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Soldier-Leaders in the Age of AI: The Future of Pre-Commissioning Education

The theme of “adaptive, agile leaders” is pervasive in today’s military literature, yet the leader development impacts of accelerating technological change have been largely overlooked. In this context, institutions of higher education that produce military officers must understand the future operating environment and be equally agile and adaptive. The typical evolutionary approach to institutional change will not be successful. Today’s freshman cadets will be field-grade officers in 2035 with amazing opportunities and challenges that lie ahead of them.  Their success requires educational institutions and leader development programs fit for the age of artificial intelligence.

This symposium will explore:

  • How advances in science and technology will shape the future battlefield operating environment and how (e.g., bioscience, neuroscience, embedded technology, man-machine learning, augmented learning, artificial intelligence).
  • How advances in science and technology contribute to the physical, cognitive and emotional development of the soldier-leader on a battlefield in 2035 (e.g., enhanced resilience, psychological considerations, health and fitness).
  • The impact of future initiatives from the U.S. Army and other international ground forces on adaptive leadership alongside ethical decision-making (e.g., officer leader development in pre-commissioning education programs).

Date

November 13 - 14, 2019

Location

University of North Georgia
Dahlonega Campus
Convocation Center

Accessibility

If you need closed captioning for this event, please email Keith Antonia or call 706 867-4576.

U.S. or international scholars, graduate, and undergraduate students are invited to submit abstracts for papers or posters on topics related to the theme.

The symposium review committee will select the most relevant and highest quality submissions for between nine and twelve scholars to present and discuss at the symposium. Undergraduate submissions will be considered for poster sessions. Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to present as members of panels during the symposium. Extended papers from the selected abstracts will be published by the University of North Georgia Press in a peer-reviewed and edited symposium monograph.

More details on the 2019 symposium to come

Registration Info

Registration

Registration will open in June 1

About the Area

The University of North Georgia is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Dahlonega, Georgia. Site of the first major gold rush in the United States, UNG is also home to the Army’s 5th Ranger Training Battalion, the mountain phase of the elite Ranger School.

Information about lodging and things to do is at the Dahlonega Chamber of Commerce website.

Speakers

More speakers to be posted as they are announced.

major general bob scales

Major General Bob Scales, U.S. Army (Retired), Ph.D.

Dr. Robert Scales served over thirty years in the Army, retiring as a Major General. Immediately after retirement from military service, he was appointed president and CEO of Walden University, one of the world’s largest private universities. More recently, he retired as CEO of Colgen Inc., a defense consultancy specializing in strategic leadership. He commanded two units in Vietnam, winning the Silver Star for action during the battles around Dong Ap Bia (Hamburger Hill) during the summer of 1969. Subsequently, he served in command and staff positions in the United States, Germany, Korea, and ended his military career as Commandant of the United States Army War College. In 1995 he created the Army After Next Program, which was the Army’s first attempt to build a strategic game and operational concept for future land warfare.

He has written and lectured on warfare and military history to academic, government, military, and business groups all over the world. He is the author of two books on military history: Certain Victory, the official account of the Army in the Gulf War and Firepower in Limited War, a history of the evolution of firepower doctrine since the end of the Korean War. In addition he is an authority on contemporary and future warfare. He has written three books on the theory of warfare: Future Warfare, a strategic anthology on America’s wars to come, Yellow Smoke: the Future of Land Warfare for America’s Military, and, most recently, Scales on War: the Future of America’s Military at Risk. He was the only serving officer to have written books subsequently selected for inclusion in the official reading lists of three services; Certain Victory for the Army, Firepower for the Marine Corps and Yellow Smoke for the Navy. Congressman Ike Skelton, former Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has included Yellow Smoke in his National Security Book List sponsored by National Defense University. The New York Times, Atlantic and Foreign Affairs have reviewed his work, The Iraq War: a Military History, written with Williamson Murray very favorably. His work, U S Policy in Iraq and Afghanistan, published in 2012 and edited with Dr. Seyom Brown, anticipates today’s headlines with remarkable prescience.

