Leadership Programs at the Letterman Institute

Sample Programs

Full Day Antietam

Letterman Programs usually begin with the facilitator meeting the group at their site at the start of the day. During this time, the knowledge level of the group will be assessed, as well as the areas of greatest importance to your group then tailoring the rest of the day based on those evaluations. During the drive to the Battlefield, the facilitator will begin setting up the background of why the Battle of Antietam happened, why it happened in Sharpsburg and other information that will help prepare the participants to better understand the rest of the day.

The group will visit all significant sites associated with the Antietam campaign including, but not limited to: the Visitor’s Center, Cornfield, Dunker Church, Bloody Lane and Burnside Bridge among other sites specific to the needs of your group.6th Med Corps Antietam Letterman-Civil War Museum, Jonathan Letterman

Planned stops or stands along the route will be selected for historical significance, visual impact, vignette suitability, or logistical necessity. Some of the topics covered during stops include:

  • Leadership-strengths and weaknesses
  • Courage and innovation
  • Communication
  • Logistics and resources
  • Stress and fatigue
  • Artillery and its effects
  • Medical understandings of the day
  • Military medical care before and after Letterman Plan
  • Need for change in a system
  • Strategic Policy
  • Critical thinking
  • Evacuation
  • Healthcare issues

A Letterman Program consists of systematic preliminary study of the battle of Antietam, an extensive visit to the actual sites associated with that campaign, and an opportunity to integrate the lessons derived from each. This program links the historical event, systematic preliminary study, and actual terrain to produce battle analysis in three dimensions. It consists of three distinct phases: preliminary study, field study, and integration.Training aids will improve both the preliminary and field study phases. Aids used may be maps, group activities, photographs, film, artifacts, and a terrain board. Instructional methods include lecture, facilitation, and group discussion.


Antietam Full Day LettermanSample Full Day Schedule

8:00am   Facilitator arrives at meeting site
9:00am   Board bus for Antietam Battlefield
    Program with Letterman Institute Staff, during which Antietam Battlefield and Pry House Field Hospital Museum will be highlighted.
11:30am   Depart Antietam
12:30pm   Boxed lunch or lunch at local restaurant
1:30pm   Program/Tour of NMCWM with George Wunderlich and Letterman Institute Staff
4:30pm   Return to meeting site


Half Day Antietam

The Half Day Antietam Program focuses on the same issues and concerns as the full day, but in a more truncated fashion. Half day programs may or may not include program/tour at NMCWM, depending upon the client’s needs and limitations.

Letterman Full Day Gettysburg

Sample Schedule:

8:00am   Facilitator arrives at meeting site
9:00am   Board bus for Antietam Battlefield
    Program with Letterman Institute Staff, during which Antietam Battlefield and Pry House Field Hospital Museum will be highlighted.
12:30pm   Depart Antietam

Letterman Programs are able to be held at numerous sites, including, but not limited to: 

Antietam Battlefield

Gettysburg Battlefield

Town of Gettysburg

Harper’s Ferry

Frederick City

Leadership and Professional Development Programs

How do you determine if you need a Letterman Institute Program? If your company is undergoing any of the following 

  • New Product Launch
  • New Employees (especially hiring veterans)
  • Changes in Corporate Structure
  • Stagnant Growth
  • Technological Innovations
  • Fast-paced Company Growth
  • Updating Leadership Styles
  • Change in Mission/Direction

Once you’ve determined you’re ready for the Battlefield, each Letterman Institute program is developed in collaboration with our clients in order to achieve a customized program designed to cover those topics that address your organization’s most pressing needs.  Focus may include:Civil War Museum, Clara Barton Museum, Civil War Beer, Jonathan Letterman

  • Team Building
  • Commitment Building                                                                                                                                                                                           
  • Personal Initiative                                                                                                                                                       
  • Overcoming Adversity
  • Mission Awareness and Dedication to Mission
  • Logistical Management
  • Leadership and Management during Crisis
  • Communication & Effective Communication
  • Cultural Differences
  • Goal Setting
  • Effective Planning
  • Problem Solving
  • Esprit de Corps
  • Team Support

Our goal is to ensure that upon completion of a Letterman Institute Leadership Training seminar, your team will return to work with the tools and motivation that will allow for immediate improvement in job performance and outcomes.

  1. The Letterman Institute is based on a servant/steward leadership model that stresses social, environmental and civic responsibility as a foundation of leadership rather than a method or style of leadership.  We use the history of compassionate leadership in the face of human tragedy as a model for long-lasting leadership results.  While many battlefield leadership programs focus on the tactical decisions made in light of the events of a single battle, we broaden the focus to decisions made in the light of foundational compassion that changed the world and continues to do so to this very day.
  2. The Letterman Institute programs are not about “the” battle, or the decisions made as much as the methodology of the decisions and the reasons behind those decisions.  We also view the personalities and motivations of the decision-makers so we can better understand the key players’ methods.  This allows us to turn the battlefield into a parable of leadership that is easy to follow and interesting even to those who may not enjoy history.  It is a story that sticks in the mind and heart, not merely facts of an historical event.
  3. A Letterman Institute Program is meant to change lives, not only achieve results to a bottom line.  It is about people and communities — not about sales goals and benchmarks.  By focusing on changing the world one person at a time we will achieve much more than simply trying to meet a quota.  Our participants achieve much more than can be measured on a spreadsheet- they excel at life.
  4. Our training is for those who are willing to be mission-driven individuals for whom there is something greater than self.  It is for those who wish to change the world — not simply profit from it, and it is for those who realize that good leadership is based on timeless principles and not simply the latest fad.
  5. The Letterman Institute Program teaches that leadership is not only for managers and CEOs.  An organization desiring to exemplify good leadership needs everyone to participate in learning leadership skills.  The principles of leadership must extend from the mail room to the boardroom.