Within the last century, the scale of war has made necessary a different type of leader. We no longer fight for our farms, villages, and hunting lands. Our interests have shifted from straits and mountain passes. In our current world, as a result of technological revolutions and ever growing political instability, we live in the threat of a global war. Actions have the potential to resonate in many continents subsequently influencing the economies, policies, and war strategies of nations worldwide. For these reasons, leaders must study the past and integrate history's lessons learned with the new challenges of leading within a heightened threat. Military leaders must maintain their grasp and focus on the technical mastery of warfighting, personal courage, and the ability to inspire men to fight for a common cause.
Victory will lend itself to the commander who can master the terrain and find new or creative ways to employ his weapons and men.
Leaders must be technically proficient with the arms they use to wage war. In a broad example, the Spartans studied the natural tendency of phalanx formations to shift right and employed special tactics to break off part of their formation and bring it upon the flank of their enemy. Even here with similar weapons and tactics, the Spartans pursued the mastery of their warfighting system and stood victorious on the field of battle.
For a more detailed analysis, in 480 BC, during the Greco-Persian wars, a Spartan leader named Leonidas used terrain to his advantage to inflict incredible damage upon his Persian enemy. The Persian army numbering between 200,000 and 250,000 men marched towards the northwest pass into Greece. Leonidas moved his forces to block the vital passage at Thermopylae, a narrow passage with high walls. Though he reinforced his army along the way, Leonidas...