Leadership and Tactical Innovation by Steven Doolittle
Doolittle was hindered by his command environment in terms of leadership strengths; however, he offset them through creative tactics and strong moral commitment. Chapter 3 evaluates Doolittle’s influence on tactical and technical innovation by looking at his tactics used to reduce aircraft attrition rates as well as adapting strategies in response to poor weather on bombing operations.
This chapter also reviews Doolittle’s efforts to instil military spirit among his airmen, reflecting his belief that defeating Luftwaffe was essential.
Early Life and Education
Doolittle took an approach to scientific research that was methodical and comprehensive. He set high standards for himself, while expecting that from his colleagues. A natural leader with strong sense of personal responsibility and courage, Doolittle led by example in scientific endeavor.
Doolittle spent much of his time at Mitchel Field creating technology necessary for aircraft takeoffs and landings without visual contact between pilot and aircraft. Additionally, he worked to enhance accuracy of air-speed indicators used by military pilots to measure altitude.
He won the 1925 Schneider Cup race by flying from Los Angeles to Cleveland at an average speed of 226 miles per hour in a Curtiss Navy seaplane, also regularly participating in various airspeed record attempts in New York and becoming a member of the National Aeronautics Association.
Doolittle demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities as commander of the Eighth Air Force. Although lacking professional military education or staff experience usually associated with senior commanders, he overcame these flaws through creative use of his small staff and an ability to learn from mistakes made along the way.
He was also an innovative leader in technical innovation, spearheading risk-taking initiatives that helped shape tactical use of Allied bomber force and contribute to Germany’s defeat.
Doolittle went on to pursue a successful musical career following her time on American Idol, singing professionally while hosting a BlogTalkRadio show for fans to call into and interact. Additionally, she actively works towards spreading malaria awareness by encouraging concert attendees to donate bed nets during concerts.
Achievement and Honors
Doolittle was known for his technical acumen and strong leadership capabilities during his raid on Tokyo; however, upon taking command of the Eighth Air Force in January 1944 he lacked both administrative experience and professional military education that were typical for career officers at that level.
Doolittle tried to compensate for these deficiencies by empowering his subordinate commanders and using their relationships as leverage in order to assess the effectiveness of his command. This study also assesses his efforts at attaining air superiority over Europe, managing aircrew rotation efficiently, and improving bombing near friendly forces.
Doolittle currently lives in Chico, California with his wife Josephine and 14 great-grandchildren. In his free time he enjoys reading and doing light carpentry work; both are active members of the United Church of Christ for many years.
Doolittle had an affinity for daring aerial endeavors and used these talents to obtain approval for a cross-country flight using DH-4 aircraft and develop technical modifications to increase their range. His success made him a national hero and propelled him into senior ranks of military ranks.
Doolittle struggled to adapt to the complex world of high command. His lack of staff experience and professional military education hampered his ability to lead an air force numbered air force; but, in North Africa he overcame these shortcomings by using his small cadre of personnel well and learning from past mistakes.
Doolittle led one of the largest Allied air armadas ever assembled as commander of the Eighth Air Force. This chapter explores his effectiveness at this expanded level of responsibility, with particular attention paid to his attempts at attaining air superiority as well as methods taken to sustain morale amid limited resources and mounting losses.
Doolittle has an estimated net worth of $5 Million. Since leaving American Idol, she has published a book detailing her time on the show as well as undertaking an anti-Malaria initiative in Africa.
Doolittle is a conservative who strongly endorses President George W. Bush, though he disagrees with his proposal of an immigration guest worker program. Additionally, Doolittle supports partial privatization of Social Security so that Americans have ownership over their retirement funds.
Doolittle was an ardent supporter of the Iraq war and voted in its favor, along with its funding and expansion of background checks for gun buyers. Additionally, Doolittle and his wife Julie used Julie’s one-person firm for political fundraising; this one-person firm received commission on funds raised for Doolittle’s PAC; it had business and lobbying ties to Jack Abramoff who was investigated for possible corruption by congressional committee.