Academic journal article Military Review

Prairie Warrior 98: Building 21st-Century Leaders

Academic journal article Military Review

Prairie Warrior 98: Building 21st-Century Leaders

Article excerpt

TRAINING LEADERS for the rigors of military leadership in today's complex environment spotlights the charter of the US Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. PRAIRIE WARRIOR (PW), the Command and General Staff Officer Course's (CGSOC's) capstone exercise, signals the "Leavenworth Experience" as an institutional pillar of Army training and education. CGSC has become the Io Army's premier university for tactical and operation levels of warfare and is the intellectual heart and soul of our tactical field Army.

Because worldwide challenges dictate a focus on a national security strategy of engagement which contibutes to global stability and prosperity in the 21st century, visible force of well-trained, professional soldiers demonstrates a credible means of US resolce to defend its policies. Today, the US Army maintains a full-spectrum force--a capabilities-based force--a trained and ready force during an increasing number of operational deployments with a wide variety of missions and contingencies.1 Education at CGSC prepares leaders for diverse operations ranging from humanitarian assistance, through peace operations up to and including high-intensity conflict.

The PW exercise evolved from an initial testbed course in 1989 that focused on large-scale combined arms operations and inherent tactical command and control (C2) issues.2 The new era of strategic change challenged CGSC to develop a relevant capstone exercise. International events included major global and regional power shifts in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, while US vital interests in the Pacific Rim became more obvious to the American public. The congressional mandate of downsizing the US Armed Forces strained an ever-increasing commitment of US military presence in allied, coalition and unilateral contingencies around the world.

Formally implemented as a college command post exercise (CPX) in 1991, PW objectives assessed functional CP responsibilities, leadership skills and conduct of joint and combined operations.3 CGSC increased faculty and student participation through the School for Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) and the Army War College Fellows of the Advanced Operational Art Studies Fellowship (AOASF). Participation by CGSC international exchange students and operational unit members complemented a multinational perspective of large-scale operations within a campaign and accented a multinational joint exercise. Student learning objectives expanded to a more detailed study of battlefield functions in joint and combined operations.

Advanced Warfighting Experiments (AWE's)

By 1994, PW witnessed a major evolution of purpose. The CPX led a major CGSC venue of selected US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) battle laboratory excursions and incorporated specific issues of the Army's Louisiana Maneuvers Task Force (LAM TF). Additionally, areas of interest supported Phase III of the Army's General Headquarters Exercise. Initiatives such as the Mobile Strike Force examined possible future warfighting concepts and organizational structure. The next three years included increasing involvement within the AWEs as the Army investigated issues such as battlefield visualization, new combat service support concepts, synthetic theater of war (STOW) technologies and emerging technologies to improve command, control and intelligence (C^sup 2^I) integration. In 1997, PW supported division AWE digitization issues and started to shift focus to CGSOC student learning objectives that emphasized execution of tactical and operational orders.

PW 98

Learning objectives in PW 98 centered on developing the abilities to plan, conduct and sustain joint and multinational combined arms operations. Emphasis remained at the corps and division levels of a combined and joint task force (CJTF). Joint force employment explored the synergy of service and functional component combat power at the tactical and operational levels of war, and students gained an appreciation for digitization and the Army Battle Command System's (ABCS's) capabilities. …

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