Using the Battle of Gettysburg as a Military Staff Ride for Law Enforcement

The United States spends billions of dollars of year on leadership development training at every level, from in-house introductory courses to full-scale executive-level leadership development programs. Law enforcement is no exception, spending tens of millions of dollars every year on various leadership development programs in the hope that one of them will fit their agency’s needs. It is more apparent today than ever that effective, executive-level leadership skills and, in particular, first-line supervisory management skills are needed by the field. Law enforcement is challenged with an increase in required service levels and a demand for high performance, all the while undergoing increased levels of scrutiny of officers’ actions. With responsibilities ranging from fighting terrorism, to working with limited resources, to providing communities with the level of service they both expect and demand today, law enforcement agencies must attract the very best personnel possible—but, then, just as important, they must lead and manage that talent to enhance their organizations, goals, objectives, and overall missions. Mission accomplishment cannot possibly be obtained without great leadership to identify, direct, and manage the resources available to accomplish the many tasks required.