Journal of Advanced Military Studies
vol. 12, no. 2
Fall 2021

 

 

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From the Editors

 


Wargaming and the Military:

"Napoleon at Waterloo": The Events of June 1815 Analyzed via Historical Simulation

Charles J. Esdaile, PhD

JAMS vol. 12, no. 2
https://doi.org/10.21140/mcuj.20211202001

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Abstract: The Battle of Waterloo is one of the most memorable actions in world history and has in consequence given rise to both an enormous historiography and many other forms of commemoration. “Napoleon at Waterloo” examines one such form of commemoration, namely the traditional board wargame, and it examines how this activity can be employed to further understand how the battle was fought and won.

 

Keywords: Battle of Waterloo, Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon Bonaparte, wargaming, historical simulation
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Until his retirement in 2020, Dr. Charles J. Esdaile held a personal chair in the Department of History at the University of Liverpool. A specialist on the Napoleonic era, he is the author of many books on the subject including both general studies, e.g.,  Napoleon’s Wars: An International History, 1803–1815  (2007) and monographs, e.g.,  The Spanish Army in the Peninsular War (1988); Fighting Napoleon: Guerrillas, Bandits and Adventurers in Spain, 1808–1814 (2004); and Women in the Peninsular War (2014). Among his most recent publications is a guide to the battlefield of Waterloo, Walking Waterloo: A Guide (2019).

 


 

PROMISE UNFULFILLED

A Brief History of Educational Wargaming in the Marine Corps

JAMS vol. 12, no. 2
Sebastian J. Bae and Major Ian T. Brown, USMC
https://doi.org/10.21140/mcuj.20211202002

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Abstract: This article offers a comprehensive historical overview of educational wargaming in the U.S. Marine Corps and how it can evolve in the future. The tradition of leveraging wargames for educational and training purposes is deeply rooted in the Marine Corps. From humble beginnings at the Naval War College to Service-wide wargaming initiatives like TACWAR, the Marine Corps has always sought to develop the intellectual edge of its Marines through wargames. Yet, in successive decades, the Marine Corps has consistently struggled to maintain its wargaming efforts. This article concludes with recommendations on how to develop, expand, and evolve educational wargaming in the Marine Corps. 

 

Keywords: wargaming, professional military education, tactical warfare, TACWAR, Naval War College, Lieutenant Colonel Earl H. Ellis
 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS 
Sebastian J. Bae, a game designer and research analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), works in wargaming, emerging technologies, the future of warfare, and strategy and doctrine. He also teaches a wargaming design course at Georgetown University, the U.S. Naval Academy, and Command and Staff College at Marine Corps University (MCU).
Maj Ian T. Brown is a Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion pilot and currently serves as the operations officer for the Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Future Warfare at MCU. He has instructed and written extensively on military history, maneuver warfare, and future war in both fiction and nonfiction venues. He is also the author of A New Conception of War: John Boyd, the U.S. Marines, and Maneuver Warfare, published by the Marine Corps University Press in 2018, which was added to the most recent iteration of the Commandant’s Professional Reading Program.

 


 

WARGAMING IN PROFESSIONAL MILITARY EDUCATION

Challenges and Solutions

Colonel Eric M. Walters, USMC (Ret)
JAMS vol. 12, no. 2

https://doi.org/10.21140/mcuj.20211202003

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Abstract: Given the emphasis to employ wargaming in professional military education, how can instructors in the schoolhouses, operating forces, and supporting establishment—particularly those who are not experienced wargamers themselves—go about it? This article explains the necessity of crafting desired learning outcomes to selected, modified, or in-house designed serious wargames with the assistance of accomplished experts. Summarizing relevant recent scholarship, it provides foundational terminology and concepts that facilitate collaborative conversations, as well as offers advice regarding common but avoidable pitfalls of this dynamic and immersive teaching method.

 

Keywords: professional military education, PME, serious games, serious wargames, educational games, role-playing games, matrix games, solitaire wargames

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 
Eric M. Walters teaches strategy, operational art and design, Joint operations planning, and execution of unified action for the U.S. Army Command and General Staff Officers’ Course, Fort Lee Satellite Campus. He served as a tank officer and Marine Air-Ground Task Force intelligence officer at the tactical, Joint, and combined operational and strategic levels. An active hobby wargamer for more than 40 years, he has assisted commercial companies to develop a dozen published manual and computer wargame titles and is currently active in several online hobby wargame communities. He also integrated a variety of decision games into his curriculum for Marine Corps, Army, and American Military University courses and advised the Department of Defense on integrating serious games into intelligence training and education.


