This book is for warrior leaders. Those who have been given the great privilege of leading our nation’s Armed Forces. This book is an attempt to not only define the essence of leadership, especially the kind that is required in a tactical setting, but to enable us as leaders to become decisive and make a positive impact. To that end, this book draws from numerous battles and engagements in an effort to gain theoretical experience – præmonitus præmunitus.

While it’s true that no book can reduce leadership to a set of learnable skills, we may gain an understanding of everything leadership entails by surveying various leaders throughout history who shaped events, examine their personalities, and along with a look at their critical decisions and actions, encapsulate the essence of leadership. While avoiding concepts merely in the abstract, this book will attempt to make ready use of the cogency and profundity of such great military minds as Sun Tzu, Vegetius, Saxe, Frederick the Great, Napoleon, Jomini, Clausewitz, Patton, Marshall, MacArthur, etc., as well as various classical and modern philosophers.

The purpose of any profession is to serve society by effectively delivering a necessary and useful specialized service. Most professions serve individual clients. The military serves a collective client, the Nation.

With this in mind, using various examples drawn from history, this volume is designed to apportion practical tools of leadership to the leaders of America’s Armed Forces. One might ask: What benefit does a study of historical figures afford to the study of leadership? In a word, much in every way, as John Jessup observes, “Despite vast changes in technology since World War II, the combat leader may still learn much from the study of past battles and campaigns. Weather, terrain, and intelligence of friendly and enemy dispositions, for instance, are as important today as in the days of Alexander, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon; human reactions in combat remain relatively constant.

This book consists of seven chapters. Chapter one introduces the definition of leadership, surveying its various aspects. Chapter two examines the leader as planner. Chapter three explores the leader as example. Chapter four investigates the leader as warrior. Chapter five ponders the leader as instructor. Chapter six takes stock of the leader as counselor. Lastly, chapter seven considers the leader as a disciple of war, that is, one who delves into military history and develops himself professionally, thus obtaining theoretical experience. Finally, several appendices provide the leader with creeds and principles for which to guide action.