Picture a dynamic, strategic leader—what type of person comes to mind? A four-star general or admiral? Someone wearing a uniform covered in insignia and ribbons? As career members of the Sea Services, we expect senior officers and enlisted service members to model ideal leadership. We have sought the advice and followed the examples of those above us when faced with complex situations. This traditional model of military leadership has met service needs and should remain the pillar of the military leadership philosophy. But what if the services could expand leaders’ capabilities by looking beyond the traditional military leadership to leaders across all sectors—public, private, and nonprofit—to increase operational effectiveness and mission success?
Looking Beyond the Military for Leadership Growth
Captain Flaherty, Lieutenant Colonel Haynie, Lieutenant Commander Driskill, Lieutenant Commander Huntley, and Lieutenant Maddox are graduates of the 2019 Presidential Leadership Scholars program and proudly serve as either active-duty or reserve officers in the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard.
Lieutenant Colonel Jeannette Gaudry Haynie is a reserve Marine Corps lieutenant colonel and AH-1W Cobra pilot by trade with a PhD in International Relations. Her research focuses on the gender dimensions of leadership and security, and she leads a research nonprofit seeking to build understanding of how diverse teams and leaders shape national security.
Lieutenant Commander Driskill his active-duty career as a naval flight officer, accruing over 2,000 flight hours primarily in the F/A-18F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler. Recently he led government-industry planning teams in the pursuit of advanced technology acquisition strategies for US and NATO aircraft. In 2015 he founded the Milken Institute Military Leadership Circle (MLC), which enables active duty military and veterans to bridge the civil-military divide with the corporate world. He is a 2019–20 National Security Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and co-chairs the DC Term Member Advisory Council at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Lieutenant Commander Tom Huntley is in the United States Coast Guard and currently attending Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs Masters in Public Policy program where he is focusing on national security and governance in the Arctic. Prior to his graduate school posting, he served as the deputy helicopter operations officer at Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, where he oversaw all MH-60T helicopter operations, including search and rescue, fisheries enforcement, and Arctic deployment operations across a 4.5 million square mile area of responsibility.
Lieutenant David “Ben” Maddox, is a member of the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, and currently assigned to the staff of Commandant, Naval District Washington as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate in Washington, DC. Last year, LT Maddox was selected as a Presidential Leadership Scholar and received the American Bar Association Top 40 Young Lawyers award. LT Maddox holds degrees from the University of Texas School of Law, The George H.W. Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University, and Baylor University.