William “Billy” Mitchell: A lion among sheep.
Alexander the Great once said, “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion” (Alexander the Great, n.d.). William “Billy” Mitchell would prove to be a lion as he guided the fledgling use of airpower from a novelty to war altering in a very short time. This essay will justify the author’s assertion that Billy Mitchell was a visionary and ethical leader by giving examples from his life that directly correlate to lessons found in the Air Force Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy (AFSNCOA) course material. These examples will include facts about how Billy Mitchell used the Full Range Leadership Development (FRLD) transformational leadership trait of Inspired Motivation (Department of the Air Force [DAF], 2014c) to coerce the United States government into becoming the first country to fly around the world in an aircraft. Another example will show how Billy Mitchell embodied the creator role found in the Team Building lesson (DAF, 2014d) to undertake a congressional mandate to sink an old German battleship from the air in order to prove an assertion he had made. In order to highlight what made Billy Mitchell an ethical leader, the essay will explore a time when then 2nd Lt. Billy Mitchell used the critical thinking characteristic of high motivation (DAF, 2014a) and the ethical leadership principle of Prudence First, Justice Second (DAF, 2014b) to carry out a mission. This