The Antietam Leadership Experience

A Staff Ride for Law Enforcement Leaders
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A unique, graduate-level training and educational experience for law enforcement professionals.

The NJSACOP brings the “Staff Ride” concept to local law enforcement in this exciting program designed with the needs of law enforcement in mind. What contemporary leadership and administrative lessons can today’s law enforcement professionals bring home from a Civil War battlefield? If we examine the leadership and management challenges—then and now—we will find some striking parallels.
There are the pressures of limited resources—people, supplies and equipment. There are also pressures from those above to perform at a peak level, despite these limited resources.
There are personnel challenges from those who bring with them emotional issues and then cannot perform with clear minds. There are those driven by political concerns—the drive for recognition or the fear of risking too much. And there are others who are set in their ways—the “old” ways that do not fit today’s circumstances.
The communications issues, as always, are there: from unclear communications to lack of information. These challenges are with the contemporary police leader as they were with the leaders at the Battle of Antietam.
The Battle of Antietam (or Sharpsburg, as it is called in the South) took place just 18 days after the Confederate victory at Second Manassas, 40 miles to the southeast in Virginia. Our program begins by exploring the strategic dilemma facing Confederate General   Robert E. Lee following his stunning success at Second Manassas. He could attack Washington, DC, he could put his army in camp or he could set them on the march. If he chooses to move his army, why would he choose to go North instead of East, West or South? How does Union General George McClellan react to Lee’s decision to invade Maryland? What choices do Lee and McClellan make that force the battles at South Mountain and Sharpsburg?
At the Pry House, McClellan’s headquarters, we discuss what “Little Mac” was planning for September 17, 1862 and analysis of Lee’s strategy for that fateful morning. We follow General Hooker’s flank march toward the north end of the field with stops at the North Woods and the Bloody Cornfield, sites of furious fighting by, among others, the Iron Brigade and Hood’s Texas Brigade. Following Sumner’s Second Corps to the Dunker Church, one of the most noted landmarks on this great field of combat. The Dunker Church ranks as perhaps one of the most famous churches in American military history.
We discuss the Army of the Potomac’s confused command structure and how it lead to a near debacle on the shores of the Antietam Creek at the 125-foot-long bridge known as the Burnside bridge named after Union General Ambrose E. Burnside.
An approved NJSACOP Accredited Chief/Command Executive [ACE] Professional Development Course
A Component of the Certificate in International Leadership Studies