He is a frequent consultant with the senior leadership of every service in the Department of Defense as well as Congress and many allied militaries. He has testified fifteen times before the Senate and House Armed Services Committees as well as the Foreign Relations and Environment and Public Works Committees of the Senate. He was honored to be the twentieth Nimitz Memorial Lecturer in 2004. In 2010 he was appointed as a member of the Congressional Quadrennial Defense Review.

He is an Adjunct Scholar with the Modern Military Institute at West Point. He has been senior military analyst for The BBC, National Public Radio, MSNBC and Fox News Network. He has written for and been frequently quoted in Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, The New York Post, The New York Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Baltimore Sun, Time Magazine, National Review, National Interest, The Atlantic, Newsweek, Roll Call among many others. Scales latest work, Scales on War: America’s Military at Risk is a template for Secretary Mattis’ Close Combat Lethality Task Force.

The CCLTF is a DoD wide initiative to reform America’s Close Combat ground forces. Secretary Mattis has appointed Dr. Scales Chairman of the Advisory Board for this effort. He wears the Army’s Ranger Tab and Senior Parachutist’s Badge. He is a graduate of West Point and earned his PhD in history from Duke University.

major general mick ryan in uniformMajor General Mick Ryan, Commander of the Australian Defence College

Major General Mick Ryan graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in 1989 as a combat engineer. Career highlights prior to unit command include: in 2000, serving with the 6th Infantry Battalion Group, in east Timor; in 2003, being the lead planner for development of the first ADF Network Centric Warfare Roadmap; and in 2005, serving as the Deputy J3 for the Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq, in Baghdad.

Major General Ryan commanded the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment from January 2006 until December 2007, also commanding the 1st Reconstruction Task Force in southern Afghanistan from August 2006 to April 2007. He was awarded the Order of Australia for commanding the 1st Reconstruction Task Force. In 2008, he served on army Headquarters, working primarily on the Adaptive Army strategic reform initiative. In 2009, he was the Military Assistant to the Chief of Army.

From 2010 - 2011, Major General Ryan worked in the Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell on the US Joint Staff, as the Division Chief for Governance, Development and Engagement, and subsequently in a new Strategy and Policy Division. As part of his duties, he led the Joint Staff contribution for the President’s Afghanistan-Pakistan Annual Review for the National Security Committee in 2010 and led Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell support to the confirmation of General John Allen in his Senate Confirmation for command in Afghanistan.

In January 2013, was appointed Director General Strategic Plans in Army Headquarters. During his time in this appointment, he was responsible for Army’s contribution to the Defence White Paper and Force Structure Review, design of the Army beyond 2020, Army experimentation, as well as fostering intellectual debate through the Army Journal and the establishment of the Land Power Forum internet blog.

Major General Ryan has a bachelor's degree in Asian Studies from the University of New England and is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force School of Languages. He is a distinguished graduate of the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a graduate of the USMC School of Advanced Warfighting. Most recently, in 2012, he graduated with distinction from the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, with a master's in International Public Policy.

From October 2014 until February 2016, Major General Ryan commanded the 1st Brigade in Darwin, the Australian Army’s oldest and most operationally experienced combat formation. From February 2016 until October 2017, he led the education, training and doctrine efforts in Army as Director General Training and Doctrine. During this time he authored and implemented the Ryan Review, a fundamental and future-oriented strategic review of Army’s approach to education, training, doctrine and lessons learned.

Major General Ryan has a long-standing interest in military history and strategy, organizational innovation, complex adaptive systems and adaptation theory. He was inaugural President of the Defence Entrepreneurs Forum (Australia), an undertaking to nurture innovation in Army’s junior leaders, and is a proud Member of the Military Writers Guild. He is a keen writer on military, future technology and strategic issues and has published in Parameters, the Australian Army Journal, the ADF Journal, Security Challenges and a range of blogs.

He was appointed Commander of the Australian Defence College in January 2018.

