CSAF Leadership Library 19 January

“I’d rather have decent answers to the right question than great answers to irrelevant questions.” – Andrew Marshall


The story of Andrew Marshall in The Last Warrior: Andrew Marshall and the Shaping of Modern American Defense Strategy is a profound account of a virtually unknown, yet brilliant strategic thinker who was enormously influential in shaping American military thought for nearly half a century. Today, Marshall’s hallmark methodology, the “Net Assessment,” remains an essential diagnostic framework for understanding strategic competition through the lens’ of capabilities, challenges, and perceptions.

Last September, I wrote a Letter to Airmen emphasizing a culture of innovation in our Air Force. The Mind of War: John Boyd and American Security is as much the story of Boyd’s innovative spirit as his groundbreaking ideas on warfare. Alongside a tenacity for out-maneuvering bureaucracy, Boyd was a maverick, and had innovation baked into his DNA. Who is the “Boyd” in your squadron?

Today, a new generation of strategic thinkers and mavericks defend our nation. Dr. Meghan Grace’s #GenZ podcast Gen Z and Leadership reveals insights into the values and behaviors of Generation Z so that leaders at all echelons, myself included, can better relate to what defines and motivates our youngest cohort of professional Airmen.

The idea of “why” is a timeless concept that motivates across generational gaps. The critically acclaimed Netflix docuseries Five Came Back is a mesmerizing examination of our nation’s “why” before and during World War II through the lens of five prominent Hollywood directors. Their stories will leave you with a renewed sense of awe for the Greatest Generation.

I hope you will spend time to reflect upon these ideas and share your thoughts with your fellow Airmen.



General, U.S. Air Force

Chief of Staff

/U.S. Air Force Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.