LTC Peter Kilner
A 1990 graduate of West Point, he served in a variety of Infantry assignments, including leading an Infantry platoon in Germany and commanding a heavy-weapons company in the 82nd Airborne Division. Since 2006, he has served on the faculty at West Point. He holds an M.A. in Philosophy from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Design from Penn State.
Lieutenant Colonel Kilner’s interests and expertise are interdisciplinary, including military ethics, the design and facilitation of online learning communities, and peer-to-peer leader development. He currently teaches both Philosophy and Military Science at West Point and conducts action-research on the development of Army cadets and junior officers. He has conducted more than 300 in-depth interviews of junior officers about their combat-leadership experiences, spending time in Iraq in 2003 and 2007 and in Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010.
His work in military ethics has initiated a profession-wide discussion on the moral justification for killing in war. His 2002 article in Military Review, “Military leaders’ obligation to justify killing in war,” identified a shortcoming in military training, and his 2010 article in Army, “A moral justification for killing in war,” offered a solution that has been incorporated at West Point and many other organizations across the military. He maintains a military ethics blog as http://soldier-ethicist.blogspot.com.
For over a decade, LTC Kilner has been intimately involved in designing, developing, and leading the Army’s first and most successful online community of practice, the 12,000-member Company Command forum. His 2002 article in Military Review, “Transforming Army learning through communities of practice,” catalyzed the development of online communities across the Army, and a 2005 book that he co-authored, Company Command: Unleashing the Power of the Army Profession, is used to educate and train leaders of online communities in the military services.
LTC Kilner also has a strong research and practitioner interest in peer-to-peer leader development. The model of P2P leader development created by his team was recognized as a “Top 20 Business Idea” in 2006 by Harvard Business Review, and the model informs their continued design and leadership of online and face-to-face leader development systems. He is also the co-author of A Platoon Leader’s Tour, which uses true stories of junior officers in Iraq to catalyze conversation among junior officers for individual and organizational learning.
Other Kilner media:
- A great conference I attended this past November on how to help veterans… “…an interdisciplinary event that included ecclesial, medical (mental health) and military perspectives in conversation devoted to helping veterans make sense of the moral reality of war”: http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/milites-christi/id477245098
- Kilner excerpt from Soldiers of Conscience: War is necessary http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHVFwZfegPo
- The Kill Factor: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/allinthemind/the-kill-factor-broadcast-edition-and-brave-new/3585842
- Teaching West Point cadets on Justification of Killing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oo5HBjYN_m4