Issue Briefs

Early Lessons From The U.S. Army’s Campaign To Conquer COVID-19

Early Lessons From The U.S. Army’s Campaign To Conquer COVID-19

By Loren B. Thompson

May 06, 2020

The U.S. Army has done a remarkably effective job of responding to COVID-19. It has minimized the spread of the viral infection within its ranks, and helped local communities to cope with a surge in cases. So what lessons have Army leaders learned to date from their campaign to defeat the virus? Here are eight: (1) listen to soldiers in the field, (2) don’t wait to make hard choices, (3) discipline makes a difference, (4) keep the threat in perspective, (5) there’s no substitute for organic expertise, (6) you can’t contract for bravery, (7) be sensitive to community impacts, and (8) adapt to keep core missions on track. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.

Loren B. Thompson is a Senior Adviser at GPI, Chief Operating Officer of the non-profit Lexington Institute and Chief Executive Officer of Source Associates, a for-profit consultancy. Prior to holding his present positions, he was Deputy Director of the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and taught graduate-level courses in strategy, technology and media affairs at Georgetown. He has also taught at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Thompson holds doctoral and masters degrees in government from Georgetown University and a bachelor of science degree in political science from Northeastern University.