The Center for Asia Pacific Strategy held its inaugural forum for the Global Future Leaders Initiative program on 14 October 2023 at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Over 30 Cadets and officers from the Army, Navy, and Air Force Academies attended this one-day event to discuss the importance of the Korean Peninsula in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy. The forum’s goal was for Cadets and Midshipmen to engage with experts in the Asia Pacific region, and to further develop their knowledge in multi-domain operations, strategy, policy, and to better understand the unique command structures in Korea. The forum was divided into 3 separate panels with cadets from each Academy acting as the moderators for the guest speakers on their assigned panel.
Cadet Kayla Seo from the U.S. Air Force Academy led the first panel discussion on the Strategic Environment around the Korean Peninsula. The three guest speakers on her panel were: Maj. Gen. (Ret.) James W. Lukeman, Former Assist. Chief of Staff of USFK, UNC, Mr. Chad Sbragia, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for China, and Dr. Balbina Hwang, Professor at Georgetown University and American University and served as Senior Special Advisor to Ambassador Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, at the U.S. State Department.
Midshipman Sky Cho, from the U.S. Naval Academy was the moderator for panel two which focused on U.S. INDOPACOM Policy. The guest speakers on his panel were: Commander Fredrick “Skip” Vincenzo, USN (Ret.), Former Navy SEAL and USNA Graduate. He is currently a nonresident senior fellow in the Indo-Pacific Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Captain Joseph Carrigan, USN (Ret.), Is the Senior Fellow for Maritime Security with the Center for Asia Pacific Security (CAPS), Dr. Balbina Hwang, Professor at Georgetown University and American University and served as Senior Special Advisor to Ambassador Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, at the U.S. State Department.
Cadet Christian Lee, from the U.S. Military Academy was the moderator for the final panel of the day, and it focused on Command Interaction in the Republic of Korea. The guest speakers on his panel were:Dr. George Hutchinson, PhD, Senior Regional Planner for Seventh Air Force Installation Mission Sustainment at Seventh Air Force, Osan AB, Republic of Korea, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) James W. Lukeman, Former Assist. Chief of Staff of USFK, UNC, & CFC
CAPS strongly believes that it is important for future leaders to connect with each other, learn from experts, and further develop their leadership skills. This forum provided unique learning opportunities for the Cadets and Midshipman outside their normal academic environment. All participants felt this inaugural forum was extremely worthwhile and CAPS is planning to hold a second Service Academy forum in 2024.