Date of Award



© 2020 Lori A. Wilkin

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Michelle Collay

Second Advisor

Ella Benson

Third Advisor

Susan Perkins


Leaders in higher education must be ready to address the needs of an institution and its stakeholders. The problem addressed in this study is that there is a need for talented leadership in the higher education community. The purpose of this study is to understand what leadership training and skills made a sample of United States Army military leaders successful in their various leadership roles and the potential for those leadership skills and qualities to be transferable to leadership positions in higher education institutions. This qualitative study is focused through the lens of servant leadership with two research questions examined. How do United States Army veterans in higher education leadership roles describe their leadership training? How do United States Army veterans describe the influence of military training on their execution of higher education leadership roles? A formal interview process was developed and conducted. The data gathered through interviews with United States Army veterans were analyzed and the results were documented. The participants of the study provided rich data from which an understanding of military leadership training and skills was obtained. Based upon the shared experiences described by the veterans, they did receive leadership training in the United States Army and their Army experience did influence their execution of leadership in higher educational roles.

This study provided feedback from veterans with experience in higher educational leadership roles that directly connected valuable skillsets developed through military service to their performance in higher education. This connection was not previously suggested in the literature examined. It was also understood that, based upon the shared experiences of the veterans, these skills were transferable to their leadership in higher education. Findings suggest there is an opportunity to deliver a leadership program at colleges and universities developed from many of the established United States Army programs with modification for the needs of higher education. The findings from this study also suggest that there is a potential to add employees with leadership knowledge and experience by hiring veterans into key positions of the institution.


Ed.D. Dissertation