Colonel (ret) Douglas Macgregor is a decorated combat veteran, an author of four books and a PhD. Macgregor was commissioned in the U.S. Army in 1976 after one year at the Virginia Military Institute and four years at West Point. Macgregor’s concepts from his groundbreaking books on transformation, Breaking the Phalanx (Praeger 1997) and Transformation under Fire (Praeger 2003) have profoundly influenced thinking about transformation inside America’s ground forces, NATO the Israeli Defense Force and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. His books are available in Chinese and Hebrew. Macgregor is widely recognized as an expert on organizational design and grand strategy. He is also a frequent radio and television commentator on national security affairs.
In 1991, Macgregor was awarded the bronze star with “V” device for valor for his leadership under fire of combat troops in the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment for his personal leadership of the cavalry troops in Cougar Squadron (2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry) in the action that became known as the Battle of the 73 Easting, the U.S. Army’s largest tank battle since World War II. In 1993, Macgregor led the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry to a series of dramatic victories over the opposing force (OPFOR) at the U.S. Army’s National Training Center (NTC) unequaled before or since in the history of the NTC.
In November 1997, Macgregor was assigned to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) as the J5, Director of Strategic Planning for the Balkans. He was responsible for the strategic planning that led to the Kosovo Air Campaign. In October 1998, Macgregor became the Director of the Joint Operations Center at SHAPE, a position from which he supervised the conduct and planning of operations on the strategic level during the Kosovo Air Campaign with a staff of 240 officers and noncommissioned officers from 19 NATO nations until January 2000.
In the fall of 2001, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld insisted that General “Tommy” Franks meet with Colonel Macgregor on 16-17 January 2002 to discuss a concept for intervention in Iraq involving the use of an armored heavy force of roughly 50,000 troops on two axes in a no warning attack straight into Baghdad followed by the commitment of 15,000 light infantry to control the city once it was taken. The plan assumed the Iraqi Army and national administrative structures would be retained assumptions that were subsequently over-turned. Though modified to include extensive air attacks, less armor and far more Army and Marine light infantry than Macgregor recommended, Macgregor’s offensive concept was adopted.
Macgregor’s newest book is Warrior’s Rage: The Great Tank Battle of 73 Easting (Naval Institute Press, September 2009). In it Macgregor explains how the failure to finish the battle with the Republican Guard along the 73 Easting in 1991 led to Iraq’s second major confrontation with the United States in 2003 resulting in two hollow "victories" and the tragic blood-letting that continues today in Iraq.