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Updated: Nov 10, 2020

JLO had the privilege of working with the Honorable James Locher III (pictured above presenting via Zoom), a nationally recognized expert for his contributions in the US Executive and Legislative branches such as the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act and the Cohen-Nunn Amendment.

In response to the cancellation of an in-person Defense Governance course due to the Covid-19 pandemic, JLO technical expertise converted existing and new course modules into Distance Learning opportunities for the Institute for Security Governance. The resulting Distance Learning products account for critical challenge factors such as time zone differences, internet connectivity, and participants’ time constraints in a remote course setting environment.

The seminar utilizes the ‘Civ-Mil Approaches to National Security Challenges’ methodology consisting of core modules of instruction that revolve around a simulation exercise and associated simulation activities. Modules of instruction build upon each other and are incorporated into the simulation activities to apply lessons and test knowledge retention.

In addition to updating content for a Distance Learning compatible format, JLO SMEs developed two new modules to complement this course and conducted presentations of these modules via the video teleconferencing platform Zoom. The two newly developed modules were ‘Crisis Management Planning’ and ‘Change Management – Goldwater-Nichols Case Study’.


For additional information on the subject matter covered in the Defense Governance course, read on for details on publications from two members of the instruction for this effort:

Mr. Locher’s book Victory on the Potomac: The Goldwater-Nichols Act Unifies the Pentagon provides an inside look at the story behind the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 and may be found here.

Capt. (Ret) Paul Shemella, who delivered the All Hazard Risk Assessment, Roles and Missions, and Strategy Development modules for this course is also the author of several books including Fighting Back: What Governments Can Do About Terrorism, which provides an overview of government strategy and management of important national security challenges. Capt. Shemella’s book may be found here and all of his publications may be found on his website

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