March-April 2021

March-April 2021


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2021 General William E. DePuy Special Topics Writing Competition

Contest opens 1 January 2021 and closes 20 July 2021.


Suggested Themes and Topics for Future Editions


The Eighteenth Gap: Preserving the Commander’s Legal Maneuver Space on “Battlefield Next”

Lt. Gen. Charles Pede, U.S. Army
Col. Peter Hayden, U.S. Army

The judge advocate general of the U.S. Army explains the gap between our Army’s actions and obligations in accordance with the law of war and the misperceptions about that law among humanitarian-minded advocates. He warns that soldiers must know the fundamentals of the law of war to lawfully engage targets without hesitation in a large-scale combat environment.


One Profession, Two Communities, and the Third Rail We Cannot Ignore

Lt. Col. David P. Cavaleri, U.S. Army, Retired
Lt. Col. Davin V. Knolton, PhD, U.S. Army, Retired

The authors believe the way the Army acquires, develops, and manages people will no longer suffice, and the Army must transform its personnel management practices.


Thinking outside of the Sandbox: Succeeding at Security Force Assistance beyond the Middle East

Lt. Col. Jahara “Franky” Matisek, PhD, U.S. Air Force
Maj. Austin G. Commons, U.S. Army

Advisors conducting security force assistance missions will need to be judicious about what lessons to take from years of experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. military needs to closely evaluate the advising culture it has developed in these two conflicts and be prepared to evolve and adapt to new challenges in other regions.


Mobilizing in the Twenty-First Century

Col. Chris H. Bachmann, U.S. Army

There are many significant challenges to mobilization when facing a peer or near-peer competitor in large-scale combat operations. Ultimately, the United States only needs to mobilize better than its enemies.


The Red Ball Express: Past Lessons for Future Wars

Christopher Carey, PhD

The European theater of operations during the Second World War provides a pertinent historical example for sustainers to prepare for large-scale combat operations. A military historian recommends that the Army examines the valuable sustainment lessons of the Red Ball Express.


Army Counter-UAS 2021-2028

Maj. Benjamin Scott, U.S. Army

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) present threats to U.S. Army forces today and should be anticipated to continue to do so. Development of U.S. Army counter-UAS capabilities and an effective counter-UAS approach are essential to meeting the challenges of the battlefields of today and the battlefields of the future.


Leveraging Multi-Domain Military Deception to Expose the Enemy in 2035

Lt. Col. Stephan Pikner, PhD, U.S. Army

By threatening U.S. access into a theater and denying the assembly areas needed for staging, U.S. adversaries can undercut America’s preferred, expeditionary way of war. However, future U.S. land forces can provoke an opponent into unmasking the long-range sensor and strike assets central to its anti-access/area denial system by leveraging multi-domain military deception. This article was a 2020 General William E. DePuy Special Topics Writing Competition entry.


Analytic Tradecraft Standards: An Opportunity to Provide Decision Advantage for Army Commanders

Lt. Col. Robert W. Schmor, U.S. Army
Maj. James S. Kwoun, U.S. Army

The U.S. Army lacks tradecraft standards to ensure analytic rigor throughout the intelligence process. The nine analytic tradecraft standards used by the intelligence community could be adopted by the Army Military Intelligence Corps to alleviate this shortfall and further professionalize Army all-source analysis.


From Cambrai to Cyberspace: How the U.S. Military Can Achieve Convergence between the Cyber and Physical Domains

Maj. Anthony M. Formica, U.S. Army

Convergence, the continual merging of the effects of the digital and physical worlds, requires new mentalities as much if not more than it requires new equipment. The Army and joint force cooperatively need to consider the challenges that convergence poses to U.S. elements of national power, its ethical and legal approaches to warfighting, and its conception of the profession of arms.


Operationalizing Culture: Addressing the Army’s People Crisis

Col. Joseph E. Escandon, U.S. Army

Cultural change in the Army is more than an enabler, it is a decisive fight requiring a dedicated effort to ensure strategic guidance is executed at the lowest echelons. Only the operationalization of culture at the brigade-and-below level will provide the leadership and focus required for success.


The Impact of Subordinate Feedback in Officer Development: Assessments, Feedback, and Leadership

Maj. Carlos De Castro Pretelt, U.S. Army

The author discusses how the Army’s recent changes to how it evaluates field grade officers, and in particular, the selection for command positions, may finally provide enough incentive to incorporate subordinate feedback in the development of officers as a necessary requirement for the advancement of its best leaders.



The Well-Intentioned, Zero-Defect Officer Corps

Maj. Robert E. Murdough, U.S. Army

Army policies and the proliferation and overuse of centralized records systems combine to produce a compliance-focused environment that favors a zero-defect, risk-averse officer corps in ways that are contrary to the Army’s interests. This article was a 2020 General Douglas MacArthur Military Leadership Writing Competition entry.



Adaptation under Fire: How Militaries Change in Wartime

Col. James Kennedy, U.S. Army, Retired

The author critiques a book by David Barno and Nora Bensahel that explains one of the most difficult aspects of the military for people to understand—the complexity and importance of change in the military, especially while in conflict.


Letter to the Editor

A reader comments on a previous article.


Special Feature

Excerpts from President George Washington’s Farewell Address, 1796



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