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°gy progressing at such a rapid rate, we mus‘ face the real possibility of a televi- sion/radio device on every soldier’s wrist and ready access to telephone lines, which already was evident in the Gulf War. The information will flow. We cannot expect to achieve any better information control than we have had in previous conflicts; we should expect it to be much worse.
As information flows freely over the battlefields of the future, our battlefield commanders will face the even more difficult task of sifting through this cloud of dubious facts, figures, and images. No longer will they be able to focus only °n the battlefield situation, relying on the •ntelligence community to interpret information once the battle is joined. Their 1111 nds will be drawn to the regional conflict, and they will be forced to stamp out morale-killing images, find the kernels of truth, and act swiftly to achieve victory. They must be the fullest embodiment of hfoltke’s “first reckon, then risk” and decentralized decision making because events will take place at a pace never before imagined.
As the media floods the world with images, the country’s mood invariably will turn against conflict, as it always has done. Troop morale will need constant bolstering against the erosion of these 'mages. Support for conflicts, once they are joined, will die quickly under these pressures.
To achieve effective leadership on the battlefield of the future, our troops must be shielded with the words of Clausewitz: “The great part of the information obtained in war is contradictory, a still greater part is false, and by far the greatest part is of a doubtful character.”16 Combat leaders must be trained in the environment of sensory overload. Military exercises must be performed under simulated intense media scrutiny and free information flow. Discipline will be maintained and the command structure will be reinforced, with each soldier becoming accustomed to looking to his battlefield commander in the face of the media barrage, and that commander will be better equipped for these challenges. As we train our troops to fight the wars of the future, they will be free to meet the challenges of combat with the same heroism and determination that has carried our country forward and protected the freedoms upon which it is based.
'Robert Debs Hein!. Jr.. Dictionary of Military and Naval Quotations (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. 1966), pp. 160-173.
’John Robert Elting, The Superstrategists (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1985), pp. 177-221.
’Robert Debs Heinl, Jr., Dictionary of Military and Naval Quotations, pp. 160-173.
“Foreign Policy Association, “Media’s Role in Shaping Foreign Policy,” Great Decisions, 1991, pp. 87-94.
'Foreign Policy Association, “Media’s Role in Shaping Foreign Policy,’’ pp. 87-94.
‘Foreign Policy Association, “Media's Role in Shaping Foreign Policy,” pp. 87-94.
’Perry Smith, "Taking Aim (Excerpt from ‘How CNN Fought the War: A View From the Inside),’’ U.S. News & World Report, 23 September 1991, p. 15. "Ed Offley, “Covering the military—The press needs to get its act together," Editor & Publisher, 22 January 1994, pp. 34, 44.
’Ed Offley, “Covering the military—The press needs to get its act together,” pp. 34, 44.
'"Riley Ward (reviewer), “Book reviews—The Military and the Media: Why the Press Cannot Be Trusted to Cover a War, by William Kennedy,” Editor & Publisher, 19 February 1994, p. 35.
"Debra Gersh, “It’s Hollywood! No, it’s Somalia! Military leaders question massive media presence at landing of U.S. armed forces, but media say Pentagon encouraged it,” Editor & Publisher, 19 December 1992, p. 9.
"Patrice Piquard, et al., “A Shrinking Superpower: U.S. Humiliations in Somalia and Haiti,” World Press Review, 1993, pp. 8-13.
' Debra Gersh, “War coverage guidelines: after six months of talks, media and military agree on proposed principles for news coverage of battlefield operations,” Editor & Publisher, 21 March 1992, p. 18.
Bill Carter, TV ready for battle, with high-tech access,” The New York Times, 18 September 1994 pp. 11, 13.
Bill Carter, TV ready for battle, with high-tech access,” pp. 11, 13.
“Robert Debs Heinl, Jr„ Dictionary of Military and Naval Quotations, pp. 160-173.
Lieutenant Devereaux is a staff internist at Beaufort Naval Hospital.
Vincent Astor Memorial Leadership Essay Contest SecoND Honorable Mention
Head of the Family
By Captain Lori Reynolds, U.S. Marine Corps
In the eight years that I have worn the Marine officer’s uniform, I have struggled, along with Marines at all levels, to meet the challenges of leadership. Recently, I have watched as leaders have Wrestled with issues of political correctness, cultural diversity, and equal opportunity. And increasingly I have wondered what the big deal is all about. The Qualities that mark strong leadership are not dependent upon race, creed, color, or gender. Leaders of all eras who have treated others with respect, justice, and care have been successful and will continue to be so.
