This is the first of two written assignments that will deal with the lessons to be learned from the American experience of the Vietnam War. This assignment deals specifically with military lessons learned. By your own orientation to cooperative work in a mission-driven organization like the armed forces, do you consider yourself to be a strategic thinker, a tactical planner, or a logistician? How do you determine that, and how does your own daily life and work demonstrate that?
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Of course, the answer to this is going to vary from person to person. An answer that one of us gives is not going to really fit with you because you are a different person. Because of that, let me give some suggestions for how to approach this question.
In order to answer this, we need to think about the personal qualities that are needed for each of these types of work. Tactics, in military terms, are the things that relatively small units do on a small scale. Tactics have to do with how a unit carries out a mission that has been specified for them. Thus, a person who is a good tactician will think in very practical terms. They will be best at devising ways to achieve a goal that is set for them.
Strategy is somewhat more of a “big picture” thing. Strategy involves determining how to win a war or to win a major campaign. In other words, it involves deciding on what the objectives for the smaller units will be. It involves an ability to see the big picture and to understand what allows an enemy to function as a viable threat.
Logistics can be seen as the most cerebral of all of these areas. Logisticians must predict what supplies will be needed, where they will be needed, and in what order they will be needed. They must then make plans (taking into account their ability to move the various kinds of supplies) that will get the supplies to the appropriate places at the appropriate times. Logistics has more “moving parts” and more unpredictable aspects to it than the other two.
Thus, what you need to do is to decide which of these you would be able to be good at.
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