On Tuesday the 10th of January 2017, The Adjutant General (TAG) Leader Development Program commenced on Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio Texas.

Colonels Greg Chaney and Marcos Santillan kicked off the week long session with discourse surrounding Executive Decision Making.

Then Colonel Darrell W. Dement provided an Overview on the topic of Strategic Scanning at the executive level.

He then divided the Program Participants into 4 Groups with one member of each group acting as the Adjutant General. Then, from the TAG perspective, each group individually produced a Strength Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats analysis, known as SWOT.

Each group presented their SWOT analysis to the collective. This Practical Exercise was designed to force students to realize the echelon, magnitude, and complexity by which the TAG must maintain continuous focus.

The second and final exercise utilized the tool of Futuring. The groups remained in their same configuration, but for this event the leader acted as the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF).

Four possible realities were presented and each group was tasked to provide discussion about whether their reality offered an Inflection Point for the United States. Additionally, each group determined five ‘big ideas and/ or Flexible Deterrent Options (FDOs) based on each of the four potential future realities our nation and our world faced.

The desired take-a-way from this exercise was a better appreciation for the scope at which the SECDEF must focus their Strategic Scanning. Just as important, the Futuring Exercise was designed to provide A tool by which a highly Volatile Uncertain Changing and Ambiguous (VUCA) environment could be clarified to allow purposeful decision making to occur.

In the end, the program of instruction achieved 3 key aims. One, it allowed the group to work together in small teams and learn more about one another’s views; Two, it ensured everyone understood and were capable in performing a SWOT analysis. Third, and finally, it offered a Tool for dissecting the VUCA environment and allowing true solution making to continue despite the VUCA environment.