Airpower Leadership on the Front Line by LTC Douglas A Cox, Air University Press

By LTC Douglas A Cox, Air University Press

With Airpower management at the entrance Line: Lt Gen George H. Brett and strive against Command, Douglas Cox makes a unique contribution to American airpower biography. Books abound on personalities that extend excessive rank and whose careers culminate in nice good fortune. those reports frequently glean willing perception approximately management type, and a few are vocationally worthy as examples of potent command. however the research of history’s nice winners yields whatever below a whole dimensional feel of chief- send. The exam of these women and men who don't particularly achieve exalted prestige can flesh out the teachings of powerful management. this can be what Cox does right here. George H. Brett definitely reached excessive rank, and basically the main cynical and uninformed observer may pass judgement on his occupation a failure. but global conflict II didn't propel him alongside an identical profession trajectory of a Curtis LeMay or a Hoyt Vandenberg or a Jimmy Doolittle. Why? For every kind of purposes; a few of which have been stable, a few undesirable, a few inside Brett’s keep watch over, and others totally outdoor his purview. via a cautious exam of basic and secondary assets, in addition to his personal acumen as a pointy officer, Cox makes use of Brett’s lifestyles to light up these elements that at first sped Brett during the ranks after which these variables that seemed to block his additional development. Cox reminds us of what we frequently understand intuitively yet frequently for- get intellectually: that good fortune has many fathers, together with own good fortune and fortuitous situation. Airpower management at the entrance Line pulls no punches relating to Brett’s boundaries, however it additionally recognizes broader components at play in his occupation. in spite of everything, Cox delineates these elements that make for winning leaders; and, extra importantly, indicates which between these variables are inside a person’s keep an eye on and for that reason necessary of realization and effort. up to stories of commanders who grabbed the brass ring, this exam of George H. Brett provides perception into the makings of potent management and winning command.

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I entirely agree about the balance being maintained, especially as I guessed who [sic] you are leaving the supreme command vacancy for. Nothing must stand in the way of the big layout, namely, supreme commander, Wavell; deputy, unknown; naval, the Dutchman; Air, Brett, or whoever [sic] you choose. I have cabled Wavell on these lines, as it would be well to have his view before us before final decision. 3. I will reply to your paragraphs 3-7 inclusive after I have put them before the Cabinet on Monday.

His headquarters in Melbourne is too far from the scene of air activity to perform most effectively the functions of organization, training and combat. I propose to relieve him immediately of all duties pertaining to ground forces and to have him establish his headquarters in the forward area in some locality he may select. I propose to assign Gen. S. Army Ground Forces. . Request immediate approval of this organization as a fundamental step in order to bring some order into what is at present a most uncoordinated and ineffective system which is a menace to the safety of this country.

Indd 20 11/7/06 10:33:30 AM THE BUILDUP TO WAR The tone of this article was dramatically different than the procurement article in Aviation. While the previous discussion was almost stilted in its formality, in this article Brett used informal analogies and avidly described the enormity of the challenge faced by the Air Corps in discharging its mission. The end of the article is somewhat difficult to understand and bears repeating at length, as it seems to reveal a slightly put-upon attitude, perhaps engendered by Brett’s long association with materiel: Suffice it to say in the short space afforded by the mechanical limitations of this particular article that the Air Corps has as many responsibilities, though on a huger scale, as a housewife.

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