 

EDUCATIONAL WARGAMING

Design and Implementation into Professional Military Education

Lieutenant Colonel P. C. Combe II, USMC
JAMS vol. 12, no. 2

https://doi.org/10.21140/mcuj.20211202004

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Abstract: In light of the Commandant’s Planning Guidance, there is a renewed emphasis on educational wargaming in professional military education (PME). While wargaming has a long history in PME, there is currently a gap in the academic literature regarding wargaming as an adult educational tool. Scientific study has focused on adult education theory and models generally, highlighting the identification of four different learning experiences, each tied to a learning style: concrete experience, which suits those with a diverging earning style; abstract conceptualization, which suits those with the converging learning style; reflective observation, for those with an assimilating learning style; and active experimentation, which works well for those with an accommodating learning style. By effectively engaging each of these four experiences, educational wargaming can have utility for a diverse array of learning styles.

 

Keywords: wargaming, adult education, professional military education, PME, adult learning

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

LtCol P. C. Combe II is a judge advocate (JA) and a student at Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting, Marine Corps University. He has an MMS, 2021, Marine Corps University; LLM, 2015, the Judge Advocate General’s School; JD, 2008, University of Houston, TX; and BS, 2003, Cornell University, NY. Previous assignments include: deputy SJA, Joint Special Operations Command; command JA, Marine Corps Intelligence Activity; operational law attorney, Headquarters Marine Corps—JA Division; operational law attorney, International Security Assistance Force—Afghanistan; Legal Services Support Section—National Capital Region; and platoon commander, Officer Candidates School, Quantico.

 


 

ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES FOR EDUCATIONAL WARGAMES

 

Kate Kuehn

JAMS vol. 12, no. 2
https://doi.org/10.21140/mcuj.20211202005

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Abstract: Purposeful integration of assessment within educational wargame design is increasingly essential as military education expands those activities within its curriculum. This multimethod case study examines key challenges and strategies for assessment within educational wargaming practice. Drawing insights from faculty interviews, academic documents, and faculty meeting observations, the study identifies six key assessment challenges: gamesmanship, lack of control, multiple faculty roles, receptiveness to feedback, evaluation of individuals in teams, and fairness of evaluation. It then discusses how experienced faculty mitigate these challenges throughout the assessment design process from identifying outcomes to ensuring the quality of evaluation.

 

Keywords: wargaming, assessment, professional military education, PME, authentic learning, case study research

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Kuehn is the director of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Planning at Marine Corps University. In addition to managing the university’s institutional effectiveness process, she supports the evaluation of all professional military education programs and directorates. Kuehn has spent 11 years working on evaluation and assessment of military education programs, providing advice on the design of learning assessments at the classroom, program, and institutional level. She is a member of the Military Education Assessment Advisory Group and has frequently served on military accreditation teams. Her research focuses on assessment and performance evaluation in complex contexts, currently focused on team-based simulated learning environments. Kuehn has an MA from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a BA from the College of William and Mary. She is currently finishing coursework for a PhD in education research methodology at George Mason University

 


 

HEDGEMONY
A Wargame to Evaluate Senior Joint Professional Military Education Learning Objectives

Colonel Brian W. Cole, USMC

JAMS vol. 12, no. 2
https://doi.org/10.21140/mcuj.20211202006

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Abstract: The Officer Professional Military Education Policy directs Joint professional military education institutions to develop officers who demonstrate critical and creative thinking skills. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ’s intent is to develop strategically minded officers who will “creatively apply military power to inform national strategy, conduct globally integrated operations, and fight under conditions of disruptive change.”1 The wargame Hedgemony is unlike most other wargames. Its focus is on teaching defense professionals how strategies are a complex interaction between force development, force posture, and force employment. Hedgemony also provides a way in which the Marine Corps War College measures its program outcomes.

Keywords: strategy, learning objectives, force structure, complex, professional military education, PME, resource management, wargame

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Col Brian W. Cole is the director of the Joint Warfare Course at the Marine Corps War College at Marine Corps University. He is a PhD candidate at Old Dominion University in international relations and is writing his dissertation on Russia’s military build-up in the Arctic. Previously, Col Cole was the head of U.S. Marine Corps Aviation Support and Manpower. He was a faculty member at the Joint Forces Staff College. He is a graduate of Naval Command and Staff College and the Air War College. Cole is a Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) AV-8B Harrier pilot, a former Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) instructor, and adversary instructor pilot.


