“There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things.” – Niccolò Machiavelli
As we continue to Accelerate Change to the Air Force our Nation needs, we must be mindful of organizational lessons from the past. Historical analysis allows us to synthesize patterns in the character of warfare and incorporate them into our future Air Force design through initiatives like Action Order D and the Operational Imperatives. In Winning the Next War: Innovation and the Modern Military, Stephen Rosen analyzes military and technological innovations during war and peacetime and offers prescriptions for managing uncertainty.
Transformation requires we aggressively overcome the organizational inertia of the status quo. Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard is a story-driven account that reveals insights into the heuristics of our rational and emotional minds and how they relate to each other. I need your help implementing Action Order-B Mod 1 to switch our organizational behavior to streamline decision-making, eliminate redundancy, and limit bureaucratic layers.
The Air Force does not fight alone, nor do we deter alone. Last September, the United States co-signed a groundbreaking trilateral security pact alongside Australia and the United Kingdom called AUKUS, representing one of the most significant security agreements in a generation. Royal United Services Institute’s Building the Oceans Podcast – What’s All the RAUKUS About? The View from Washington illustrates the magnitude of this agreement and the enormous opportunity it presents for the Air Force to Integrate by Design with our Allies and Partners in enhanced and novel ways.
What can a film about the crew of a British ship during the Napoleonic Wars teach us about Agile Combat Employment? In Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World the climate of mutual trust, shared understanding, and commander’s intent under the military leadership of Captain Aubrey represents a textbook case of mission command. What is most interesting is that the crew’s ability to be ready to execute the mission in unpredictable ways and rapidly respond to the adversary’s moves by moving fluidly across a theater of operations represents the essence of the ACE operating concept.
We remain the world’s most lethal and professional Air Force because of our Airmen. Continue to elevate your leadership skills by challenging your thinking. Fly, Fight, & Win…Airpower Anytime, Anywhere!
CHARLES Q. BROWN, JR.
General, U.S. Air Force
Chief of Staff
Editor’s note: The CSAF Leadership Library is a fluid set of media selected by Gen. Brown that evolves as novel ideas are published, recorded and debated. New entries will be added periodically throughout the year.