Stanley McChrystal’s Yale Course Will Be Media-Heavy, Autobiographical

Shortly after he resigned as commander of U.S. Afghanistan forces, it was announced that Gen. Stanley McChrystal would be teaching a course at Yale next semester. The Yale Daily News recently obtained a syllabus from a research assistant for the class that grants some insight into the topics that will be covered.

Judging from the syllabus, the class seems to largely be concerned with the role of a modern commander in terms of issues arising from both within and outside the military. Dexter Filkins is listed under “Primary Reading!” Michael Hastings is not. Notable class titles include: “Communicating the Story — the Media Environment” and “Coping With Failure.”

An interesting little kicker to the YDN’s story: anything the general says during the class is to be considered off the record. A wise move, by all accounts.

The course schedule follows.


  • 7th September 2010: “The Importance of Leading Differently – The Changing Operating Environment”
  • 14th September 2010: “Case Study: The Changing Military 1972-2010”
  • 21st September 2010: “Role of a Leader”
  • 27th September 2010 (6-8pm): “Coping With Failure”
  • 28th September 2010 (Assignment 1 Due): “Building Teams – What Makes Some Great”
  • 5th October 2010: “Driving Change and Operating Differently”
  • 12th October 2010: “Navigating Politics”
  • 19th October 2010: “Making Difficult Decisions Pt. 1 – How We Decide”
  • 26th October 2010 (Assignment 2 Due): “Making Difficult Decisions Pt. 2 – Dealing With Risk”
  • 2nd November 2010: “Loyalty, Trust and Relationships”
  • 9th November 2010: “Dealing With Cultural Differences”
  • 16th November 2010: “Communicating the Story – the Media Environment”
  • 30th November 2010 (Assignment 3 Due): “The Leader – the Personal Impact of Responsibility, Notoriety and Other Realities”
  • 7th December 2010: “The Future Leader”


(via The Wall Street Journal)

Stanley McChrystal’s Yale Course Will Be Media-Heavy, Autobiographical