By Lieutenant Colonel, USAF, Howard D. Belote, Air University Press
Within the 53-year heritage of the U.S. Air strength (USAF), in simple terms airmen have risen to function nearby commanders in leader (CINC). throughout the similar interval, seventy four infantrymen, sailors, and Marines have been chosen for geographic CINC billets. In “Once in a Blue Moon: Airmen in Theater Command,” Lt. Col. Howard D. Belote examines the explanations for this disparity and indicates how airmen may perhaps increase their customers for turning into destiny neighborhood commanders. Colonel Belote employs historic research to spot the private features airmen should still search as potential war-fighting CINCs. to set up a baseline for that evaluation, he starts by means of learning the careers of 2 early regionals CINCs, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Gen. Jacob L. Devers. depending seriously on fundamental resources within the Air strength historic examine organisation, the writer then bargains tow special biographical case reviews. the 1st is of Gen. Lauris Norstad, till this 12 months the one USAF officer to have served as a nearby CINC. the second one case examine considers the occupation of German box Marshal Albrecht Kesselring, certainly one of simply airmen ever to have commanded a theater in wartime. Belote enhances his ancient inquiry with findings in response to interviews with senior division of safeguard officers coupled to an research of the hot literature on joint command. those various assets agree on one very major aspect: to accomplish successfully as war-fighting CINCs, airmen – certainly, all officials – needs to own entire joint army talent, an incisive geostrategic-political-military imaginative and prescient, and powerful – yet nuanced and deft – talents in management and interpersonal relatives. another significant discovering merits point out up entrance. with out exception, the senior officers interviewed by way of the writer agreed that as would-be CINCs, airmen are handicapped via a particular attribute of Air strength tradition. As contributors of a technical carrier that areas a excessive top rate on Air Force-specific abilities, so much airmen fail to procure the wide-ranging joint and political-military event anticipated of power regionals CINCs. to assist treatment that challenge, the writer proposes construction of a brand new and deliberately broad-gauged “joint warfighter” occupation song.
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Additional resources for Once in a Blue Moon: Airmen in Theater Command : Lauris Norstad, Albrecht Kesselring, and Their Relevance to the Twenty-First Century Air Force (Cadre Paper, 7.)
57 Prevented by circumstances from attending graduate or professional military education (PME)—six years after attending ACTS as a first lieutenant, he was a major general—Norstad continued his study of history and politics on his own time. Evidently, his self-education was broad and effective. As Time magazine reported, “in a profession not noted for breadth of reading, Norstad quickly became conspicuous as one airman who read voraciously, ranging from The Federalist to the memoirs of the Aga Khan.
Like his mentor, Eisenhower, and a handful of other successful commanders, General Norstad had the blend of disciplined intellect, charm, articulate persuasive ability, and selflessness that inspired trust in friends and foes alike. Through the words of the popular press and contemporary international leaders, and in the final act of Norstad’s military career, a portrait emerges of an exceptional leader. While the American and European press never hesitated to disagree with Norstad’s positions—the SACEUR once boasted that he was the most criticized man in Europe—news clippings of the day are almost uniformly in favor of Norstad, the man.
Kesselring was well qualified, both as a commander and an administrator, and he conducted the Axis operations in Italy with great skill for two years . . ”112 Such words certainly suggest broad and deep military competence; further analysis will show that like his fellow airman Norstad, Kesselring relied on that competence plus strategic, political-military vision and personal leadership. 35 CADRE PAPER Photo courtesy of Greenhill Books/Lionel Leventhal Limited, London. Source: Kenneth Macksey, Kesselring: German Master Strategist of the Second World War (London, Batsford, 1978.