The ALFI Individual Staff Ride at the Battle of Little Bighorn

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A Proven Military Training Tool for your Boardroom

The concept of staff rides was first developed by Count Helmuth von Moltke, the 19th century Prussian general and military theorist who once wrote that “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.”  The Count believed that only the opening stages of a campaign could be effectively planned: all other decisions happened according to the needs of the moment.  Von Moltke, together with a hand-picked group of young staff officers, would visit sites where he felt conflict was likely to happen with future European enemies.  He and his students could thus envision the exigencies of the battle on what military historian William Roberston calls the “three dimension chess board of terrain.”   

The staff ride is no longer for military personnel alone.  Over the past five years ALFI has adapted the practice for executive management and leadership development training. The corporate staff ride draws on the popularity of experiential learning while exploiting the intensity of combat to dramatize decision-making under the most extreme circumstances. Due to the popularity of ALFI’s corporate staff ride we have had numerous requests for a staff ride for individuals that are not part of a corporation that want to study the battlefield in depth. We have developed an “individual” staff ride at a reduced cost to fill this need.  You will join 10-12 other individuals and experience the same learning objectives that many of our corporate clients do.  

Little Big Horn is the geographic embodiment of the American military tradition. This battle was the last culminating event in the struggle for the American West. 

This battlefield is alive today in that it teaches lessons to us all.  Here you will understand the immutable lessons of war.  Technology, demographics and politics may influence how wars are fought to some degree.  But all wars share the same characteristics that soldiers and civilians alike must understand if they are to make informed judgments about the nature and character of today’s conflicts.  The battlefield also teaches you timeless lessons about the human dimensions of conflict.  War is the most complex of all human endeavors and the fear of violent death and the burden that comes with leading men to their death heightens and illuminates how leaders and led relate to each other in time of crises.

This is a staff ride not a battlefield tour.  The battlefield is simply a metaphorical experience, an intellectual vessel that you must use to understand how human beings act in time of crises. We will help you look inwardly and reflect on how what was done here influences your own life and times.  If you leave this place with a renewed awareness of the human condition then you will understand why soldiers study and revere this very sacred ground.

The first day’s arrival in the afternoon at Billings International Airport is followed by a dinner, briefing and a strategic overview of the battle.  After breakfast the second day, you will board a private van for a 1 hour ride to the battlefield.  The study continues with the ride as we parallel the route of MG Terry’s march.  We spend the full day (8 hours) on the battlefield with 3 hours spent on horseback with decedents of Custer’s Crow Scouts tracing his route along Cedar and Medicine Tail Coulees. We will break mid-day for lunch with offerings of authentic Indian Cuisine. The day ends with a dinner in Billings with an after action review facilitated by ALFI leadership specifically focused on the connections between the volatile circumstances of the battlefield and present day events in our military and country.

The cost of the ALFI Staff Ride tailored for individuals is $2500 per person. A $500 deposit is required for booking. Costs associated with this ride include:

  • Transportation to/from Billings Airport
  • 2 nights accommodation at Billings Crown Plaza
  • Battlefield Booklet and selected map board mailed to you  prior to ride
  • Dinner the night before the staff ride
  • Breakfast prior to departure of ride.
  • Transportation from lodging facility to and from the Battlefield - briefing enroute
  • World class staff ride lead and facilitated by ALFI personnel who are all combat veterans with extensive knowledge of history, tactics and battlefield leadership.  
  • Lunch on the battlefield
  • 3 hours of staff ride conducted on horse back
  • A dinner following the ride
  • Memento gift of ride
  • Beverages & snacks throughout the day
  • All fees associated with National Battlefield and Crow Indian Reservation

The American Land Forces Institute is a non-profit organization and leading advocate for active duty and reserve Army, Marine, Special Operating and National Guard forces; veterans who are working to transition successfully to civilian life; and American law enforcement personnel defending America’s communities and borders against terrorists and international criminal organizations.  A portion of your staff ride fees are tax deductible.

Watch our site or register with ALFI for announcements of upcoming Staff Rides for individuals, or if you are interested in booking a customized Staff Ride for your small group (at any one of our three current sites or one of your choosing), please contact Greg at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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