Perhaps because I am a woman, this concept seems obvious to me; as a young Marine leader, however, it often has been Painfully frustrating. For 1 have been a Part of the changing society with which the Marine Corps has struggled. But 1 have wanted only to fit in, to be a contributor to and a positive part of a Marine Corps with a glorious heritage. I never wanted to be a part of the “New Corps,” if you believe in such a thing. I believe in the “Old Corps.” To me, the Old Corps means the camaraderie, loyalty, professionalism, and teamwork of the “band of brothers.”
As a leader today, my first loyalties are to that Old Corps. My challenge as a leader is to treat all Marines with respect, equality, fairness, and enthusiasm on the way to accomplishing missions. I think I can get there from here without once mentioning gender, color, or culture. I think I can get there by stressing the Marine family.
Marines who feel welcome and at home as members of the Marine Corps family won’t feel the need to distinguish themselves as members of a specific race, culture, or gender. Families have a common name and a common background, and the Marine Corps family is no exception. In fact, we are most proud of our traditions and history. Most Marines enter the Corps to become a part of that rich heritage. All Marines are responsible for respecting our traditions and carrying out our history.
The leader’s job, therefore, is that of a guide, a teacher, and a motivator. Core values such as integrity and loyalty and attributes such as hard work, determination, and mission accomplishment—those things that helped create the heritage of which we are so proud—are the glue that bonds us together. In an era when society is pushing the rights of different cultures to express themselves. Marines must push to maintain that common bond. The color of a Marine’s skin, his religious or cultural background, or his gender have nothing to do with that bond.
For the most effective leaders, it doesn’t matter what gender, race, or culture Marines are under their uniform. The correct emphasis is on teamwork and the common bonds that hold the Marine Corps family together.
More important, though, than names and histories are the real things that strengthen family bonds. These are the matters of the heart. Parents can teach any child the difference between right and wrong, how to treat others with respect, the value of life, and how to set goals and then work to achieve them. By accepting these precepts, by learning and working together, by experiencing life’s challenges
and rewards together, people of any background can become a family. If we took the time now dedicated to teaching the differences among people and spent it on emphasizing our common goals, a moral foundation, and our shared professional ethics, the Marine Corps would be much further along in building a cohesive, focused family.
Recently, during a lecture by a World War II Marine, a student asked what the relationship was like between enlisted Marines and officers during the Pacific campaigns of World War II. The veteran remarked that it was one of “absolute respect.” The officers and staff noncommissioned officers acted as teachers, as well. He noted that one of the most memorable leaders he had served with was a drill instructor at the San Diego recruit depot who was “firm, tough, but very fair.”
That drill instructor didn’t have to haze his recruits to gain their respect. He taught them about the Marine Corps. He prepared them for what lay ahead. Parents can do no better for their children than to prepare them for the life that lies ahead. Leaders can do no more for their Marines.
I am not completely naive about the goals of equal-opportunity and cultural- diversity training. I know there are Marines in the Corps who feel misunderstood, unfairly treated, and unwelcome. But I believe that those feelings are a result of failures in leadership, not failures in cultural education and equal- opportunity training. And although these programs may be well-intentioned as tools to improve leadership skills, they often are more harmful than helpful.
Once, after a mandatory class on sexual harassment, I heard a group of senior officers agree that they would rather not deal with female Marines at all than be subject to sexual harassment charges. I know these Marines missed the point of the training, but I am afraid that their feelings are more common than any of us would like to admit. I couldn’t help but think that if that 90 minutes had been spent on the basics of leadership and on the contributions that different types of people can make to the Marine Corps, it would have been a much more rewarding class for everyone.
There is a reason for this emphasis on leadership and family bonds. A successful unit is measured not by the strength of the individuals but by the strength of the whole. We practice leadership daily in the Corps. We are challenged by the problems of individuals in our care, and we are graded on our leadership styles. But the real test of leadership comes when the lives of Marines are on the line. If we have succeeded—if our family of Marines works as a team, pulls together, cares for each other, and accomplishes the mission—then we are leaders. When bullets are flying, a Marine relies on the members of his family. In this situation, it becomes apparent why there is no room in the Marine Corps for this emphasis on cultural, religious, and gender differences. When leadership is most tested, Marines need to know they are surrounded by their family.
Perhaps this outlook is too simplistic. Perhaps I have a different perspective on the challenges of leadership because of my experiences as a female Marine. Maybe I shouldn’t judge the needs of others by my own needs.
I don’t think so.
The most effective leaders I have served with have made me feel like a part of the team. They have judged me, not on my abilities as a woman, but on my abilities as a Marine. To them, I was just another member of the family, and I never had to educate them on why I became a Marine or what my goals were. I never had to explain to them what it was that women are seeking in the Marine Corps. As leaders and members of the Marine Corps family, they already knew.
Captain Reynolds, a 1986 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, is a student at the Marine Corps Command and Control Systems School in Quantico, Virginia.