Essay Example on Life is made up of a thousand memories









Life is made up of a thousand memories and sometimes one defining event can change everything In 1898 President McKinley called for volunteers to fight in the declared war against Spain William Billy Mitchell a junior in college at the age of eighteen enlisted in the 1st Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry and began his twenty seven year military career William Mitchell an advocate for air power had a profound impact on military doctrine and structure the hearts and support of the American populace and forever change how air power serves and protects the nation in war and peacetime Colonel COL Mitchell a true visionary of air power could see its real potentials and capabilities however his military career did not begin in aviation In 1898 William enlisted as a private and was later commissioned into the Signal Corps and while stationed in Alaska Billy became interested in aviation In 1905 as an instructor at Fort Leavenworth Kansas Captain Mitchell wrote a field manual on communication for the Army and concluded with a notable prediction Conflicts no doubt will be carried on in the future in the air on the surface of the earth and water and under the earth and water 

A few years later Mitchell found himself in charge of several aircrafts in need of repair and he called upon his close friend LT Henry Hap Arnold a pilot instructor at the Signal Corps aviation school to assist him Mitchell made a lasting impact on Hap who later became the Commanding General of the Army Air Forces during WWII testified on COL William s behalf at his court martial hearing and remained close friends until his death In 1916 a National Defense Act was passed lifting the age ban from 30 to 36 on flight training Billy who was still captivated by aviation paid for his flight lessons and was later sent as an aeronautical observer to Europe by the War Department During this time Billy met MG Hugh Trenchard commander of Britain s Royal Flying Corps RFC and was captivated and convinced by Trenchard s philosophy of centralized control of air assets with the ability to conduct a mass aviation attack As COL William begin to refine his vision of air power he later believed in order to achieve this air superiority must be reached before the enemy and once the enemy s air force is destroyed then strategically attacking population centers or economic structures would destroy the enemy s will to fight and the populace would be unlikely to continue to support the war Mitchell viewed technological advancements and capabilities as a vital element which allowed bombers and long range fighters the ability to fly deep into the enemy airspace to destroy crucial economic and target systems

The impact of technological advancement in engine development provided long range fighters faster performance the ability to climb higher altitude at an accelerated speed with agility as well as delivering the commanders a detailed picture of the battlefield through reconnaissance to effectively destroy enemy targets These same tactics were taught in the US Army Air Corp Tactical School by Major MAJ Thomas Milling a former chief of staff of COL Mitchell and MAJ William Sherman who worked for COL Mitchell while serving with the American Expeditionary Force AEF in Europe were devote disciples of Mitchell and his vision of air power Sherman and Milling worked together using COL Mitchell s ideas and develop the doctrinal foundation for the Air Force and established the Air Force Course COL Mitchell s convictions for an autonomous air force freed from the command and control of a ground commander led by airmen possessing the same expertise was invigorated after his experience in Europe Mitchell maintained his stance on for an independent air command and took advantage of a tragedy involving airmen In 1925 the New York Times quoted Billy These accidents will continue to occur until we centralize the control of aviation and place the control in the hands of men who are themselves flyers and familiar with the problems and dangers of the air game There was no established way which a warning could be sent to the pilot to tell him that he was driving his ship toward danger COL Mitchell was finally convinced that the military leaders did not view air power as a significant role in the war other than providing support to the ground troops 

As a last resort he went public in hopes to win the hearts and support of the American populace COL Mitchell s goal was to create a symbolic relationship between the civilian and military aviation sector Uniting everyone from aviation mechanics to meteorologist airfield airways engine and aircraft industries supply depots etc no matter how small had an integral role of air power and were vital to protect the nation s interest in war and peacetime The impact of COL Mitchell air minded concept attracted over 200 participants to the Southeastern Aviation Conference with attendees such Eddie Doolittle and C E Falk president of Delta Airway supporting redefining America as an airpower nation As the American populace became more air minded more notable figures began to emerge for example Charles Lindbergh Wiley Post and Anemia Earhart As well as capture the attention of other public figures such as Babe Ruth who tried to catch three baseballs from an aircraft at 250 feet circling above unfortunate the first two knock him out but Babe was able to catch the ball on the third attempt Air Mindedness begin to appear everywhere across America to include the media COL Mitchell and his outspoken manner challenge the finally achieved the populace support In today s military strategic interdiction close air support air superiority unified US Airforce UAV

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