gaming software, Virtual Battlespace 3 (VBS3). The exportable package includes full instructor support materials, student readings, and instructions on how to use everything.

Stalingrad VSR Downloads

BThe Encirclement of Nancy (1944)

The Encirclement of Nancy (1944)

This 6-hour staff ride examines the operations of the US XII Corps in the encirclement of Nancy in 1944. The field study first overviews the US Army’s breakout from the Normandy beachhead and the subsequent 500-mile pursuit of the German Army to the Moselle River (August 1944). The field study then examines the US XII Corps’ various efforts to cross the Moselle River (September 1944). The field study then looks at the 4th US Armored Division’s breakout from the bridgehead and their 30-mile attack into the German rear area to encircle the city of Nancy. Finally, it analyzes the German Army’s efforts to counterattack and push the US XII Corps back across the Moselle River (the Battle of Arracourt, Sept to Oct 1944).

Battles of the Korean War (1951)

Battles of the Korean War (1951)

The Korean War staff rides examine the 2nd Infantry Division’s fight at Chipyong-ni at multiple levels of command. The Combat Action Korea (the Lost Patrol) is a 3-hour staff ride that examines a platoon reconnaissance mission and the follow-on relief effort of a company to rescue the isolated platoon (27-30 Jan 1951). The Battle of Chipyong-ni is a 4 to 6 hour staff ride that studies the attack of multiple divisions of the Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA) against the 23d Regimental Combat Team’s perimeter at Chipyong-ni (27 Jan – 15 Feb 1951). The 2nd Infantry Divisions at the Battles of Wonju and Chipyong-ni is 6 hour staff ride that examines the division’s fight to hold the Wonju – Chipyong-ni Line and set the conditions to resume offensive operations (27 Jan – 15 Feb 1951).

Korea VSR Downloads

Operation Anaconda VSR Screenshot

Operation Anaconda (2002)

A day long staff ride (or partial day staff ride) that examines the coalition attack into the Shahi Kowt Valley in 2002. The study encompasses conventional operations (3/101 ABN Div), coalition operations (Afghan Military Forces), joint operations (CFACC), and special operations.

Ambush of the 507th Maintenance Company Screenshot

Ambush of the 507th Maintenance Company (2003)

This 2-hour staff ride studies the ambush of a convoy from the 507th Maint Co on 23 March 2003 during the V Corps advance to Baghdad.

Fallujah VSR Screenshot

Fallujah (2004)

This five-hour staff ride examines the US-led coalition operation to secure the Iraqi insurgent stronghold of Fallujah in November 2004. This first true Unified Land Operations-oriented staff ride is an ideal leader development and education tool for the Brigade and Division level as organizations learn to fully understand the concepts of Unified Land Operations and Mission Command within the doctrinal construct of the Decisive Action Training Environment.

Palm Sunday Ambush Screenshot

Palm Sunday Ambush (2005)

This 2-hour staff ride focuses on the insurgent ambush of two supply convoys on ASR Detroit and US actions on contact on 20 March, 2005.

Check Point 541 Screenshot

Check Point 541 (2005)

This 2-hour staff ride highlights an escalation of force incident at a US blocking position in Baghdad on 4 March 2005, resulting in the accidental death of an Italian Major General.

Wanat VSR Screenshot

Wanat (2008)

A 4-hour staff ride that examines a coalition Task Force conducting COIN operations in the Waygal valley of Afghanistan, 2007-2008, focusing primarily on an insurgent attack on a small COP occupied by 2d PLT, C Co, 2-503 Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade.

Staff Ride Handbooks and Resources

If you are interested in reading publications on how to conduct your own staff ride or in learning more about the actual staff rides we offer visit our Staff Ride Library.