Date of Award

Fall 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Heather Stur

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Kyle Zelner

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Andrew Wiest

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Allison Abra

Committee Member 4 School


Committee Member 5

Brian Lapierre

Committee Member 5 School



The following dissertation chronicles the evolution of argument, institutional self-advocacy and its presentation in the U.S. Army’s own voice. The work chronicles forward thinking, forward movement, and organizational evolution when the Army faced austerity in resources. From 1946 to 1964, the Army’s intellectual, rhetorical, and organization evolved considerably—and Army advocacy with it. This work interprets the written and verbal arguments, speeches, and patterns of thinking deployed to shape the service, its role in national security, and the U.S.’s vision for the free world more broadly. The work contextualizes the service’s arguments within resource constraints, the Army’s relationship to its sister services, and the service’s perception of public and political attitudes. In advocating for itself, the service subsumed and distilled new threats, national security strategies, and new military technologies within a traditionalist interpretation of war. Here the Army fomented the beginnings of institutional identity in a post-nuclear age, and conceptualized requirements for the nuclear battlefield—to include the service’s role within it. The Army found dispersion, mobility, communication, and firepower critical to victory. In considering future threats, the Army constructed and defended a system of beliefs based on past conflicts, present and future capabilities, and potential limited and total war in a non-nuclear and nuclear environment. The service remained adamant and steadfast on its importance to U.S. national security. In its self-advocacy, the service staked its beliefs, reputation, and character on the following assumption: that by will of the nation, the U.S. Army soldier, when properly equipped, trained, and supported, was the guarantor of the free world.

Available for download on Wednesday, December 12, 2029