Applying Battlefield Lessons: Army Organizational Learning from CALL to CompanyCommand.com
Since Vietnam, the US Army has focused an unprecedented degree of effort on capturing lessons learned in training and on the battlefield and communicating them to other affected units. The Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL), established after Operation URGENT FURY, is the prime example of the Army's efforts to institutionalize the process of learning during the Cold War. CALL continues to function and provide lessons learned in the current Global War on Terror, while other grassroots organizations have sprung up within the Army to target the learning needs of specific segments of the force. One such organization is CompanyCommand.com, an online professional forum of Army leaders dedicated to outstanding leadership at the small-unit level. This talk will discuss the evolution of organizational learning in the Army since Vietnam, and examine how organizations like CALL and CompanyCommand complement one other in the pursuit of excellence.
Captain Raymond A. Kimball is a native of Reading, Pennsylvania, and was commissioned through the United States Military Academy in 1995. After completing initial officer and flight training, he was assigned to the 1st Battalion (Attack), 10th Aviation Regiment, at Fort Drum, New York in November 1996. While assigned to the 10th Mountain Division, he served as an aeroscout platoon leader and logistics and support officer. In those positions, he participated in the full range of Army operations, from home station training to counter-drug operations along the Mexican border to peacekeeping in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In May of 2001, after completing further officer training, he reported to the 3rd Infantry Division, where he was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 7th U.S. Cavalry. He took command of F Troop, 3-7 Cavalry in July of 2001. The troop consisted of 88 soldiers and $6 million in equipment and was responsible for all aspects of support and maintenance for the squadron's sixteen scout helicopters. In January of 2003, the troop deployed as part of 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry, to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During combat operations the troop supported 870 flight hours over a period of twenty-one days while moving 700 kilometers through enemy territory without the loss of a single soldier. He gave up command of F Troop in June of 2003 and returned to the United States to begin graduate studies in history at Stanford. In addition to his coursework, he serves as a research assistant to the Preventive Defense Project in CISAC. For the past two years, he has also served as a Topic Lead and advisor to CompanyCommand.com. His next assignment will be as an Associate Professor of History at the United States Military Academy. His awards include the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal. He is married to the former Mindy Hynds of Vacaville, California; they have one son, Daniel.