Dr. Leonard Wong

Research Professor of Military Strategy

Areas of Expertise: Personnel and manpower issues; leadership

Phone: (717) 245-3010

Leonard Wong is a research professor in the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College. He focuses on the human and organizational dimensions of the military. He is a retired Army officer whose career includes teaching leadership at West Point and serving as an analyst for the Chief of Staff of the Army. His research has led him to locations such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Vietnam. He has testified before Congress. Dr. Wong’s work has been highlighted in news media such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New Yorker, CNN, NPR, PBS, and 60 Minutes. Dr. Wong is a professional engineer and holds a B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Texas Tech University.

Some of Dr. Wong’s publications include:

Lying to Ourselves: Dishonesty in the Army Profession
February 17, 2015
Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Gerras, Dr. Leonard Wong.
Untruthfulness is surprisingly common in the U.S. military even though members of the profession are loath to admit it. Further, much of the deception and dishonesty that occurs in the profession of arms is encouraged and sanctioned by the military institution.

Changing Minds In The Army: Why It Is So Difficult and What To Do About It
October 28, 2013
Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Gerras, Dr. Leonard Wong.
In a time of extraordinary fiscal and national security uncertainty, it seems naïve to assume that all, or even most, of a strategic leader’s current assumptions will be just as relevant several years into the future. This monograph highlights the need for Army senior leaders, in the midst of change, to periodically question their deep-seated beliefs on critical issues—and perhaps change their minds—rather than relying solely on what they have long believed to be true.

The Effects of Multiple Deployments on Army Adolescents
January 28, 2010
Authored by Dr. Leonard Wong, Dr. Stephen J. Gerras.
Frequent U.S. Army deployments increase the burden on children who must face the stress and strain of separation and anxiety. The authors take a much-needed, detailed look at the effects of multiple deployments on Army adolescents.

CU @ The FOB: How the Forward Operating Base is Changing the Life of Combat Soldiers
March 01, 2006
Authored by Dr. Leonard Wong, Dr. Stephen J. Gerras.
The situation in post-war Iraq is producing combat veterans accustomed to a perspective of combat that differs greatly from past wars. The authors explore the facets of fighting from the FOB.

Developing Adaptive Leaders: The Crucible Experience of Operation Iraqi Freedom
July 01, 2004
Authored by Dr. Leonard Wong.
Within the complex environment of postwar Iraq, junior officers are being developed into creative, innovative, and independent leaders. This unique leader development opportunity is a result of the ambiguous, complex, and unpredictable environment of postwar Iraq.

Strategic Leadership Competencies
September 01, 2003
Authored by Dr. Leonard Wong, Dr. Stephen J. Gerras, COL William Kidd, COL Robert Pricone, COL Richard Swengros.
The strategic leadership literature is replete with long lists of the knowledge, skills, and abilities. Looking across the literature on strategic leadership, current Army strategic leader competencies, and the future environment, six meta-competencies can be derived: identity, mental agility, cross-cultural savvy, interpersonal maturity, world-class warrior, and professional astuteness.

Why They Fight: Combat Motivation in the Iraq War
July 01, 2003
Authored by Dr. Leonard Wong, COL Thomas A. Kolditz, LTC Raymond A. Millen, COL Terrence M. Potter.
Today’s U.S. soldiers, much like soldiers of the past, fight for each other. Researchers also found that soldiers cited ideological reasons such as liberation, freedom, and democracy as important factors in combat motivation.

Stifled Innovation? Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders Today
April 01, 2002
Authored by Dr. Leonard Wong.
The author examines the current company commander experience and concludes that the Army values innovation in its rhetoric, but the reality is that junior officers are seldom given opportunities to be innovative in planning training; to make decisions; or to fail, learn, and try again.

Generations Apart: Xers and Boomers in the Officer Corps
October 01, 2000
Authored by Dr. Leonard Wong.
The author points out that Generation X officers are more confident in their abilities, perceive loyalty differently, want more balance between work and family, and are not intimidated by rank