Synthesis Essay - General Billy Mitchell MSgt Robert C. Poore
Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy Class 15-C
7 April 2015
Instructor: SMSgt Stephen Kramer
General Billy Mitchell
“Guilty of Insubordination!” This was the verdict in the court martial of General William “Billy” Mitchell. General Mitchell spent his adult life pursuing his ideal of a separate Air Service recognized as a dominant force in military capabilities, but his actions in pursuit of his beliefs undermined military leadership at the time. General Billy Mitchell was a Visionary Leader but his decisions also made him an Unethical Leader. To solidify this claim, we will examine how General Mitchell’s forward thinking and refusal to accept the status quo led to the creation of the modern Air Force, how his tactics to realize his vision were not ethical, and how his visionary, but unethical leadership traits and behaviors are relevant to examples of my own leadership behaviors.
General Mitchell was a Visionary Leader who recognized the US military must include air power as a dominant role in its Operational Doctrine in order to successfully prosecute and decisively win future wars. According to Jeffers (2005), US Operational Doctrine dictated the US Navy Fleet was the key to winning wars prior to World War I. While in command of all 1,481 American and Allied airplanes in France during World War I, General Mitchell successfully created and employed his air