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A nuclear advanced designated marksman assists in a launch facility exercise.

USAF/Beau Wade, 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

Seminar - Open to the Public

A Sense of Purpose: The Bedrock of the U.S. Nuclear Deterrent

Thu., May 21, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm


Speaker: Lt. Col. William C. Smith, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

How do leaders motivate Airmen to give their best to perform this unsung duty, day after day, for years at a time? A recent study found clarity of purpose to be the basis of verifiable mission success, purposeful leadership, and esprit de corps, which suggests that clearly communicating the higher purpose of their work to Airmen would help them find meaning in their tasks. A sense that their work is meaningful, the result of internalizing a higher purpose, underpins the safety and security cultures critical to a successful nuclear enterprise. The speaker will build on their findings by introducing five leadership concepts, identifying the particular importance each plays in providing a credible nuclear deterrent, and offering an effective method for implementation. These principles have broad application to organizational leadership as a whole, and if collectively and effectively implemented, would provide the bedrock for safe, secure, and effective nuclear operations.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar: