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2007 Boyd Conference
The Alfred M. Gray Research Center
Marine Corps Base
Quantico, Virginia

July 13, 2007

Agenda Draft 5: 5 july 2007

Robert Coram, author of Boyd and American Patriot will be at the morning
sessions and will be happy to autograph books at lunch.

Rules of the Gray Center:

  • no selling of products or exchanging of money.

  • no food or drink in the facility.

Directions to the facility are under the picture at http://www.mcu.usmc.mil/MCRCWeb/

0800 - 0830 Welcome and opening Remarks (Speakers TBD)

Session 1. 0830 - 0930

Boyd 102: salient points of Boyd & operating inside the OODA Loop.

Richards & Osinga

  • what it means

  • what it does to the opposition

  • the type of organizational climate / culture needed to make it work

  • latest research into why it works

Session 2. 0930 - 1030

Warfare since Boyd: Controversies regarding 4GW

Walters &  Panel

  • Comparative and contrasting understanding of the concept: 1989 versus today

  • Utility of the concept: academia versus the field

  • Current USG/DoD relevancies: Can we ever operate inside their OODA loops?

Session 3. 1045 - 1130

War in our future?


  • various interpretations: Lind (crisis of legitimacy of the state), Hammes (evolved insurgency), FM 3-24 (international insurgency)

  • can these approaches be reconciled (e.g., FMFM 1-A?)

  • other possibilities (e.g., van Creveld's "non-trinitarian warfare")

  • critiques: Is it just guerrilla warfare under another name? Is it the same as "terrorism"? Is it really war?

1130 - 1300 Lunch break



  • Principles of the Adaptive Leaders' Course

  • Using tactical decision games

  • Q&A

Session 5. 1330 - 1445 Breakout sessions (more May be announced - Please check back)

  • Vandergriff: Adaptive leadership training for adaptability and 4GW

  • Hammes, Lind, and Walters: 4GW and the future of warfare

    --concepts of 4GW

    --is there a 5th Generation?

    --next steps in the "war on terror"

    --fallout from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon from the standpoint of 4GW

    --implications for the military (including intelligence) and DoD 

  • Richards & Osinga: OODA Loops into the future other things you may not have known about OODA loops; areas for further research on Boyd

Session 6. 1500 - 1600  Senior Leaders' Critiques (Panel): What I would have done (and would do) differently

Session 7. 1600 - 1615 (+/-)  Final thoughts and wrap-up (Speakers TBD) - The grAy center closes at 1630.

7. 1700 - ??? Further debate and deliberation at a watering hole to be announced

Speakers and Breakout Session Leaders Include:

  • Dr. Chet Richards, Colonel, USAF, Retired: Associate of Boyd's for roughly 20 years, and author of Certain to Win, on applying Boyd's ideas to business. He will share some of Boyd's ideas on the OODA loop that make it much more powerful than just a simple cycle.

  • Colonel Frans Osinga, Ph.D., Royal Netherlands Air Force: Author of the new study of the late Colonel John Boyd and his work Science, Strategy and War: The Strategic Theory of John Boyd.

  • Colonel Eric Walters is the U.S. Marine Forces Command Assistant Chief of Staff G2 (Intelligence). He is a military history and tactics writer and avid commercial board wargamer/playtester.

  • Colonel T. X. Hammes, USMC Retired: Author of The Sling and the Stone, the first full-length study of 4GW.

  • Colonel Gary I. Wilson USMC Retired: A primary co-author of "The "Changing Face of War" in 1989 which served as the genesis of debate and discussion on 4th Generation Warfare.

  • Major Don Vandergriff, USA Retired: Author of the new book on adaptive leadership, Raising the Bar: Creating and Nurturing Adaptability to Deal with the Changing Face of War (Available at Amazon).

  • William S. Lind, author of the Maneuver Warfare Handbook (Amazon, B&N), "Strategic Defense Initiative," and co-author, with Col Wilson, et al., of "The Changing Face of War."

We have a number of special guests who have tentatively accepted, including senior officers who were associated with Col Boyd.

Recommended reading (authors will be autographing at happy hour!)

This conference is intended as an in-depth examination of the topics mentioned above.  We recommend the following to those unfamiliar with these subjects:

Boyd's Strategy

Frans Osinga: Science, Strategy and War  Amazon or B&N

Eric Walters: Distributed Operations and Command: A Brief Historical Perspective (3.5 MB PPT)

Grant Hammond: The Mind of War  Amazon or B&N

Chet Richards: Certain to Win  Amazon or B&N

All of Boyd's briefings are available at:  http://d-n-i.net/second_level/boyd_military.htm#discourse

Boyd's Biography

Robert Coram: Boyd, The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War  Amazon or B&N

Chuck Spinney's Genghis John - a great short bio


T.X. Hammes: The Sling and the Stone  Amazon or B&N

William S. Lind, Colonel Keith Nightengale (USA), Captain John F. Schmitt (USMC), Colonel Joseph W. Sutton (USA), and Lieutenant Colonel Gary I. Wilson (USMCR), The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation, Marine Corps Gazette, October 1989.

There is an extensive collection of material on 4GW at http://d-n-i.net/second_level/fourth_generation_warfare.htm

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