"Monday Musings” are designed to get quick, insightful thoughts based around three questions from those interested in strategy, from the most experienced and lauded, to our newest thinkers/writers.
1. Who had the greatest impact on you intellectually (whether through writing, mentorship, etc.)?
H.R. McMaster. I met him first in 2004 shortly after he took command of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment. His infectious enthusiasm for our profession and his lifelong love for learning, writing, and developing people and teams had a profound impact on me personally and professionally. Later I would serve as a doctrine writer under him at the Maneuver Center of Excellence and, subsequently, as his aide de camp at the Army Capabilities Integration Center where every day was a laboratory for leader development and personal growth. I’ve learned more from him than anyone else.
2. What book (fiction, history, or academic) do you think best explains strategy?
Military Strategy: Principles, Practices, and Historical Perspectives by COL (Ret.) John Collins (aka The Warlord) is a comprehensive examination of the framework and fundamentals of strategy. Collins’ gift to the world has been his in-depth and thorough survey of the critical thinking required for developing sound strategy within the strategic process. It is highly recommended reading for aspiring strategists or those who require a better understanding of the strategic imperatives linking national interests to operations through strategic vision guided by policy.
3. What do you want your legacy to be?
That hard work, persistence, and dedication pays dividends in the form of well-trained and cohesive teams designed to fight and win. Our job as leaders is to help cultivate teams of people to do more than they believe they’re capable of. I hope my legacy is that I’ve been fortunate to have been a part of some of those teams.
Ryan T. Kranc is a U.S. Army cavalry officer currently serving as the Deputy Senior Advisor – Northern Affairs at the U.S. Consulate General in Erbil, Iraq. The views expressed are his own and do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.
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