March 05, 2014

Want to reform military education? An easy 1st step would be banning PowerPoint

By David W. Barno, and USA (Ret.)

Source: Foreign Policy

Journalist(s) Thomas E. Ricks

By Richard L. Russell 
Most Unexceptional Defense guest columnist

The winds of curriculum reform are blowing mightily on the campus of the National Defense University, the pinnacle of Professional Military Education (PME) in the United States. The changes appear aimed, in part, at infusing the curriculum with lessons learned from the last decade of war. 

One reform measure -- which no doubt is not in the docket -- would be easy to propose, extremely beneficial to PME's quality, and of lasting intellectual benefit to graduates as future military leaders: banning PowerPoint on campus. PowerPoint has become so acculturated and institutionalized in the military writ large that it retards the quality of research, analysis, planning, operations, strategy, and decision making at all levels of command. The banning of PowerPoint in PME for use by students, faculty, administrators, and guest speakers, however, would be horrifically difficult to implement given its powerful hold over the minds and practices of today's military.

Please visit Foreign Policy to read the full article.

  • David W. Barno

  • USA (Ret.)