A Video Biography of COL John Boyd


COL John Boyd (1927-1997)


This is a ~5 minute clip that gives people a very general introduction to Boyd and his thinking This helps set the stage for people who have no idea who Boyd is.

For Erie native John Boyd, an early career as an Air Force pilot led to greater renown as a military strategist. Boyd entered the Air Force during World War II with a love of flying. He later fought in the Korean War. But he is best-known for developing the strategy credited with winning the 1990-91 Gulf War.

That theory, the OODA Loop -- which stands for "observe, orient, decide, act" -- is aimed at making good decisions faster than the opponent.

While Boyd's daughter, Mary Ellen Boyd, who lives in Virginia, said her father's experience in war helped him as a strategist, she is heartened that his theories have applications beyond the battlefield.

The OODA Loop, for example, is often cited as a strategy in business, law and sports. "I like that it isn't just about death and destruction," Mary Ellen Boyd said. "His work applies all over the place." She cited her father's ability to "hyperfocus" as a factor in his success.
He would study at home, Mary Ellen Boyd said, and nothing else occurring in the house would bother him.

"He just focused," she said.

Stay Oriented!