Senior Leader | Scholar-in-Residence Program™

 "Human nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall have as weak and as strong, as silly and as wise, as bad and as good. Let us therefore study the incidents in this as philosophy to learn wisdom from and none of them as wrongs to be avenged."

Abraham Lincoln (in the context of The American Civil War of 1861 to 1865)

Organizational leadership education & courseware fueled by senior U.S. military officers from a lifetime of lessons in service and leadership. 

Abstract:   The Purpose of the Senior Leader | Scholar-in-Residence (SLSiR) Program

an approved

The SLSiR Program preserves the leadership lessons of transitioning senior military leaders for application in organizational and business leadership studies

Simply stated, the SLSiR Program takes aim at preserving one of the most vital resources necessary for the future success of our great nation and American experiment in democracy:  our history and the leadership lessons learned from its passage..

Every year hundreds of senior military leaders  - and thousands of years in collective leadership experience as U.S. military commanding officers - are lost to career transition and/or retirement from their 30+ years of service. 
The SLSiR program is designed to surgically extract history’s greatest lessons learned by our nation’s greatest leaders during their transition, for academic application in organizational leadership.

After leading numerous organizations and institutions in the U.S. Armed Forces through changing and challenging seasons of conflict, growth, culture, and organizational climate, the SLSiR program provides transitioning leaders with the voice, platform, and venue to pass on the lessons learned from a lifetime of organizational leadership and service to the leaders who follow behind, whether in private or government organizations.

Leadership Lesson:

“Great nations”
          [or companies, startups, corporations, C-suite executive teams…..]
                     “don’t get angry - they make cool, hard strategic choices...and don’t [waiver] once you’re committed to a course of action.” 


- Jim Mattis on the assault on Fallujah

[with broader academic applicability noted for studies in organizational leadership]

SLSiR Program Overview

Through analyzing & supplementing existing organizational leadership curricula, SLSiR scholars will help build on central academic bodies of knowledge as curriculum developers and academic consultants.

As a veteran-owned educational content and curriculum company serving the world's largest publishers and universities, Freedom Learning Group hosts this program in order to serve senior leaders with their transition by encouraging a focus and analysis on existing bodies of study and literature in organizational leadership. In turn, FLG benefits from resident experts that will contribute to and grow high quality educational content and courseware for use in leading business schools and programs. 


SLSiR scholars will translate, reapply, and refine their military experiences and lessons learned towards the corporate sector by examining existing executive leadership curricula from top programs such as Harvard and Chicago


After evaluating high level executive programs, leaders will then contribute to the FLG’s Open Education Resource (OER) library through its MissionOER™ program by developing white papers, lectures, and instructional video documentary in executive education. 


Senior military leaders will contribute to the overall academic body of knowledge during the program; leaders and scholars will emerge with a refined understanding of which experiences are transferable, where they can add the most value in the corporate workforce as executives or consultants, and identify and refresh personal knowledge gaps prior to transitioning.

How is the SLSiR Program different from other fellowship programs? 

SLSiR provides transitioning senior military leaders with a military-to-corporate "incubation" period and assists in repurposing leadership lessons for corporate roles as board members and C-suite executives. 

The Senior Leader|Scholar-in-Residence (SLSiR) program is designed as a one to three month on-the-job fellowship that enables transitioning senior military leaders and commanders to refine and translate their extensive organizational leadership experience from the military to a variety of executive leadership roles in the corporate sector.  Our program helps leaders to first apply their expertise as academic scholars where they will contribute to a growing body of educational curriculum in organizational leadership.


Not all military leadership experiences will directly translate to the civilian workforce. The initial program focus develops a broader perspective on private and corporate C-suite executive leadership and consulting.  Upon completion of our program, senior military leaders will be prepared to operate as corporate executive leaders in a variety of environments. 

Case Study: Meet Travis

Program Scholars work with Freedom Learning Group's Chief Academic Officer, advisory board, and instructional design teams to translate their specific leadership experience into high quality educational content. 

  •  Senior Leader & Strategist, U.S. Army

  • Chief of Strategy for U.S. Army, Pentagon

  • Chief of Strategy and Plans for Combined Joint Task Force INHERENT RESOLVE, Kuwait

  • Levant Branch Chief for U.S. Central Command Strategy and Plans, Florida

Before Transition

During & After Transition

  • 2019 SLSiR Scholar:
        Focus: Military Strategy & Org Leadership


  • Lead author; Military Strategy curriculum 

  • Subject-Matter-Expert for content development, Organizational Leadership

  • Lead Developer; Lessons in Failure - Introduction to Modern Warfare and Embracing Change in Organizations

Application: How Military Senior Leaders match up to Corporate Leadership Programs

Program Scholars evaluate existing executive programs and pinpoint knowledge and experience areas where they can add academic & scholarly value.


