General Ridgway Command Style

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Introduction

Different people are acknowledged for their heroism during the world war for the roles they played. General Ridgway was known for his resilient Command style that enabled the troops to survive during the war. The most popular form of Command style was during the Korean War which facilitated a change in war effort in favor to the United Nations (Mitchell, 2004). Various historians over the years have used his techniques and information to inspire different models adopted by countries across the globe. The Ridgway Command Style is evident through the review of his early life, War Plans Division, 82nd Airborne Division, Normandy, Normandy, Korean War, various ranks promotion and World War II.

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Early Life and West Point

The General was born in Fort Monroe, Virginia on 3rd March 1895. His father Colonel Thomas Ridgway was an artillery officer thus they often lived in military bases. As the Ridgway grew up, he became familiar with sound of matching troops and shooting guys. Throughout his school career in English School, Ridgway wanted to emulate his father and make him proud. Upon graduation from high school, he further applied for West Point, where the dad had previously graduated. The first application did not go through and Ridgway had to do it for the second time after reviewing his weak areas. The General’s career was built from West Point where he was first tasked as a football team manager (Mitchell, 2004). Further, Ridgway was promoted as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1917. Also at West Point, Ridgway built a family.

World War I

During the World War I, Ridgway did not participate as a Combatant. First, he was assigned a duty as a member of the 3rd Infantry Regiment along the Mexico border and was later relocated to West Point faulty as a Spanish instructor. His greatness was encountered during the World War II.

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World War II

Prior to the American entry into the World War II, Ridgway had been promoted to the 82nd Infantry Division as an Assistant Division Commander in February 1942. The Division was not fully formed when he was enrolled. In collaboration with Major General Omar Bradley, Ridgway trained thousands of men who intended to join the Division. After two months of training Major General Omar Bradley was reassigned to command the 28th Infantry Division. As a result, Ridgway was promoted to a two-star rank as major general in command of the 82nd Division. The latter Division had been approved to participate as a representative of one of the airborne divisions’ armies.

In preparation for the war, some of the infantries were to be converted while others transferred to other divisions. For instance, the 325th infantry was to be converted to the glider infantry (Knapp, 2013). Major Ridgway together with his members of staff from outside Sicily and Ribera were required to help with the preparations. During this time, they encountered other majors leading various divisions. The 82nd division was still under command of Ridgway and it during this training period that he proved to be great. Unlike other generals who had gone through airborne jump school before joining the divisions, Ridgway had not but still managed to bring up a competent team that fits the requirements of the combat-ready airborne division. The successful conversion of the 82nd division earned Ridgway paratrooper wings. (Blair, 1985). During the World War II, Ridgway was best known to execute airborne combat with the 82nd division who had hardly acquired equal training as others to successful invasions (Crookenden, 1976). For instance, the team was sent to North Africa in 1943 during the third training to prepare for Sicily invasion.

Korean War

In 1950, the death of Lieutenant General Walton led to an important task assigned to Ridgway. He was placed command of the 8th U.S. Army deployed in South Korea to deal with the invasion by North Korea. Before the reassignment, Ridgway was working as the deputy chief of staff for operations and administration in the army pentagon (Cerami, 2014). The reception and morale of the 8th army was not warm because of the unexpected and overwhelming advance from the Chinese. Despite the negative morale, Ridgway did not give up on the 8th army. He managed to change their perception thus bringing positive results.

In the Olympian demeanor headed by Douglas MacArthur, the 8th army was isolated. The overall commander presented Ridgway with a latitude of operations which had not been availed to any other predecessor. Douglas allowed Ridgway to do as he pleased with the team during their operational situation discussion. It would be difficult working with the 8th army with their low morale. Thus, Ridgway opted to reform the oand structure. The new structure helped in addressing both their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, the 8th army was required to develop contingencies, defensive and attack plans (Browne, 2010). There was also a rotation in leadership allowing new members to take positions that were dominated by the same people for over six months. These alterations helped in changing the morale. Ridgway was also tactical for using artillery during the war.

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Chipyong-ni Battle

China entered Korea and became part of the war. UN armies were regulated to zero bombings of the China’s supply base. This approach helped to reduce the intensity of the war and armies played protective defense rather than attacks which favored the 8th army. In response to the artillery fire technique introduced by Ridgway, china encountered several causalities. Ridgway was able to reduce the effects during the Chipyong-ni and Wonju battles up to a halt (Browne, 2010). He later led the troop during spring of 1951 to a counter offensive attack which was successful.

The epitome of Ridgway’s career was when the president relieved General Douglas MacArthur of his command. Ridgway was promoted as the overall general for all the United Nations forces (Ridgway, 1986). In his new line of duty, Ridgway granted pardon to the German officers who were convicted of war crimes before he could indulge any German officer under the European troops with his commands.

Chief Of Staff of the United States Army

As the Chief of Staff, a lot was expected of Ridgway. His plans for the army would not be approved by all and he was bound to experience challenges. Upon replacement of General J. Lawton Collins, Ridgway took up the Chief of Staff position in 1953 (Kurz, 2011). He was keen to capture all the required changes that would help the army succeed during the war. Despite his ambitions for the armies, the elected president, Eisenhower advocated for a reduction in the number of troops. Ridgway did not conform to the proposal as he felt that despite the nuclear bombs and air power, the troops would be overpowered by their enemies during war. These differences led to several challenges for Ridgway as he served as the chief of staff. As a result, he was not appointed for a second term. Ridgway retired in 1955 but still was a critic of the president’s work.

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  1. Blair, C. (1985). Ridgway’s Paratroopers: The American Airborne in World War II. Doubleday
  2. Browne, E. D. (2010). Comparing Theory and Practice: An Application of Complexity Theory to General Ridgway’s Success in Korea. Army Command and General Staff Coll Fort Leavenworth Ks School Of Advanced Military Studies.
  3. Cerami, M. J. R. (2014). Wrestling the Initiative: Ridgway as Operational Commander in the Korean War, December 1950 to April 1951. Pickle Partners Publishing.
  4. Coble, L. C. E. A. (2015). Operation Market Garden: Case study for analyzing senior leader responsibilities. Pickle Partners Publishing.
  5. Crookenden, N. (1976). Dropzone Normandy: the story of the American and British airborne assault on D Day 1944. Allen Publishing.
  6. Knapp, R. (2013). Fighting US Generals of World War II. Enslow Publishers, Inc.
  7. Kurz, J. R. (2011). General Matthew B. Ridgway: A Commander’s Maturation of Operational Art. Army Command and General Staff Coll Fort Leavenworth Ks School of Advanced Military Studies.
  8. Mitchell, G. C. (2004). Matthew B. Ridgway: Soldier, statesman, scholar, citizen. Armor, 113(5), 51.
  9. Pigeau, R., & McCann, C. (2000). Redefining command and control. The human in command: Exploring the modern military experience, 163-184.
  10. Ridgway, M. B. (1986). The Korean War (Vol. 267). Da Capo Press.
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