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M1A1 Critical Thinking About Military Issues: Strategist (Essay Sample)


This essay is the foundational start to your writing in this course. In this essay, you will write about a military leader in your area of interest. Search for and choose a military leader who faced a strategic challenge during a time of conflict. A good example might be General Robert E. Lee who planned and executed the famous Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Be sure to review the resources on the use of critical thinking when completing this assignment.
In M1A1, you selected a topic/research question and crafted an outline for this paper. That was your first step. For M2A1:
Research your chosen military leader using the Excelsior College Library or other academic resources. The Liberal Arts Capstones Research Guide is a useful place to start. You can also use websites that are scholarly. Scholarly sites are typically .org, .gov, or .edu. If you are not sure, please ask your instructor. Do not use Wikipedia.
Select 10-14 scholarly research pieces about your military leader and the topic. To learn more about how to tell if the research you found is scholarly, please visit the EC Library’s Scholarly vs. Popular Video [Video File] [03 min 41 sec].
Using the article by Elder and Paul, Analytical Thinking, refer to pages 5 and 6 for examples of how to apply the “8 Elements of Reasoning.”
Referring to your chosen military leader during a time of conflict, discuss how the leader may have applied the 8 elements of reasoning.
Use your references to support your answers. Cite the research you use appropriately using APA style.
This paper is to demonstrate your critical thinking skills. As such, you are to take what you have researched and analyze and synthesize what is written. You are to form educated responses to the Elder and Paul list, which means you need to include evidence from your chosen military leader.
Some remaining guidelines:
Length: 1500 to 2000 words
Double space, font 10-11, include page numbers
Include a separate title page (not counted in page total)
Refer to the SLA Written Assignment Grading Rubric for details on the grading expectations
Include a “References” page using APA style
Do not include an “Abstract”
Use APA formatting style for your citations
Do not plagiarize – (if you did not think it, then cite it!) To learn more about plagiarism, please see Excelsior’s OWL and the Excelsior College Library tutorials on proper citations and avoiding plagiarism. http://libguides(dot)excelsior(dot)edu(dot)vlib(dot)excelsior(dot)edu/tutorials-and-tip-sheets
Refer to Excelsior’s Online Writing Lab to assist you with your writing process.
Here are links to assist you with your writing:
APA Citations Style Tip Sheet [PDF File Size 177 KB]
Smarthinking (writing tutors are available) 
Grammarly (to assist with your grammar electronically)
Additional Tutorials & Tip Sheets from the Library
Library databases to search for scholarly resources
Purdue OWL outline instructions
Purdue OWL sample outline [PDF File Size 65.43 KB]
Compose your work using a word processor (or other software as appropriate) and save it frequently to your computer. Be sure to check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors before you upload it. When you are ready to submit your work, click "Browse My Computer" and find your file. Once you have located your file, click "Open" and, if successful, the file name will appear under the Attached files heading. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Submit."
Before you submit this assignment to the dropbox below, be sure to upload a copy to the "Final" dropbox for this assignment on A "Draft" dropbox is also available so that you can use the originality report provided as a learning tool to improve your work prior to final submission.
Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and his 20th Maine Regiment was faced with a grim situation that unfolded on 02 July 1863; he and his Soldiers must hold the Union line at Little Round Top at all costs, with ammunition depleted and advancing confederate enemy on his 314 Soldier line, Chamberlain ordered “fix Bayonets – wheel right”. If Little Hilltop was not held at all costs, the entire Union line will collapse against the attacking Confederate Forces. 
Union Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and his 20th Maine Regiment held their ground on Little Round Top against the Confederate assault on 02 July 1863 with ammunition all but depleted instead of executing a full-fledged retreat. This single battle in the Civil War has been widely credited for saving Major General George Meade’s Army and ensuring victory in the Battle for Gettysburg and turning the war effort in favor of the Union Forces.
1. Did Colonel Chamberlain exercise effective battle command or should he have ordered full retreat of his troops? Colonel Chamberlain was faced with an immediate strategic challenge and critical decisions had to be made with little to no time for preparation. 


Elements of Critical Thinking
Institution Affiliation
Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and his 20th regiment, made up of the remaining contingent left from the other troops, became civil war heroes by pulling the most renowned counter offensive in the era of civil war. Through sudden bayonet charges, the regiment managed to blur the southerners attack on Little Round Top earning them credit for saving Major General George Meade's Army at Potomac. Faced with depleted ammunition, Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain had the option of retreating but decided to stick and execute one of the greatest military battle command. The win at Little Round Top set the south on a long, irreversible path of defeat and turned the war effort for the Union forces.
The little round top tactics and Colonel Joshua Lawrence chamberlain's tactical disposition earned him the military genius title. Chamberlain's synergy, anticipation, critical thinking, simultaneity and depth as well as plan, timing, operational reach and approach and leverage endeared him as one of the greatest heroes of civil war. His pragmatic and leadership skills also contributed to his success. The following paragraphs dissect chamberlains Little Round Top performance using Elder and Paul's eight elements of critical thinking. The paper will explore the battle activities and decisions and determine how Chamberlain utilized the eight elements of critical thinking to success.
The Battle of Gettysburg
According to Clausewitz (as cited in Sumida, 2008) it is hard for an ordinary man to achieve the state of perfect unconcern in which the mind work with reasonable flexibility. Physical courage matters in the battlefield but also the moral courage which is the ability accept and cope with responsibility. Colonel Lawrence Chamberlain was given responsibility when he moved from being a professor at Bowdoin College to serve his country as the conflict grew (Brophy, 2015). As he took leadership, chamberlain's first responsibility and opportunity to demonstrate leadership was when he engaged in reconnaissance for general porter's fifth corps.
The 20th Maine participated in information gathering in general Lee's rear guard. When they reached Virginia banks, the 20thMaine began to climb the in a hurry on hearing shots. They quickly formed their lines over the crest. The whistling of bullets was sailing above their heads, and however retreat order came before they could officially engage the enemy. Chamberlain managed to keep calm and composed as he straddled his horse while steadying his many through the river (Foley, 2012).
During the time when the 2ndMaine infantry was in mutiny, about one hundred and twenty men were in a state of rebellion because those enlisted for two years had been released and sent home, they, however, were ordered to stay as they owed the state a year of service. Colonel Chamberlain was ordered to shoot the mutineers if they refused duty.
However, Chamberlain managed to make use of the first element of the eight critical thinking elements by quickly generating purpose for the soldiers. He wisely distributed them into the 20thMaine ranks and integrated the untested 20thMaine with the veterans (Shaara, 2010). Through this Chamberlain showed his ability to think critically and manage a situation. In other instances, he would have just shot the regiment for refusing duty. This act contributed to the 20th regiment success in some ways including injecting experience to the untested and new 20th regiment that Chamberlain had.
Another critical thinking element that was exhibited by Chamberlain was his use of information. When the Federals had secured their positions, about 824 men of the fourth and fifth Texas regiments led by Major General John B Hood led the assault on little round top pushing towards the cente...
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