This episode features a conversation between Superintendent LTG Gilland ’90 and Dean BG Reeves ’96.
In this episode, LTG Steve Gilland and BG Shane Reeves talk about encouraging conversation and fostering innovation at the academy, the exciting expectations for West Point’s brand new Innovation Hub, and announce this year’s intellectual theme: innovation, technology, and the future of national defense.
“Necessity drives innovation oftentimes. I mean, it’s risky not to innovate. It’s risky to stay ‘status quo’. This is something that West Point can really offer, and thinking about the counter drone example makes me think about the high energy laser work that we’re doing in an interdisciplinary way. There’s 2nd Lt. Ashley Clegg and Cadet Mackenzie Arnes, both working on this counter drone effort with our higher energy laser program. But what’s interesting about it is, one is a physicist, right, a physics major, and the other one’s a law major, trying to think about how this works together. And I think that’s the power of this place. I think the power is an interdisciplinary approach to innovation to get ahead of what we’re perceiving as a future threat.”—BG Reeves ’96
LTG Gilland currently serves as the 61st Superintendent of the United States Military Academy. A career Infantry officer, he has served in a variety of tactical assignments in Air Assault, Armor, Mechanized Infantry, Ranger and Special Operations units. He most recently commanded 2nd ROK-U.S. Combined Division in Korea, and has participated in numerous operational deployments to the Middle East, Africa, and Afghanistan throughout his career.
BG Reeves currently serves as the 15th Dean of the Academic Board at West Point. He commissioned into the Army in 1996 as an Armor Officer. After law school in 2003, he transitioned into the Judge Advocate General’s Corps with assignments including Senior Trial Counsel, International and Operational Law Professor, and Deputy Staff Judge Advocate of Joint Special Operations Command. He has written over 30 articles and book chapters on the Law of Armed Conflict and national security issues and co-founded the Lieber Institute for Law and Land Warfare.
**This episode does not imply Federal endorsement.
(01:55) Defining innovation
(05:05) Innovation at the academy
(10:03) Encouraging conversation in the military
(18:20) Fostering experiential learning
(24:59) Cross functional teams at Futures Command
(32:16) Encouraging innovation at West Point
(41:39) The innovation hub
(46:01) Research as a form of education