General Henry Arnold and The United States Airforce Essay

General Henry Arnold and The United States Airforce Essay

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It can be argued that General Henry “Hap” Arnold is the father of the United States Air Force. His experiences, wisdom, and foresight are what made him, in every way, a visionary leader. Due to his efforts developing air mindedness during the first part of the 20th century, he shaped what is today the greatest Air Force on the planet. I will begin by explaining his effective use of transformational leadership and the impact it has on the development of airpower. Then I will explain how his acceptance of diversity impacted the war effort during WWII and the future of the United States Air Force. First, we must know what shaped him into the leader he eventually became.
Hap Arnold started out his military career somewhat average. He attended the United States Military Academy graduating in 1907. While at the academy he was not a stand out student. Hap was so average he received an assignment to the infantry, instead of the cavalry, which was highly coveted at that time, similarly to getting accepted to pilot training out of the U.S. Air Force Academy today. In 1911 he became one of the first Army aviators and even won the Mackay trophy for taking a biplane to an altitude of 6,540 feet, a record at the time (Glines, 2006). The early days of military aviation was not without danger. Hap almost died when his plane when into an uncontrolled spin. After that experience he gave up flying, stating, “I cannot even look at a machine in the air without feeling that some accident is going to happen to it (Glines, 2006).” Billy Mitchell brought him back to the flying world in 1916. While stationed in San Diego he was able to get over his fears and return to flying. He filled several positions during his career; supply officer, Sq...

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...emier airpower in the world shows this. He moved the Air Corps from a small fighting force to, at the time of his retirement, the cusp of its own service. His actions were truly transformational. He also embraced diversity. By championing women pilots he showed the aspects of an inclusive environment. If it wasn’t for this average cadet we would not be discussing to aspects of what makes a visionary today.

Daso, M. D. (1994, January 25). DTIC. Retrieved from DTIC:
Glines, C. (2006, June 12). General Henry H. 'Hap' Arnold: Architect of America's Air Force. Retrieved from
Parrish, D. B. (2008). Hap Arnold Biography. Retrieved from National WASP Museum:

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