I spent the last week in Vicksburg, Mississippi on a staff ride with my SAMS class. We spent the week prior in preparation, looking at the history and context of the campaign, and studying one of the more prominent individuals on either the Confederate or Union side. I was assigned to be Gen William T. Sherman throughout the week in Vicksburg.
While it was good to look at the tactics and battles of the campaign, those were…as my instructor likes to say, “mildly interesting.” The real intent behind the staff ride was to see what lessons learned there were that apply today, see what is useful to me that I can take away as an operational planner, and to reveal more of what an operational planner is.
Prior to leaving on the trip, our instructor said that many SAMS students come to realize at some point during the week the reason for being in SAMS. The light bulb comes on, and it did for me.
There are a number of potential topics to write about, so at the moment I’m just trying to organize my thoughts. Some of these concepts were explained to us extremely well, so I’m in the middle of trying to write these down so that I am able to eventually articulate those same concepts to someone else, just as good as they were originally articulated to me.
Great week with lots of new things learned.