Military Education Programs

Strategic Broadening Seminar for the U.S. Army

The McConnell Center has hosted the Strategic Broadening Seminar for the U.S. Army since 2014. This unique month-long residential leadership program is designed for mid-career soldiers to take part in graduate-level discussions, lectures and active-learning sessions with experts, local leaders and McConnell Scholars at the University of Louisville. Programming focuses on the history and philosophical concepts essential to approach leadership and ways of war while facing the challenges of the 21st century. Participants also study U.S. national government, the U.S. Constitution, and the national security process. An immersion experience in Washington, D.C., includes meetings with high-level decision makers and staffers in the Pentagon, the executive branch and on Capitol Hill, as well as engagements with experts at think tanks and within academia.

Distinguished Military Leaders Lecture Series

The McConnell Center, in collaboration with the University of Louisville’s Office of the President, launched a new lecture series in 2021 to bring senior U.S. Department of Defense officials to campus. Hosted by McConnell Center Director Gary Gregg, the series is designed to enable the campus community to engage directly with senior military officials in a dialogue about leadership.

  • Nov. 3, 2023: General Bryan Patrick Fenton, 13th Commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command and Command Sergeant Major Shane W. Shorter, Senior Enlisted Leader of the U.S. Special Operations Command
  • Sept. 17, 2021: U.S. Air Force Lt Gen James Hecker, Commander and President of Air University
  • Sept. 10, 2021: General Stephen Lyons, Commander, Commander of U.S. Transportation Command, and Fleet Master Chief Donald Myrick, Senior Enlisted Leader of U.S. Transportation Command. Moderated by UofL's Army War College Fellow, Lieutenant Colonel (Promotable) CJ Phillips.
  • March 15, 2021: Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Joanne Bass, the highest-ranking enlisted person in the U.S. Air Force and the first woman appointed to the position. Video of her talk is available online.
  • March 1, 2021: U.S. Army Lieutenant General Bryan P. Fenton, Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Capt. Daniel H. Utley Memorial Lecture)
  • Jan. 7, 2021: Chief Master Sergeant Jason France, Senior Enlisted Leader, U.S. Transportation Command

Meditations, an online professional development opportunity for military leaders

In 2018, the McConnell Center launched Meditations, a newsletter originally designed for past participants in the McConnell Center's Strategic Broadening Seminar to continue their education online. Due to popular demand, the monthly publication is broadly available and is tailored to provide online leadership development for military leaders. The newsletter includes a McConnell Center podcast episode, book and video recommendations, and other educational resources.

U.S. Army War College Resident Fellow

The McConnell Center hosts a prestigious U.S. Army War College Fellow in residence each year. The fellows program allows Army leaders to spend a year conducting research and outreach while auditing University of Louisville classes to sharpen their leadership skills and broaden their outlook as strategic thinkers. Participants in UofL's U.S. Army War College Fellows program include:

Additional Enrichment Opportunities

The McConnell Center also promotes additional leadership development for our student groups through military partnerships. Affiliations and past partnerships include the US Army War College's Eisenhower Series Program and undergraduate student participation at the US Military Academy at West Point's Student Conference on US Affairs and the US Naval Academy's Leadership Conference.