A Message from Major General Lewis Irwin - JFSC Commandant

Major General Lewis G. Irwin

Major General Lewis G. Irwin
U.S. Army Reserve

Major General Lewis G. Irwin BIO



Welcome to the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC), the Norfolk, Virginia, element of the National Defense University (NDU), our nation´s premier Joint Professional Military Education institution.

On this page and its links, you'll find a continually expanding body of information: details on enrollment and attendance, curriculum descriptions, and research assistance.

Please take some time to explore our Web site and learn about JFSC.

Welcome aboard!

Major General Lewis G. Irwin
U.S. Army Reserve

Commandant's Professional Reading List

Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of U.S. Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan, by Doug Stanton. New York: Scribner, 2009.

Horse Soldiers Horse Soldiers is the dramatic account of a small band of Special Forces soldiers who secretly entered Afghanistan following 9/11 and rode to war on horses against the Taliban. Outnumbered forty to one, they pursued the enemy across mountainous terrain and, after a series of intense battles, captured the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, which proved strategically essential in the defeat of the Taliban.

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. New York: Random House, 2010.

The Black Swan A black swan is an unpredictable, highly improbable event. For the author, black swans underlie almost everything, from the rise of religions to everyday events. Because humans are hardwired to learn specifics when they should be focused on generalities, they generally do not recognize the phenomenon of black swans until after they occur. In his book, Taleb offers surprisingly simple tricks for dealing with black swans and more importantly benefiting from them. CJCS recommendation.

Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty, by Karl E. Weick and Kathleen Sutcliffe. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007.

Managing the Unexpected Why are some organizations better able than others to maintain function and structure in the face of unanticipated change? A groundbreaking book, Managing the Unexpected points to high reliability organizations (HROs), such as emergency rooms in hospitals and flight operations of aircraft carriers, as models to follow to more effectively organize when dealing with the unexpected. CJCS recommendation.

Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power, by Robert D. Kaplan. New York: Random House, 2010.

MonsoonIn this pivotal examination of the countries known as “Monsoon Asia”—which include India, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, Burma, Oman, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Tanzania—Robert D. Kaplan shows how crucial this dynamic area has become to American power. Kaplan exposes the effects of population growth, climate change, and extremist politics on the unstable region, demonstrating why Americans can no longer afford to ignore this important area of the world. CJCS recommendation.

Partners in Command: George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower in War and Peace, by Mark Perry. New York: Penguin Press, 2007.

Partners in CommandMark Perry charts the relationship between George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower and demonstrates its crucial impact on victory in World War II. Later, as the two great men lay the foundation for triumph in the Cold War, he depicts an unlikely, complex collaboration that became the basis for decades of successful American foreign policy.

The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us and What We Can Do About It, by Joshua Cooper Ramo. New York: Little, Brown, 2009.

 The Age of the UnthinkableDrawing upon history, economics, complexity theory, psychology, immunology, and the science of networks, the author describes a new landscape of inherent unpredictability and remarkable possibility and offers a new model for understanding the 21st century world. CJCS recommendation.

The Guns of Independence: The Siege of Yorktown, 1781, by Jerome A. Greene. New York: Savas Beatie, 2009.

 The Guns of IndependenceThe siege of Yorktown in the fall of 1781 was the most decisive engagement of the American Revolution. Greene’s study, based on extensive archival research and firsthand archaeological investigation of the battlefield, is a complete and balanced examination of the siege. It also offers the first scholarly review of the campaign in decades.

The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy and the Way Out of Afghanistan, by Francis J. West. New York: Random House, 2011.

 The Wrong WarFrom one of America's most renowned war correspondents comes the definitive account of the Afghanistan war, a damning policy assessment, and a compelling and controversial way forward.

Victory on the Potomac: The Goldwater-Nichols Act Unifies the Pentagon, by James R. Locher. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2002.

 Victory on the Potomac"A comprehensive account of the battle to make the GNA a reality. Skillfully bringing to life not only the players but also the issues, Mr. Locher, who was a prime mover in framing the legislation that resulted in Goldwater-Nichols, has written the definitive history of the Act."

War by Land, Sea and Air: Dwight Eisenhower and the Concept of Unified Command, by David Jablonsky. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010.

 War by Land, Sea and AirDavid Jablonsky explores Eisenhower´s efforts to implement a unified command in the U.S. military—a concept that eventually led to the current organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and that, almost three decades after Eisenhower´s presidency, played a major role in defense reorganization under the Goldwater-Nichols Act. In the new century, Eisenhower’s approach continues to animate reform discussion at the highest level of government in terms of the interagency process.