Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF, January 23, 1927–March 9, 1997 This is a mirror of the Defense and the National Interest website compendium of Colonel John Boyd's pivotal works. It can be a thankless task, LOL. Their proposal went unheeded and there were no changes to the Blue Bird. It’s well worth reading by everyone who is interested in our Art. If you don’t, what is doctrine on day one becomes dogma forvever. The subordinate and the commander share a common outlook. This led to the instructor at the time, Michael Wyly, and Boyd changing the curriculum, with the blessing of General Trainor. An example of how we use this in the unarmed portion of our curriculum is: Observe – He intends to hurt me. My post Ray Dalio identifies the 11 characteristics of visionary leaders summarises the outcomes of interviews and psychometric tests undertaken by Dalio with the likes of Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Reed Hastings, Jack Dorsey and others. today, more than 40 years later, nothing substantial has been added to the Aerial Attack Study.
John R. Boyd (1927-1997), a fighter pilot who focused on developing tactics related to air combat maneuvering, was the primary author of the Aerial Attack Study. Boyd never wrote a book on military strategy. While assigned to working on the beginnings of the F-15, called the Blue Bird at the time, Boyd disagreed with the direction the program was going and proposed an alternative "Red Bird". This IMO, is the key to using the Boyd Action Cycle in the design and implementation of personal defensive skill development and training. Boyd changed the way pilots thought; prior to his tactics manual, pilots thought that air-to-air combat was far too complex to ever be fully understood. He wrote ‘Destruction and Creation’, an extraordinary and little known thesis on creativity and reacting to changing environments.
According to his biographer, Robert Coram, Boyd was also known at different points of his career as "The Mad Major" for the intensity of his passions, as "Genghis John" for his confrontational style of interpersonal discussion, and as the "Ghetto Colonel" for his spartan lifestyle..
He attained the rank of sergeant, and served in the Air Force Reserve until graduating from college. The moral is that, one by one, individuals committed to an idea provide the positive, constructive forces of history. However, cancellation of that tour in Vietnam meant that Boyd would be one of the most important air-to-air combat strategists with no combat kills.
Maneuverability, as it relates to military (and business) strategy, we learn is key.
Robert Coram, author of Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War (Amazon UK, US) describes John Boyd as “first, last and always a fighter pilot – a loud talking, cigar-smoking, bigger-than-life fighter pilot”. They knew how many Gs they could pull at a given altitude and still maintain not airspeed but excess energy. Boyd gave testimony to Congress about the status of military reform after Operation Desert Storm..
In both instances the ability to transition quickly from one maneuver to another was a crucial factor in the victory.
With Colonel Everest Riccioni and Pierre Sprey, Boyd formed a small advocacy group within Headquarters USAF that dubbed itself the "Fighter Mafia". John Boyd examined this relationship in great detail in the Aerial Attack Study. Everything successful about the Gulf War is a direct reflection of Boyd’s ‘Patterns of Conflict’ – multiple thrusts and deception operations that created ambiguity and caused the enemy to surrender by the thousands. And that is the essence of Boyd’s story.
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