New Book Release on Col. John R. Boyd

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Col. John R. Boyd, BIE 1963, is known as one of this country's greatest fighter pilots and most brilliant military theorists. He has been described as the greatest secret hero of the American military, transforming the way military aircraft were designed with his theory on "Energy- Maneuverability." Boyd was often at odds with Air Force officials, but his revolutionary ideas are now acclaimed as some of the most influential thinking about conflict.

A new biography of Boyd will be available this fall. Written by Robert Coram of Atlanta, Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War, will be published by Little, Brown & Company. One area the book will explore is why Boyd is heavily respected by the U.S. Marines but virtually ignored by the Air Force. Some say it is because he made as many enemies as friends during his thirty-year career. When Boyd died of cancer in West Palm Beach in 1997, Charles C. Krulak, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, eulogized him as "a towering intellect who made unsurpassed contributions to the American art of war." He is credited with the development and design of both the F-15 "Eagle" and, as leader of the so-called "Fighter Mafia," the F-16 "Fighting Falcon." In addition to the "Energy Maneuverability Theory," he developed the concept of the "OODA Loop" (Observation, Orientation, Decision, Action) that is now standard in both the U.S. military and American business.

Boyd never published anything outside technical studies, but his ideas continue to have an impact on the military, academia, and business. For more information on Boyd and his theories, visit


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    Barbara Christopher
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