Today we held our annual Strategic Arts Film Program (SAFP) Luncheon to thank our film moderators and those who support the program. LTG (Ret) Guy Swan, Association of the Unted States Army (AUSA) Vice President for Education, hosted the event and represented General (Ret) Carter Ham, AUSA President and CEO.
For many years the Association of the United States Army Carlisle Barrack’s and Cumberland Valley Chapter has partnered with the U.S. Army War College to sponsor the Strategic Arts Film Series. Initially established through the strong will of COL (Ret.) Jerry Comello, the immediate past Chapter President, this year proved to be very successful with the showing of 40 movies over the course of the academic year.
The current series is managed by the Army Heritage and Education Center (AHEC) and run as a complementary program that is more than the passive viewing of a movie. Rather, each film offers an opportunity for the viewer to gain an appreciation of challenges faced by senior leaders. Each film of the series includes an Army War College professor-led discussion that provides insights into the evolution of warfare, highlights strategic and operational themes, and raises issues of strategic leadership. Army War College students are invited to participate in the conversation and explore the challenges and lessons of each film.
The series focused for most of its existence on the development of the western way of war through the millennia from ancient Greece to the present day. In the recent past, the film program transitioned somewhat, still looking at the development of warfare through the centuries, but also becoming more closely connected to the resident program’s curriculum. In addition, the program has addressed issues associated with the regional studies program and with the electives program in the college. As always, each year we try to bring in fresh perspectives from new faculty within the college and we also try to add new films to the program.
While we have continued to present such excellent films such as, “Waterloo,” “MacArthur,” “Tora, Tora, Tora,” “We Were Soldiers Once and Young,” and “Pork Chop Hill;” we also have also added knew ones. For example, this year we added such films as the Danish film on Afghanistan called “A War.” We also added a Japanese film in the Burma Campaign in World War II, “The Burmese Harp.” We also added two fairly recent films on differing aspects and individuals involved in the global war on terror, “Known, Unknown” and “Eye in the Sky.” We also had two films dealing with the economy, most notably the recent film on the latest Wall Street crisis, “The Big Short.”
We believe that this year’s program was a success due to the support of the moderators, the AHEC staff, and AUSA member volunteers who contributed so much of their time. Thanks again to all of you for a wonderful year and we look forward to supporting films for the Department of Distance Education’s resident portion in June and July and for the kick-off of next year’s resident program in August!