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The Staff Ride: A Planning Guide

June 14, 2022 - Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew B. Godefroy

Reading Time: 40 min

Professional knowledge is not something that is magically granted to army officers and non-commissioned officers (NCO) when they decide to join the profession of arms. Rather, it is something that is cultivated deliberately by all members of the profession and successively built upon and expanded as an individual progresses in rank and experience. This guide offers a primer on one method that can be used by units and formations to enhance the professional development of their people: the staff ride.

Examining the history, the ground and the context in which operations were conducted affords military professionals unique opportunities to learn from those who have gone before. Looking at how decisions were made, the types of information that were drawn upon and the various factors that were weighed before giving an order are all aspects of our operational experience that can transcend the events themselves. As such, staff rides are a powerful  tool that can literally put us on the same terrain as operational and tactical commanders (and their people), forcing us to walk a mile in their shoes as we consider how, or indeed whether, we might have done things differently.

Image of College Entrance used for a section break.

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