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PAUL K. VAN RIPER retired from the United States Marine Corps in October 1997 at the rank of Lieutenant General after more than 41 years of commissioned and enlisted service. During those years, he served in a variety of command and staff billets at posts and stations around the world, including seven tours in the Fleet Marine Force where he commanded at every level from infantry platoon to division. He participated in or observed combat operations during five tours. As a second lieutenant, he commanded a platoon in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic crisis. As a first lieutenant, he was an advisor to the Republic of Vietnam’s Marine Corps. As a captain, he led a rifle company in Vietnam. As a major, he was a United Nations Observer in the Sinai Desert and southern Lebanon. As a brigadier general, he served with I Marine Expeditionary Force in Operation DESERT STORM. In retirement, Lieutenant General Van Riper continues to participate in an array of defense and security related war games, seminars and conferences, and lectures frequently at professional military schools. He also consults part time for a number of government agencies and commercial firms on defense and operational matters. Lieutenant General Van Riper held the Marine Corps University’s Donald Bren Chair of Innovation and Transformation during Academic Year 2005-06. He is a graduate of the Army’s Airborne and Ranger Schools, the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, the Navy’s College of Command and Staff, and the Army War College.
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Authored by Lieutenant General (USMC Ret) Paul K Van Riper.
Joint doctrine is currently undergoing some potentially major revisions. The author asks the doctrine community to take a step back from the process of change and take a hard look at the differences between the original concepts and the proposed revisions.