Leadership How Battles Are Won Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

He explained that it was not popularity and looking good to others that should constitute success. It was what one struggled over and kept him thinking all night. He specifically spoke about President Truman's difficult decision to use nuclear weapons and his own military decision to risk lives (Roberts). According to him, the first rule about leadership is to take charge when in command (Saint 2001). The second rule is to always do what is right. He said that the challenge of leadership is to inspire others or followers to perform what they normally would not do. He described great leaders are "ordinary people in extraordinary times." According to him, great leaders are in history books because they responded adequately to the demand of extra ordinary times. He also said that leaders must take the time to train future leaders coming up through the ranks (Saint).

Schwarzkopf's adept leadership in achieving a one-sided victory made him the best-known and most popular American general since World War II (Fisher 2000). He also symbolized the brand of American army officers who fought long and bravely during the disreputable Vietnam War. He has remained in military service in the pursuit of better combat capability and integrity in the service. Herbert Norman was the son of a West Point graduate who made a name and a career in the state police and U.S. Army reserves. The son, Herbert Norman, got exposed to military life when he visited his father, then serving in Iran as adviser to the shah after the war. He attended the Valley Forge Military Academy before his admission to the 1956 West Point class. He served in troop assignments in the United States and Germany. After a year of teaching at West Point, he was granted a reassignment to Vietnam where served as an adviser to a Vietnamese airborne division. He earned many decorations for courage and the Purple Heart during his tour. As a faculty member at West Point, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel before returning to Vietnam. He was in command of the First Battalion, Sixth Infantry, 198th Infantry Brigade, of the 23rd Infantry Division. His performance in these earned him valor awards (Fisher).

He was disenchanted by the deterioration of the military in the long-standing war and the anti-military sentiments by the American public (Fisher 2000). At first, he wanted to leave the army. But careful thinking kept him in active duty and made him dedicate himself more to rebuilding the army. He served in Alaska, Hawaii, Germany and the United States under different command assignments as he advanced in rank. He was put in command of the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division at Fort Stewart in Georgia in June 1983. He served as deputy commander and senior army leader of Operation Urgent Fury in October 1983 during the U.S. invasion of Grenada. He provided much coordination between the services and helped plan the rescue of U.S. medical students on the island. He had a third star when he was placed in command of the U.S.I Corps at Fort Lewis in Washington in 1986. A year afterwards, he became the army's deputy chief of staff for operations at the Pentagon. In 1988, he became a full general. He also assumed the leadership of the U.S. Central Command at McDill Air Force Base in Florida. These headquarters stored and sent contingencies in the Middle East (Fisher).

After the invasion and occupation of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces on August 2, 1990, Schwarzkopf and his headquarters were sent to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia (Fisher 2000). He was in command of arriving U.S. And Allied forces. Remembering the lessons he learned in his Vietnam experiences on limited warfare and not dedicating all resources to the fight, he received a huge coalition of air, naval and ground forces. He initiated a 42-day air war on January 17, 1991. This was followed by a 100-hour ground attack. The coalition crushed the Iraqis, liberated Kuwait and drove deep into Iraq before a cease-fire was declared. The clash killed less than 400 American and 8 to 15,000 Iraqis. More than 85,000 were captured (Fisher).

Another important lesson he learned from his Vietnam experience was public relations (Fisher 2000). He maintained the support of the media and the public through regular press conferences and his magnetic personality. At the end of the conflict, Americans recognized him as a national hero. His admirers and followers consider him the right general at the right time and in the right war. He was called "the bear" and "Stormin' Norman" for his turbulent temper, aggressiveness and tendency to confront. Yet he exhibited excellent skills in the air, sea and land. This combination was a decided asset to a multinational force and an assurance of victory. His brilliant performance in defeating Iraq and liberating Kuwait already insured his place of honor. But his real influence draws from the example he sets as a professional U.S. army officer who did not abandon the military despite its deterioration. Instead, he remained faithful to his uniform and decided to dedicate his skills and other excellent personal resources for rebuilding it and its reputation (Fisher).


Leadership is the decisive, often singular, element in attaining success in the battlefield (Carter and Finer 2004). Other factors help overcome the enemy. These are weapons, technology, logistics and industrial capacity. Environmental conditions also contribute but these are beyond the control of a troop's commander. But leadership remains the driving factor from among all factors. General Patton said that only leadership "wins battles." If all these factors were equal, superior leadership would decide which side should win. Superior leadership can also inspire and strengthen the weaker army or side to overcome logistical and physical disadvantages. It can enable the weaker troop to defeat the stronger or larger force or better-equipped troop. It serves as the catalyst of reactions to limitations in manpower, logistics, morale and technology (Carter and Finer).

The "trait" approach to leadership theory states that the best way to prepare future leaders for battle is to study the traits of past successful leaders (Carter and Finer 2004). General Patton Jr. came from a loving and aristocratic family in Southern California, which enjoyed a long and reputable military heritage. Among his closest friends was Colonel John Singleton Mosby. Patton Jr. exhibited exemplary courage in both the Mexican War and World War I. In the Mexican War, he captured and killed the bodyguard of Francisco "Pancho" Villa in an almost reckless manner. In World War I, he displayed battlefield bravery. In between World Wars, he examined a lot of military history. He became one of the wealthier military officers. The lack of warfare at this time even depressed him. He identified three elements for victory as inspiration, knowledge and force or mass. Inspiration referred to some kind of spiritual inspiration and motivation, in addition to mental ability. He attributed the victories of Caesar, Napoleon and Grant to this element. Knowledge refers to the accumulation f know-how of wide flanking maneuvering tactics. And force or mass refers to troop size. Patton Jr. adhered to the three elements in their rightful order and achieved his victories (Carter and Finer).

Schwarzkopf was just as inspired and excellently skilled as Patton Jr. To inspiration and excellence in skills, he adds resourcefulness and public relations (Fisher 2000). He taught his troops to make do with limited resources and not to exhaust all these on the fight. This lesson led to his overwhelming victory over the Iraqis and the liberation of Kuwait. He also maintained the support of the media and the public through regular consultation and conferences with them (Fisher).

Despite their fiery temper and behavior, both leaders received recognition as military heroes for their excellent performance.


Blumenson, M. (2004). Patton legend. 6 pages. Army: Association of the United States Army

Campbell, a (2007). Biography of General George S. Patton, Jr. 5 pages. Cape May County Herald. Retrieved on May 26, 2008 at http://www.generalpatton.com/biography.htm;

Carter, J.C. And Finer, M.S. (2004). A survey of leadership. 8 pages. Infantry Magazine: U.S. Army Infantry School

Fisher, K. And M. (2000). H. Normal Schwarzkopf. 4 pages. CarpeNoctem. Retrieved on May 27, 2008 at http://www.carpenoctem.tv.military/schwarzhopf.htm

Glueckstein, F.…

Cite This Term Paper:

"Leadership How Battles Are Won" (2008, May 27) Retrieved January 17, 2018, from

"Leadership How Battles Are Won" 27 May 2008. Web.17 January. 2018. <

"Leadership How Battles Are Won", 27 May 2008, Accessed.17 January. 2018,