Through self-analysis they are also able to identify knowledge gaps prior to transition and pursue opportunities where they can lend most executive value to organizations  

The following case study illustrates how a transitioning senior leader would, for example, critique Harvard Business School’s Executive Leadership Program, and refine it for FLG’s OER construction. Below the reader will find a module from Harvard Business School’s well respected Senior Executive Leadership Program found here.

Harvard Business School's Senior Executive Leadership Curriculum

   Module 1: Positioning your company for success

  • Assessing the competition and boosting your firm's competitive edge
    Applicable Knowledge  & Experience

  • Creating differentiation through innovative products and brands
    Applicable Knowledge  & Experience

  • Opportunity for Growth: Transitioning from labor-cost advantage to premium products. 
    Possible Knowledge Gap for focused improvement during transition

  • Succeeding in a slower-growth environment by streamlining your organization and optimizing your supply chain
    Applicable Knowledge  & Experience

  • Recognizing and selecting the best opportunities in both developed and emerging markets
    Applicable Knowledge  & Experience

  • Evaluating your leadership style with guidance from faculty, peers, and your professional coach
    Applicable Knowledge  & Experience

Contributing to the academic body of knowledge as a SLSiR Scholar: 


> On "Assessing the competition and boosting your firm's competitive edge"


"I remember when our team was tasked with an analysis of global risks inside what we now term as Great Power Competition.  We were specifically looking at how the United States competes with Russia and China in a variety of sectors. We were naturally focused on security, but our analysis extended into other aspects of national security, which led to natural crossover with commercial, diplomatic, law enforcement and several other areas.  Myself and my team members all had to work extensively with members of other US government agencies and staffs across a variety of interests.

There were three things that we evaluated as part of that analysis; 1) impact on risk 2) restricting agility if we committed 100% and priorities shifted back again, and 3) managing change within the organization”

> On "Recognizing and selecting the best opportunities in both developed and emerging markets

"Say what needs to be said, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. I remember when I was asked to develop a plan to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan by 90%.  As we conducted our analysis of how to do so, which included a review of regional national-level tasks, we realized we could not meet the requirements of U.S. policy and directed tasks to the DoD in general, and U.S. Central Command in particular, if we reduced U.S. military presence by 90%.  I understood the task as given from higher levels, but my teams analysis required me, as a professional, to ensure my superiors understood the risk involved. For this effort we evaluated three main things; 1) impact on risk to the nation, risk to the mission, and the opportunity cost to the U.S. of maintaining higher than desired levels of commitment in the region which precluded their employment elsewhere. 

If you are a leader in a corporate organization considering a shift in priorities, consider this;

1) There is no “right” decision, there are only “better” decisions that you make on the information you have available at the given time…and they have a shelf-life because your competitors will adjust to survive.

2) Always form a plan B. Having a plan is good, but not sufficient; having conducted the planning is what matters. When the environment/situation changes…and it will…what you learned through detailed planning and by developing an understanding of the environment will help you adapt and/or adjust more rapidly than your competitors.

3) Formulate the “Why” behind closed doors. Explain the “why” with an open door policy. Make important decisions with a small team; refine the “how to...” with larger teams."

The Vision and Mission of the SLSiR Program

As the rotating door of military transition continues, our hope for this program is to provide a scaleable and sustained opportunity for our nation's greatest leaders and commanders to pass on what they have learned to the next generation of American leaders to come. 

How to Apply to the SLSiR Program

This program is approved and regulated in part by the DoD Skillbridge program. 

For administrative guidelines and program overview, please visit: 


The SLSiR Program is designed for transitioning senior leaders (O-5+ / E9)  no sooner than 180 days of their retirement date, preferably within 30 - 90 days. 

Before applying, please review the list of Frequently Asked Questions on the DoD SkillBridge website. 

To speak with the Freedom Learning Group Senior Leader | Scholar-in- Residence Program Manager about questions specific to this program, please send an email to: 

SLSiR Program Manager:

A program counselor will help guide you through the associated service-level forms and approval process needed to participate in the program in 2020. 

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