Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with Bush School students on September 30, prior to giving a public lecture sponsored by the Bush School and the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs. Mullen’s speech focused on the uses and limitations of military power and alternatives to military force in reducing terrorism.
The question and answer session for Bush School students was held in the Bush Library Orientation Theater. Melisa Woolfolk, a second year MPIA student, noted that Admiral Mullen seemed quite impressed with the students and the caliber of the questions they asked. Mullen spoke to the students about the “whole nation” approach to resolving international conflicts, said Woolfolk. The whole-nation approach focuses on employing nonmilitary alternatives to conflict resolution, including education, diplomacy, and economic development – a philosophy shared by former Bush School Dean Robert M. Gates and taught at the Bush School.
“Admiral Mullen was very open to taking students’ questions and answering them honestly and thoughtfully,” said Woolfolk. “Being one of the most important persons in the military, it was quite an honor to have the opportunity to hear him speak.”
“Above all else, he stressed the importance of serving with integrity. He pointed out that there are numerous nonmilitary options for public service, and that every person can serve in some capacity,” said Woolfolk.
The students were pleased that as Mullen was preparing to leave, he decided to return to shake hands and present a Joint Chiefs of Staff Challenge Coin to each of the students in attendance.