Adaptive Leadership Training in DoD

Developing an Adaptability Training Strategy and Policy for the DoD
Interim Report (1.5 MB PDF)

William R. Burns, Jr.
Waldo D. Freeman

Institute for Defense Analysis, October 2008


Among Army pilot efforts, the Adaptive Leader Methodology (ALM) originated
by Major Don Vandergriff (ret.) while teaching ROTC at Georgetown University
illustrates the critical role played by instructors and mentors in developing adaptability. (31)

A number of training commands have shown an interest in using all or parts of
ALM. However, since the training has not been applied in a universally consistent
manner and there are no metrics associated with it, indications of its value are anecdotal.  We find it encouraging that junior officers who have had the training and have subsequently deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have credited the training with being their best preparation for their real world and very dangerous assignments, where being adaptable is essential to success. (51)

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