 

DEVELOPING SELF–CONFIDENCE IN MILITARY DECISION MAKING
An Imperative for Wargaming


Colonel Eric M. Walters, USMC (Ret)
JAMS vol. 12, no. 2

https://doi.org/10.21140/mcuj.20211202007

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Abstract: In his Commandant’s Planning Guidance, the 38th Commandant charges the Marine Corps with doing more to employ wargaming in education and training. It is not often clear why the Marine Corps needs to use this technique to practice decision making, given other kinds of decisions games, such as tactical decision games (TDGs) and decision forcing cases (DFC). While these other decision-making educational tools have their advantages in honing the communication of estimates, orders, and corresponding rationales, the primary virtue of wargaming lies in the far larger number of decisions players must make in a continuously unfolding situation.

 

Keywords: professional military education, PME, serious games, serious wargames, educational games, military judgment, decision making, maneuver warfare

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eric M. Walters teaches strategy, operational art and design, Joint operations planning and execution of unified action for the U.S. Army Command and General Staff Officers’ Course, Fort Lee Satellite Campus. He served as a tank officer and MAGTF intelligence officer at the tactical, Joint and combined operational, and strategic levels. An active hobby wargamer for more than 40 years, he has assisted commercial companies to develop a dozen published manual and computer wargame titles and is currently active in several online hobby wargame communities. He also integrated a variety of decision games into his curriculum for Marine Corps, Army, and American Military University courses and advised the Department of Defense on integrating serious games into intelligence training and education.


 

WARGAMING DEVELOPMENT SERIES
Developing Impactful Wargame Narratives through Storytelling

Stephen M. Gordon; Colonel Walt Yates (Ret), USMC; and Andrew Gordon

JAMS vol. 12, no. 2
https://doi.org/10.21140/mcuj.20211202008

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Abstract: Nothing connects people more powerfully than well-told stories. Humans have been telling each other stories since long before they could write them down. Sharing stories is a critical part of building trust with others, and that trust is essential to creating meaningful connections with people. Great stories have structure and purpose; they appeal to our deepest emotions and are most compelling when they challenge or change our perceptions of reality. There are rules to the methods and techniques that create great stories. This article explores the benefits and challenges of applying successful storytelling techniques to designing wargame narratives that balance creative ambitions with achievable timelines. Wargames that incorporate such techniques will surface new trends and better inform future conflict planning.

Keywords: wargaming, storytelling, brain-trust, creative, military, transformation

 


ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Col Walt Yates retired in 2018 from 27 years on active duty. He is a consultant for companies developing M&S technology for military applications. He has a BS in mechanical engineering technology from Texas A&M University and an MS in modeling, virtual environments, and simulation from Naval Postgraduate School.
Stephen M. Gordon is a software industry innovator, creating global services practices and software businesses at Microsoft, Salesforce, Red Hat, and IBM focused on defense and commercial sectors. He holds a history degree from the University of Arizona, an executive MBA from MIT, and is a fellow at the Institute for the Study of War. Andrew Gordon spent 20 years at Pixar animation studios as an animator, directing animator, supervising animator, and director of promotional content on films like Toy Story 2 and 3, Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University, Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, Cars, WALL-E, Incredibles 1 and 2, and Ratatouille. He left in 2017 to act as codirector on Minions 2: The Rise of Gru and is now in London as the head of character animation for DNEG. He is a a Visual Effects Society Winner for Finding Nemo.


 

OPPORTUNITY LOST

 

Major Ian T. Brown, USMC

JAMS vol. 12, no. 2
 

 

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REVIEW ESSAY

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maj Ian T. Brown currently serves as the operations officer for the Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Future Warfare at Marine Corps University. He has written for the Marine Corps Gazette, Strategy Bridge, War on the Rocks, the Australian Defence College’s Forge website, the Center for International Maritime Security, the Krulak Center’s Destination Unknown PME graphic novel series, and Marine Corps University’s Journal of Advanced Military Studies. He is also the author of A New Conception of War: John Boyd, the U.S. Marines, and Maneuver Warfare, published by Marine Corps University Press in 2018, and which was added to the most recent iteration of the Commandant’s Professional Reading Program.


 

 

 

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