This episode features an interview with Lieutenant Colonel McKinley Wood, West Point class of 2001, and recipient of the 2023 Alexander R. Nininger Award for Valor at Arms.
LTC McKinley Wood ’01 most recently served as the Battalion Commander of the 3rd Battalion, 304th Regiment, with the responsibility of providing weapons, tactical employment of crew-served weapons, and physical confidence training to the United States Military Academy. LTC Wood earned a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering from West Point in 2001 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in Armor. He has served as a Tank Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, and Battalion Maintenance Officer during three Middle East deployments, two National Training Center rotations, a Joint Readiness Training Center rotation, and more. He has civilian work experience as a Design Engineer at Caterpillar, Assistant Chief and Chief Engineer at Bank of America, and as Assistant University Engineer and Associate Director of Engineering Services at University of Richmond.
“So just not being afraid of going into something. If you feel like you can do it, be honest with yourself, ‘is this something I could do? Is this something that interests me?’ I pulled that from West Point. West Point taught me not to be afraid of doing something new, like jumping out of airplanes. Well, I don’t want to jump out of airplanes anymore, but if I had to, I’d do it.”— LTC McKinley Wood ’01
In this episode, LTC McKinley Wood ’01 talks about how to lead in asymmetric warfare through moral, ethical, and fair leadership, and how West Point taught him the most important lesson of all, the value of teamwork.
(00:33) Attending West Point
(05:04) Becoming an Armor Officer
(11:57) Favorite memories as a cadet
(15:33) How to lead in asymmetric warfare
(22:21) Stories from the battlefield
(24:53) Leveraging connections throughout his career
(30:35) Experience as battalion commander
(34:39) Advice for cadets