Call for Abstracts

Call for Abstracts, Panel Presentations, and Poster Sessions

The symposium review committee will select the most relevant and highest-quality submissions for nine to twelve scholars to present and discuss. Undergraduate submissions will be considered for poster sessions. Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to present as members of panels during the symposium. Extended papers from selected abstracts will be published by the University of North Georgia Press in a peer-reviewed, edited print, and digital conference proceedings. Please email any questions to ungp@ung.edu using ILSS Symposium in the subject line.

Possible topics may include:

  • How advances in science and technology will shape the future battlefield operating environment and how (e.g., bioscience, neuroscience, embedded technology, man-machine learning, augmented learning, artificial intelligence).
  • How advances in science and technology contribute to the physical, cognitive and emotional development of the soldier-leader on a battlefield in 2035 (e.g., enhanced resilience, psychological considerations, health and fitness).
  • The impact of future initiatives from the U.S. Army and other international ground forces on adaptive leadership alongside ethical decision-making (e.g., officer leader development in pre-commissioning education programs).

Panel Submissions

Please submit panel abstracts (500 words) and short bio (150 words) by Aug 19, 2019 to UNG digital commons. Please submit only abstracts (not complete articles) and bios; this link will accept abstracts and bios. Panel presentations will be a maximum of 20 minutes in length. Participants will be notified of acceptance by September 30, 2019.

Poster Sessions

Undergraduate, graduate students and cadets are invited to submit poster proposals (250 words) and short bio (150 words) by Aug 19, 2019 to UNG digital commons. Please submit only poster proposals (not posters) and bios. Bios should include name, phone, email, university, location, and poster title. Posters should be 36 x 48 (inches) in landscape or portrait. Participants will be notified of acceptance by September 30, 2019.

Schedule

More Details to come

Wednesday, November 13

Time Event
8:00 a.m. Registration
8:30 a.m. Administrative Remarks - Keith Antonia, UNG Associate Vice President for Military Programs
8:35 a.m. Opening Remarks - Dr. Billy Wells, UNG Senior Vice President for Leadership & Global Engagement and Executive Director of the Institute for Leadership and Strategic Studies 
8:45 a.m. Speaker
9:15 a.m. Q&A
9:30 a.m. Break
9:45 a.m. Panel Discussion
Theme: Advances in science and technology that will shape the future battlefield.
10:45 a.m. Discussion Q&A
11:00 a.m. Break - Poster Sessions
11:15 a.m. Speaker
11:45 a.m. Q&A
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:45 p.m. Panel Discussion
Theme: How advances in science and technology contribute to the physical, cognitive and emotional development of the soldier-leader on a battlefield in 2035.
2:45 p.m. Discussion and Q&A
3:00 p.m. Break - Poster Sessions
3:15 p.m. Speaker
3:45 p.m. Discussion and Q&A
4:00 p.m. Break - Poster Sessions
4:15 p.m. Speaker
4:45 p.m. Discussion and Q&A
5:00 p.m. Break
6:30 p.m. Symposium Social at the Smith House
8:00 p.m. End of Day Activities

Thursday, November 14

Time Event
8:30 a.m. Registration
8:45 a.m. Administrative Remarks - Keith Antonia, UNG Associate Vice President for Military Programs 
8:50 a.m. Opening Remarks - Dr. Billy Wells, UNG Senior Vice President for Leadership & Global Engagement and Executive Director of the Institute for Leadership and Strategic Studies Opening Remarks
9:00 a.m. Speaker
9:30 a.m. Discussion and Q&A
9:45 a.m. Break - Poster Sessions
10:00 a.m. Speaker
10:30 p.m. Discussion and Q&A
10:45 a.m. Break - Poster Sessions
11:00 a.m. Panel Discussion
Theme: Implications on adaptive and ethical leadership development.
12:00 p.m. Discussion and Q&A
12:15 p.m. Closing Remarks
12:30 p.m. End of Symposium
Reading List
Recommended reading list for those interested in learning more about future scenarios and predictions.
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