1927 - 1997

USAF fighter pilot and military strategist who created the Energy Maneuverability, or E-M, theory of aerial combat and the decision cycle concept (OODA loop).

January 2012
Compiled by Bibliography Branch
Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center
Maxwell AFB, AL


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All sites listed were last accessed on January 27, 2012.

Internet Resources

Air War College Gateway Military Theory & Theorists: John Boyd (1927-1997) and the OODA Loop.
Available online at:
Has links to articles by Boyd and about Boyd.

Arlington National Cemetery.  John R. Boyd.  Colonel, United States Air Force.
Available online at:
Biography with quotes and photographs at Arlington Cemetery.

Boyd and Military Strategy.  Defense and the National Interest.
Available online at:

Boyd, John R.  Destruction and Creation.  September 3, 1976.
Available online at:

Briefings - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF: January 23, 1927 - March 9, 1997.  Compiled by Richards, Chet.  Air Power Australia November 2009.
Available online at:
Has links to 7 full text PDF pivotal articles written by Boyd; includes photographs.

Hammonds, Keith H.  The Strategy of the Fighter Pilot.  Fast Company 59:98-105 June 2002. 
Available online at:

"This article features retired U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Colonel John R. Boyd and his OODA loop, which stands for observation, orientation, decision, act. Boyd's loop is a simple reckoning of how human beings make tactical decisions. But it is also an elegant framework for creating competitive advantage. The concept is just as powerful when applied to business. The convergence of rapidly globalizing competition, real-time communication and smarter information technology has led to a reinvention of the meaning and practice of strategy.--Abstract.

Kelly, Jack.  Little Known Pilot Shaped U.S. Strategy in Iraq.  Pittsburgh, March 21, 2003.
Available online at:


Air Power Leadership: Theory and Practice, edited by Peter W. Gray and Sebastian Cox.  London, Defence Studies (Royal Air Force) Joint Doctrine and Concepts Centre, 2002.  301 p.
See chapter 7 "From air power to err power: John Boyd and the opponent's situational awareness", pp 107-128.

Book call no.: 358.400941 A2981

Coram, Robert.  Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War.  Boston, Little, Brown, 2002.  485 p.
Book call no.: 92 B7892c

Hammond, Grant Tedrick.  The Mind of War: John Boyd and American Security Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001.  234 p.
Book call no.: 92 B7892h

Richards, Chester WA Swift Elusive Sword: What if Sun Tzu and John Boyd Did a National Defense Review?  Washington, Center for Defense Information, 2001.  84 p.
Also available online at: (Not available on .mil computers)     

Book call no.: 355.033573 R514s


Angerman, William S.  Coming Full Circle with Boyd's OODA Loop Ideas: An Analysis of Innovation Diffusion and Evolution.  Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, Air Force Institute of Technology, 2004.  126 p.
Also available online at:
Doc. call no.: M-U
39567-5 A587c

Boyd, John R.  Aerial Attack StudyNellis AFB, NV, 1964.  147 p.
Doc. call no.: M-U 43947-5

Boyd, John R.  Conceptual Spiral.  s.l., October 1991.  33 p.
Doc. call no.: M-U 43947-4

Boyd, John R.  Destruction and Creation.  s.l., September 1976.  1 vol.
Doc. call no.: M-U 43947-1

Boyd, John R.  A Discourse on Winning and Losing.  s.l., August 1987.  1 vol.
Doc. call no.: M-U 43947

Boyd, John R. and Christie, Thomas P.  Energy-Maneuverability Theory.  Eglin AFB, Fla., May 1964.  222 p.
Doc. call no.: M-U 27941-30 1964 no.35

Boyd, John R.  Organic Design for Command and Control.  s.l., May 1987.  37 p.
Doc. call no.: M-U 43947-2

Boyd, John R.  Strategic Game of ? and ?.  s.l., June 1987.  59 p.
Doc. call no.: M-U 43947-3

Fadok, David S.  John Boyd and John Warden: Air Power's Quest for Strategic Paralysis.  Maxwell AFB, AL, Air Command and Staff College, 1995.  55 p.
Doc. call no.: M-U 43998-1a F146j

Frambes, Timothy Royal.  Army Battle Command System Functions, Integration, and Parallel Support of the Military Decision-Making Process.  Ft. Leavenworth, KS, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 2005.  70 p.
Also available online at:
Doc. call no.: M-U 42022 F813a

Mellinger, Eric M.  Making a Quick Call: Compressing Future Military Decision Cycles with Improved Processes and Technology.  Quantico, VA, Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting, 2002.  17 p.
Also available online at:

Doc. call no.: M-U 41886-133 M526m

Teister, Keith J.  Organizational Change for the United States Armed Forces: A Monograph.  Ft. Leavenworth, KS, School of Advanced Military Studies, Army Command and General Staff College, 2004.  51 p.
Also available online at:  
Doc. call no.: M-U 42022-2 T265o


Andersen, Martin Edwin.  How Col. John Boyd Beat the Generals.  Insight on the News 18:24-26 September 2, 2002.
"Profiles the contribution of U.S. Air Force Colonel John Boyd to aerial combat and warfare.  Personal and professional backgrounds; Disputes between Boyd and careerists in the Air Force; Relationship with U.S. defense officials."--Abstract.
Also available online at:

Coram, Robert.  A Century of Flight: Military Pioneers who Made Aviation History: John Boyd: The Science of Air-to-Air CombatAir Force Times 63:50-51 June 9, 2003, 55 p. insert.
Features Colonel John Boyd, fighter instructor at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, and describes his theories on aerial combat tactics.  Moniker linked to Boyd; Doctrine that Boyd preached; Myth incorporated in aerial combat in the 1950s.

Flier, Pariah, Genius.  Air Force Times 63:52 February 3, 2003.
Editorial focuses on John Boyd, who was a fighter pilot of the USAF and a theorist.  Principles of aircraft design developed by Boyd and his achievements.
Also available online at:

Grier, Peter.  Aerospace World.  Air Force Magazine 82:22-23 November 1999.
Reports on the dedication of the Weapons School Adversary Support building to Colonel John R. Boyd.

Mason, Steven.  John Boyd and Strategic Naval Air Power.  U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 129:76-78 July 2003.
U.S. Air Force Colonel John Boyd was most well known for his 'Aerial Attack Study' and energy-maneuverability theory."--Abstract.
Also available online at:

Mets, David R.  Boydmania: Review Essay.  Air & Space Power Journal 18:98-108 Fall 2004.
Article presents the report on the work done by the writer Robert Coram.
Also available online at:

Moore, DanPenetrate-Isolate-Subvert-Reorient-Reharmonize.  U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 129:51-52 May 2003.
"Article ponders on the military strategy that caused Iraqi regime to fall.  United States and Britain must consolidate the Iraq war's fleeting gains by borrowing a page from the Boyd PISRR playbook."--Abstract.
Also available online at:

Moore, Daniel and Yunker, Christopher.  The Carriers Pack the Airborne Cavalry.  U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 126:28-32 August 2000.
Gives insights on U.S. maneuver warfare from Colonel John R. Boyd.
Also available online at:

Parton, Neville.  John Boyd and Air Power Theory.  RAF Air Power Review 12:114-122 Summer 2009.
Includes pictures and diagrams.

Spinney, Franklin C.  Genghis John (Boyd) U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 123:42-47 October 9, 1998.

This page was last updated on 03/10/2014 01:17 PM

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