Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Management (DMgt)

First Advisor

John Pourdehnad, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Larry M. Starr, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Nancy Isserman, Ph.D.


Minority veterans are one of the fastest growing veteran populations (Department of Veterans Affairs, 2020b). Research over the last fifty years has documented that minority veterans, especially Black female veterans, are at a disproportionate risk for many problems, such as suicide and military sexual trauma (MST) (Department of Veterans Affairs, 2020b). In order to adequately address problems faced by the Black female veteran population, I argue that the problem must first be adequately formulated by the veteran community and veteran leadership. In this dissertation, I review the current body of literature on military sexual trauma with a systems view, using Daniel Kim’s (1999) iceberg model as a template. After developing a deeper understanding of the current reality from literature, I adopted Dave Snowden and Mary Boone’s (2007) Cynefin framework to include the sensing and probing by Black female veterans in order for military and veteran leadership to make sense of and respond to complex problems that Black female veterans experience. I conclude that the Black female veterans must be incorporated as decision-makers, advisors, participants, and resources in order to more adequately formulate and address the problems they experience, such as suicide and military sexual trauma.


A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Management in Strategic Leadership