Author: MWI Staff

Maj. John Spencer Interviewed by Army Times: How the Army is Growing its First Female Enlisted Grunts

Editor’s note: MWI deputy director Maj. John Spencer was interviewed on the subject of incorporating women into infantry training for the following article, which originally appeared in Army Times.   Things are looking a little different on Sand Hill these days, and it’s not just the coiled hair or the female drill sergeants screaming at recruit formations. When the 198th Infantry Brigade welcomed its first gender-integrated class back in February, months of research and planning had gone into preparing one of the Army’s last all-male environments for the arrival of the first women to enlist in the service’s largest military...

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MWI Podcast: Four Combat Jump Veterans Tell Their Stories

Editor’s note: The audio from this episode of the MWI podcast is derived from a video interview conducted jointly with the West Point Center for Oral History. To watch the video, click here.   In this episode of the MWI podcast, Maj. Brendan Griswold, an instructor in the Department History at the United States Military Academy, interviews four combat jump veterans about their experiences jumping onto the battlefield from above. The conversation involved four veterans of airborne drops: Col. Liam Collins took part in a “High Altitude High Opening” jump into Afghanistan in 2001 Maj. John Spencer and Sgt. 1st...

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MWI Sends Cadets to Google to Discuss Innovation

The Modern War Institute and Defense and Strategic Studies department took eighteen cadets enrolled in DS345 Military Innovation to Google HQ in New York City on Tuesday, April 25, to discuss organizational culture, innovation, and technology. Cadets met with a panel of military veterans now employed by Google, took a tour of their expansive offices in Chelsea, and partook in a series of games and group exercises to understand how companies like Google foster bottom-up innovation. “Google offers an alternative and more horizontal organizational structure to innovation,” said Dr. Lionel Beehner, former Course Director of DS345 who accompanied the...

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2017 Sandhurst Conference Report

The second annual Sandhurst Conference took place on Monday, April 3, 2017 in Thayer Hall. Made possible through the generosity of the USMA Class of 1999, the all-day event brought together over five hundred future officers from USMA, ROTC, service academy, and international teams to discuss topics related to training to meet twenty-first-century threats and challenges. Sponsored by the Modern War Institute, the conference has become a staple of Sandhurst Week. The purpose of the Sandhurst Conference is to provide an intellectual counterpart to the Sandhurst Competition, a way to test our mental agility as well our military skills....

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Video: Lt. Gen. (Ret) Mark Hertling on Physical Fitness and National Security

Today, 77 percent of military-age Americans are disqualified from serving in uniform, many because they do not meet minimum physical fitness standards. Around World War II, that percentage was around half, and during World War I, it was just 25 percent. Why? In 2009, retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling was assigned as the first commander of the Army’s Center for Initial Military Training, and answering that question emerged as a key to ensuring sustained American military readiness. What Lt. Gen. Hertling and his team discovered was that a confluence of events in the 1990s—from the introduction of “super-sized” fast...

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