#gilmour: The lasting effects of Professor John Gilmour’s instruction

Since the inception of the Major General James Wright Fellowship, each cohort begins its 14 month experience with summer classes on American Politics and the Federal Budget.  Each of these courses have been specifically designed by the MBA Program team to address the relationship and linkages between the topics and America’s National Defense strategy.  And over the last 8 years, Professor John Gilmour has expertly executed this deliberately planned re-entry into academia.

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Professor Gilmour (holding gavel) and the MGJW 2017 Cohort

As the newest MGJW Fellows found DoG Street and came to understand new uniform standards, Professor Gilmour taught them the “behind the scenes” of what many had experienced over the last 8-10 years of their military careers.  Exploring topics as diverse as creating the DoD’s budget request and why political parties have become so polarized, the efficacy of these lessons would continue to be realized in the months to come.

As the formal MBA program began, small references and points of order in multiple classes could be tied back to the teachings of Professor Gilmour.  As the moments became more frequent, the MGJW Fellows found a unique way to identify them during internal chats on Slack:  #gilmour.  This fun turn of phrase on the popular Twitter hash tag system, soon found its way in face to face conversations between Fellows.  Outsiders could only stare bemused as they tried to understand what “hash tag Gilmour” must have meant inside military circles.

A photo taken at dawn my an over zealous MGJW Fellow who went for a run on the field trip to D.C.

Taken by an over zealous MGJW Fellow who went for a run on the  D.C. field trip

As the year ended and the Fellows returned again to summer classes and work on their pivotal capstone projects, the lessons once again became relevant.  MGJW Brian Johnson pointed out, “our entire capstone project for the HQDA G3/5/7 has been underpinned by the first classes we took here.  I could actually talk to General Officers and Colonels in the Pentagon during our interviews about the POM process and how it integrates with PPBE.”

POM and PPBE?  #gilmour.