Develop, Modernize, Influence


Col. Todd A. Schmidt, PhD, U.S. Army, Director, Army University Press


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Col. Todd A. Schmidt, PhD, U.S. Army, Director, Army University Press

My role as editor in chief of Military Review is but one aspect of my duties as director of the Army University Press (AUP). I would like to discuss that directorate in this issue and how, over the course of the past several months, the Army University Press team has been working hard to ensure that our mission and vision are in alignment with Army University and the Combined Arms Center.

As with most U.S. military organizations, the mission, vision, priorities, goals, objectives, lines of operation, and lines of effort can evolve as leadership changes and evolves. While the mission of Army University Press has not changed in several years, the vision of the organization has changed. We must be more responsive and adaptive to the ecosystem in which we operate. Additionally, we must ensure that how we achieve our vision fully aligns with the Army University strategic vision.

The Army University Press mission statement asserts, “The Combined Arms Center’s Army University Press creates and distributes multimedia products in support of the military profession, education, and Army mission in the 21st Century.” A previous version of the Army University Press vision stated that we are focused on “advancing the ideas and insights military professionals need to lead and succeed.” However, while consequential, that vision was not aspirational. It is what we do every day—inherent in the execution of our mission.

Coming together as a team, the Army University Press senior staff has crafted a new vision statement that is aspirational, reflective of the future impact we hope to have on military leaders, and declarative of the impact we intend to have beyond the Command and General Staff College, Army University, Combined Arms Center, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, and the Army. Ask a consumer of Army University Press products who our target audience is, and a common response is that AUP is primarily focused on serving students at Fort Leavenworth attending the Command and General Staff College. Although students attending programs at Fort Leavenworth are a target audience, they are not our only target audience. We aspire to be more.

The new Army University Press vision has three components. First, Army University Press aspires to be “the nation’s premier military service press and the publisher of choice for Army leaders.” This aspirational component will be a constant challenge, as we know that our sister-service peers are undoubtedly professional and provide an example, in many ways, of how we need to evolve and improve. Additionally, we are also very aware that Army leaders often choose other outlets, media, and platforms to project their messaging, strategic communications, command information, and thought-leading essays and articles. Indeed, AUP is an underutilized resource that can assist leaders with educating and developing their teams and units. It is incumbent on AUP to constantly work toward informing the Army of our capabilities and resources. Likewise, we must focus on building relationships with Army senior leaders, informing them of our global audience and international reach, and assisting them with publishing or producing products that align with our common interests and mission.

Second, the Army University Press vision reflects the mission and vision of our parent organization. To do this, we must “support professional education across the spectrum of career development, building agile and adaptive leaders prepared to engage in the future operational environment.” This reflective statement speaks to two primary imperatives. We must be involved and engaged in informing professional military education (PME) development initiatives, providing the full spectrum of products AUP currently has or can develop to improve, strengthen, and augment PME. Additionally, we must support the vision of the Army Learning Concept, 2030–2040 in the quest for developing and educating agile adaptive leaders.

Third, the Army University Press vision declares that we must “lead, educate, and influence thinking and intellectual engagement within the military professional community ... and beyond by advancing insights and ideas professional military leaders need to succeed.” This declaration honors our legacy vision while simultaneously opening the aperture of our audience to include the full Army enterprise and beyond. If you are reading this and would like to be a part of this vision, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team.

To operationalize our vision, we recently briefed senior leaders at Fort Leavenworth to gain approval of our roadmap to 2025. Using the Army University provost’s lines of effort, AUP gained approval to pursue our course for the next two years. This roadmap is characterized by three primary lines of effort: Develop Leaders, Modernize the Ecosystem, and Influence the Enterprise.

To develop Army leaders, AUP will be working deliberately to contribute to and develop curriculum across the full spectrum of PME. This requires building collaborative relationships with leading, peer, military-centric publishers. If you are on a combatant or major command staff, we want to connect and work with you as well to support your mission and area of responsibility with appropriate current AUP products or with products that we can develop together to support your command. If you are a member of an allied or partner-nation military, we want to connect with you as well to discover and pursue collaborative opportunities within the intent of AUP’s mission.

Book Cover

To modernize our ecosystem, AUP is doing a complete review, update, and overhaul of our internet platform. The intent is to attract, sustain, and retain customers and users. By 2025, we expect to attract over 1.5 million users per year and increase our social media and YouTube subscribers to reach 150,000. As we reach milestones along this course and build momentum, we want to use the strength of our growing demand signal to promote Army enterprise programs and initiatives.

To influence the Army enterprise, AUP is working to gain better awareness among Army senior leaders in an effort to become the Army’s publication outlet of choice, not just for senior leaders, but leaders at every level. We are passionate about leading a resurgence of military intellectual thinking and renewed interest in Army journals, writing, and writing programs. As previous letters from this editor in chief have stated, we must promote warrior scholarship!

What you will begin to see from Army University Press is a new look. Our website changes are happening daily. We added the “Podcast” drop zone to promote and amplify appropriate podcasts on our website. We added the “Resources” page to help steer consumers and visitors to other organizations and websites that we believe appropriately share some of our vision for the military professional community of practice. We added the “Experts” page to help identify subject-matter experts within AUP’s staff and will soon be adding subject-matter experts from across the Command and General Staff College and the Leavenworth National Security Consortium.

New product releases from AUP are exceptionally exciting. For example, to follow up our Army University Films Team’s “Near Peer Competitor” series that features films on Russia and China, we will be producing and releasing three new series. The “Regional Powers” series will feature several films on regional power players. Our “National Security Strategy” series will feature three films on national security policy process, informing audiences of the roles of the White House, National Security Council, Interagency, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Joint Staff. Our “Global Challenges” series will investigate and inform viewers about international challenges that we face as a world community.

Our Books and Research program will be producing a timely book covering topics in the field of civil-military relations. Working with leading scholars in the field of civil-military relations, AUP will provide a one-volume primer that we hope will become a permanent resource for military students enrolled in programs, schools, and civil-military relations electives under the umbrella of Army University and the Army War College. More importantly, we believe the book to be so consequential that it should be issued to every student through their commissioning source.

Our Military Review journal is working hard with multiple contributors to soon release a series of dedicated and special editions. These dedicated issues and special editions will feature articles related to the fiftieth anniversary of the all-volunteer force, space and missile defense, special warfare, the intelligence warfighting function, and more. If you are interested in contributing, please reach out to us to gain information related to publishing an article with Military Review.

The Army University Press is very excited to announce the development of a fellowship program that will initiate collaboration and work with several “fellows” who will routinely contribute to AUP journals and films, capitalizing on their subject-matter expertise and national and international reputations. The fellowships available with AUP will also offer opportunities for new and mid-career leaders and applicants working to improve their writing, get published, and contribute to professional dialogue.

We know we will have challenges. In a resource-constrained environment, there are always challenges related to achieving and realizing aspirational visions. However, we will strive to maintain popular products, such as our NCO Journal and podcast. Both are increasingly popular products with a growing demand and audience, and they are important platforms for sharing NCO scholarship, writing, and lessons.

If there are products, changes, books, films, articles, podcasts, or ideas you have for Army University Press or one of our subordinate divisions, please reach out to us and let us know. If there are appropriate resources that you think we should be promoting or amplifying on our website, please reach out to us and let us know. If you want to partner with us or find out more about our vision, forthcoming initiatives, or fellowship opportunities, please reach out to us and let us know. We are your Army University Press, and we want to serve you. Help us by sending an email or calling our office. We look forward to hearing from and working with you to execute our mission and achieve our vision.


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July-August 2023