My Books

My current book is called Praxis Tacticum: The Art, Science and Practice of Military Tactics. I wrote this book specifically for junior commanders, irrespective of rank or branch. It focuses on conventional military operations but is also intended to help leaders become better at their profession.

Praise for Praxis:

Chuck has produced a primer that both educates and stimulates the reader to a better appreciation of the profession of arms.

Colonel Kevin M. Batule, US Army

Released and available at

Praise for Strategia:

These days, we fight wars but we do not win them.  Worse, we don’t really understand what we’ve done to ourselves and to our enemies.  In Strategia, Colonel Charles S. Oliviero, Canadian Army, Retired, explains why we’re getting it wrong.  Victory in war stems from thinking it through.  And thinking it through starts with thinking, no easy matter for busy military leaders, harried political chiefs, or distracted citizens.  In a witty and perceptive narrative grounded in military history and the classic works of military thought, Chuck Oliviero shows us the way to go at it.  The colonel knows the deal.

Daniel P. Bolger, Lieutenant General, U.S. Army, Retired, former combat commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, and author of Why We Lost:  A General’s Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

Strategia is more than a survey of the great theorists of warfare, although it is certainly that.  Going far beyond a simple summation, Charles Oliviero offers a coherent critique of modern military ideas, and especially the persistent tendency to generalize from a technological advantage into a supposedly superior approach to war as a whole.  Not only soldiers and academics but the general public can profit from a close study of this innovative approach to the nature of armed conflict.

Jonathan M. House, Professor Emeritus, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

I have known Chuck all my adult life serving together as brother officers in our regiment and at various military colleges at home and abroad teaching senior military officers the art and science of warfare. He won his tactical spurs in the Regiment rising to command. Throughout he has pursued with passion professional military education to become one of the nation’s great soldier-scholars. 

After three decades of globalization, the chimera of the peace dividend and security provided by the then Leviathan, the West has become complacent in the belief that never again will Europe be engulfed in conflict. Now more than ever, given the emergence of Cold War 2.0, all those searching for an understanding of national security, strategic thought and the application of military art should study this important text.

Colonel (ret’d) Chris Corrigan, CD, MA. Former Director of National Security Studies, Canadian Forces College

Released and Available at:

My newest book is called Auftragstaktik: The Birth of Enlightened Leadership. It is the first (and only) history of the origins of this unique German leadership philosophy which has come into NATO usage under the term Mission Command. But it is more than just a history; it is an explanation.

Pre-publication praise for Auftragstaktik:

Enlightened Leadership is a comprehensive and thoughtful explanation of the rise of the Prussian Way of War that is the foundation of our modern doctrines of Mission Command and Manoeuvre warfare. Chuck Oliviero makes a compelling case however that without an understanding of the cultural, social, and historical bases of the Prusso-German school’s Auftragstaktik it is impossible to achieve Mission Command in the way that NATO doctrine writers have envisaged. In paying lip service to these profound concepts without a contextual understanding of their evolution we risk professional failure.  We would do well to incorporate this message into our body of professional knowledge and practice.

Major General Michael J. Ward, MSC, CD, former Commander of the Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Command

Col Oliviero has written a succinct and very readable account of the development of Auftragstaktik as a leadership philosophy which, at its best inspired the outstanding battlefield performance of the Prussian and German Armies.  He rightly praises the strongest elements of the Prussian-German military tradition – the creation of a dedicated General Staff, the sustained study and practise of operational art, the acceptance of chaos as the fundamental nature of war – but also acknowledges the weaknesses which resulted from the tradition of direct loyalty to the head of state, whether Hohenzollern monarch or Hitler.

He concludes by pointing out that the adoption of Mission Command as a command philosophy in other armies, while persisting in micromanagement, excessive focus on technology, and intolerance of failure, is unlikely to lead to similar success!

Lieutenant General Sir William Raoul Rollo KCB, CBE former Deputy of UK Defence Staff

The courage to analytically face the leadership principles of other nations and to reflect on them is admirable.  Colonel Oliviero has succeeded masterfully.  Afterall, what else is there?  Tactics, mastering the principles of combat, always remain piecemeal if the leader hasn’t also mastered the essential principles of leadership.  Tactical building blocks need the mortar of leadership to form a solid wall on the battlefield.  But where those tactical building blocks leave gaps, the well-led subordinate must know what the goal is.  He must act and take initiative according to the given order, even if the superior is not available at the moment.  This Führen mit Auftrag can only be learned to a limited extent.  The combat leader must feel it and so too must the subordinates.  Only thus can troops be successful, even outnumbered.

A book well worth reading.

Karl Ernst Graf von Strachwitz General der Aufklärungstruppe