Season 2, Ep.3: Major General Frank Donovan-The Importance of Asking Why


Jacob and Joe discuss leadership lessons with MajGen Frank Donovan, Commander of 2nd Marine Division. During the discussion, MajGen Donovan reflects on the importance of not giving up, when your military career takes an unexpected turn. The team also talks about why leaders need to be willing to have difficult conversations in their organizations.

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About MajGen Donovan

Major General Frank Donovan recently completed a two-year assignment as the Assistant Commanding General, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) where he was responsible for North Korean contingency operations, countering weapons of mass destruction (CWMD), crisis response and the command’s training and exercise program. Prior to JSOC, Major General Donovan spent two years in the Kingdom of Bahrain as the Commanding General of Naval Amphibious Forces, Task Force 51 / 5thMarine Expeditionary Brigade – known as Task Force 51/5.

An infantry and reconnaissance officer, Major General Donovan has led Marines and Sailors in all three operational Marine Expeditionary Forces to include commanding a Force Reconnaissance Platoon, Battalion Landing Team, a Marine Expeditionary Unit and a Marine Expeditionary Brigade. He has served in combat, contingency and expeditionary operations at sea, from the sea and ashore in Southwest Asia, the South Red Sea, Arabian Peninsula, Persian Gulf, Northeast Africa, Central America, the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean.

Major General Donovan also led a Marine Corps Security Forces Detachment in Crete, Greece, a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) platoon, commanded a Marine Corps Recruiting Station in Eastern Pennsylvania, and was Director of the Expeditionary Warfare School. Additionally he led the I Marine Expeditionary Force’s Special Operations Training Group – Special Missions Branch and was the executive officer for the Marine Corps Special Operations Command – Detachment One. Staff tours include service as the J35 Global Synchronization Branch Chief at the United States Special Operations Command and Joint Staff J5 Plans Directorate as Division Chief, Transregional Threats Coordination Cell (T2C2).

Major General Donovan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from Towson University, a Master of Military Studies from the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College and completed the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program (AMP). Major General Donovan and his wife Kim, a former Naval officer, have two children.

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