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Hiring managers in organizations seek college graduates who possess certain “soft skills” that enable them to be of value immediately upon entering the workforce. In response, many institutions of higher education are using and expanding high impact educational practices to not only improve knowledge acquisition and retention, but also to develop the soft skills that help make students “employable” after college. In U.S. senior military college corps of cadets, soft skills development is nothing new: it has always been part and parcel of their intensive and highly effective leader development programs. Although these programs exist primarily to produce leaders for the military—a public good—graduates contribute to the public good in other sectors of American society as well. This chapter depicts how cadets are transformed into highly effective leaders for the military, and how they contribute in other ways to the good of American society.


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  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Publisher
    • IGI Global: Publisher of Timely Knowledge

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Author Biography:

      Keith P. Antonia is a retired Army officer and the University of North Georgia Associate Vice President for Military Programs, Executive Director of the Institute for Leadership and Strategic Studies, and Managing Editor, International Journal of Security Studies & Practice. Colonel Antonia retired after 20 years of service in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer in August 2001. He is a 1981 graduate of the University of Connecticut, holds a Master’s Degree from the Naval War College in National Security and Strategic Studies, and received a Doctor of Education degree from the University of North Georgia. His Army assignments included nearly 19 years of hazardous duty in various Airborne and Ranger units. Colonel Antonia's combat experience includes Grenada with the 82d Airborne Division as a Scout platoon leader for URGENT FURY in 1983, and Panama as battalion S3 Air in the 1st Ranger Battalion for the combat parachute assault for operation JUST CAUSE in 1989. His last job in the Army was the commander of the 5th Ranger Training Battalion, the mountain phase of Ranger school, at Camp Frank D. Merrill in Dahlonega, Georgia. His career at the University of North Georgia began in 2003 as the recruiting operations officer for the professor of military science, and continued as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions for Cadet Recruiting, Director of Cadet Admissions, and Executive Director of Undergraduate Admissions. He assumed his current position in September 2015. Colonel Antonia was designated a distinguished member of the Ranger Training Brigade in 2005; inducted into the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame in 2009; served at the Honorary Colonel of the Ranger Training Brigade from 2011 to 2014; served as president of the Dahlonega Rotary Club; and served as chairman of the board of directors of the Rainbow Children’s Home in Lumpkin County.

      Book or Journal Information:

      Antonia, K. P. (2021). Soft Skills and Leader Development at a Senior Military College: Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders for the Good of American Society. In M. P. Ryan & T. L. Weeks (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Character and Leadership Development in Military Schools. (pp. 218-239). IGI Global. DOI 10.4018/978-1-7998-6636-7.ch010