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Character Cut: How Success in Leadership Stems from the Virtue of Love

Category: Grad News
Class Years:

This episode features a conversation with MAJ Benjamin Elliott ’07 and Dr. Ryan Erbe.

This episode features a conversation between MAJ Benjamin Elliott, instructor for MX400 Officership at the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and Dr. Ryan Erbe, Emotional Wellness Integrator with the Character Integration Advisory Group at the United States Military Academy.

MAJ Benjamin Elliott graduated from the United States Military Academy in 2007 with a BS in Psychology. In 2016 he earned an MS in Strategic Intelligence (MSSI) from the National Intelligence University (NIU) in Washington, DC. His first commission was as a Military Intelligence Officer, serving as a Human Intelligence Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, and Battalion Assistant Intelligence Officer. MAJ Elliott then served as a reconnaissance squadron Intelligence Officer and the Brigade Assistant Intelligence Officer. Following that he was assigned to the National Training Center as an Observer, Coach, and Trainer on the Cobra Team, Operations Group. After gaining his MS, MAJ Elliott served as an interagency fellow at the National Counterterrorism Center, Office of the Director of National Intelligence where he was a counterterrorism analyst assigned to the Interagency Intelligence Committee on Terrorism.

Dr. Erbe has a demonstrated history of working in the higher education field and is skilled in research, teaching, course design, curriculum development, nonprofit organizations, and more. He earned his PhD from Indiana University in Health Behavior and Human Development in 2017. His current focus is on integrating character development into wellness initiatives across the military academy. Previously, he held positions as an Adjunct Professor at the Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology along with the State University of New York at New Paltz, where he taught Counseling Adolescents, Health Psychology, and Research Methods. He most recently was the Lead Minister of the Hudson Valley Church, where he focused on Spiritual Formation and Family Health.

In this episode of the West Point Association of Graduates ‘Character Cut’ series, Dr. Erbe and MAJ Elliott talk about making people a priority in the military. They discuss the virtues of love, competence, character, and caring, and whether unconditional love has a place in the Army, leadership, and service. MAJ Benjamin Elliott and Dr. Erbe also go into the five forms of love and the ways it impacts life in the military.

Episode Timestamps

(03:05) Introducing Dr. Ryan G. Erbe
(03:25) Talking about the virtue of love
(05:00) Does unconditional love have a place in the Army?
(10:25) The three Cs: competence, character and caring
(14:26) Army doctrine and leadership
(16:35) The five forms of ways to love

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The WPAOG Podcast is a strategic initiative focused on tailored audible communications to further inform Graduates on current AOG projects, events, and USMA updates. This customized content is mainly for USMA Alumni and the West Point Community solely produced by the West Point Association of Graduates. The Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Audible, YouTube Music, and iHeartRadio.

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