Wednesday, November 25, 2015

'Star Wars' as a military training tool

Courtesy of a link from XBradTC, we learn that 'Star Wars' can be useful in training military personnel, according to the 'Center for Galactic Lessons Learned'.

This past weekend, I spent some time re-watching Star Wars episodes IV, V, and VI, or as I call them, Star Wars. Watching them with a critical eye towards leader development, tactics, and strategy, I was struck by a number of critical flaws on both sides that could have been fixed with some basic organizational fixture for lessons learned. While some might call this type of analysis a “nerdgasm of epic proportions,” Star Wars is an ideal tool for professional development; because of its status in popular culture, most people tend to have a working knowledge of it, versus an obscure historical military campaign (I still love those, but it takes a while to teach Soldiers the background).

So what are the lessons learned that can be distilled from Star Wars? If there was a Command and General Staff College for the Imperial Fleet or the Rebel Alliance, what could they pass on to students?

Leader Development.

Rebel Alliance. One has to wonder at the vetting system for officers in the Rebel Alliance when Han Solo makes commander (O-5) after one battle and general (O-7) after being rescued from Jabba the Hut. The same goes for Lando Calrissian, who makes general with astonishing quickness for someone who could nicely be called a contractor. This leads one to believe that the Alliance was hurting for qualified pilots because of their overall strategy and tactics (why will be elaborated further on). A lack of strategic minded commanders meant that the Alliance was always one step behind the Empire and was always reacting rather than being proactive.

Mentorship, if you can call it that, was lacking for senior Alliance leadership, mainly on the religious/philosophical side. The return of the Jedi class to warfighting was meant to be a new hope, and yet the surviving Jedi proved too set in their ways to properly mentor the young Skywalker. Fearing that the truth would burden him with too much knowledge, they merely dropped bits of twisted truth along the way, leading him to make the rash choices that they so desperately bewailed. Obi Wan Kenobi spent most of his time either lying to Luke, or explaining his lies. Yoda never bothered to give Luke any true background on the situation until his dying breaths, a colossal waste of resources. Hide-bound into a static mentality that only yearned for the good ‘ol days, these “chiefs of staff” offered no great mentorship to Luke and may have in fact hindered his development by hoarding information like a bad staff officer.

There's much more at the link.  It's funny, but also makes some rather good points from a military perspective.  I enjoyed it . . . even though George Lucas would doubtless have a fit at the thought of his moonbat space fantasy actually having real military utility.  Can you just imagine the Marines trying to teach students in Basic School how to use the Force?  My mind boggles at the thought of a Gunnery Sergeant trying to convey its principles, particularly his attempts to get through to particularly dense students using knife hands light saber hands . . .



Ed Stoutenburg said...

If i remember correctly from the Real S-W Game geeks-the various RPG module /Rule books-and hosts of Paperbacks set in the S-W Universe-[Of wich there were Many],Solo & Carlissian were old Comrades in Arms from the Clone war's Days-both having been Jr Generals or Colonels/or ship Cdrs of some sorts.
Never got into the Games or Books-but there were some active groups in the unit's I was in [Army,1990s in FRG & Stateside].
As i 'May Have Been' ...somewhat...addicte...uh,enthusiastic about GHQs 'MicroArmor' Miniture's gaming then-[Expe$ive at the Bn Level but keeps you off the Street's!],i ran across Many a game/gamer's and books at local hobby shop's.
When the popularity took off-the Lucasfilm folks put outa whole line of Games that 'Time lined' the Background a lot.
Its quite a Sub-genre in Sci-Fi gaming,-[See RPGnow on line store's]
That our Jr Enlisted and young NCOs played such Was a form of team Training actually and it was always interesting to see the comments on Imperial Tactic's ['...they Better have shield's-cause that **** At/AT is a LST!]I was Armor for my Career.

Ed Stoutenburg said...

Uhg,shouldn't have posted before coffee this early!Sorry for Bad spelling and Rambling about memory lane!

Joe in PNG said...

Let's not get into the whole "Death Star" fiasco. No matter how big, tough, and powerful your capital ships are, you do not send them out without a screen of smaller ships!