Archive for the Miscellaneous Category

Remembering The Fallen – Memorial Day 2015

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2015 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

The following post was originally written and posted on this blog for Memorial Day 2012.  As I considered a post for this Memorial Day, I realized that I could not come up with a better message than this that captures the true essence of my feelings for this solemn day.  Today, we must pause, reflect, honor and appreciate the true sacrifice of our fallen soldiers, sailors and airman.  Those who have gone before deserve nothing less than our deepest gratitude; today, always, and forever.

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Throughout our Nation’s history, ordinary men and women have left the safe bounds of their normal lives to set out to do extraordinary deeds.  These sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers departed their families and the comforts of home to join something greater than themselves, in a noble tradition of patriotism and pride for the purpose of fighting to protect our way of life.

While most are being handed a burger or hot dog off the grill to enjoy on this solemn holiday, somewhere there is a family being handed a folded American flag being told, “On behalf of a grateful nation…”  While many in this Country are celebrating the homecoming of their college friends and family after a long year of study, there will be no homecoming for some who have fought and died in our Country’s battles.  They sacrificed their own homecoming so that others would still have theirs.  These are true heroes, and we owe them much more than one day of solemn remembrance and reverence.

Memorial Day 2015 Facebook.jpgOn this Memorial Day, one of our Nation’s most solemn and revered holidays, we all pause to reflect upon the principles that have made our Nation great.  We pause to remember the true cost of freedom and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  The brave men and women we honor today selflessly gave of themselves to defend a way of life that we all cherish: NEVER FORGET!

Related Content –

Memorial Day History (via usmemorialday.org)

History.com Memorial Day (via The History Channel)

A Memorial Day Message From The VFW (via vfw.org)

Memorial Day – A Pause To Remember (via generalleadership.com)

The True Meaning of Memorial Day (via The Bridge on medium.com)

Reflections on Memorial Day – Past and Present (via The Bridge on medium.com)

Photo Credit:

Memorial Day 2015 Best Soldiers Quotes, Sayings & Images (via http://www.fathersdayrock.com/, accessed 25 May 2015)

This Memorial Day, Pause To Remember (also linked here: http://ow.ly/i/aUfK5/original (via http://www.vfw.org/, accessed 25 May 2015)

The Leader Who Was General H. Norman Schwarzkopf

Posted in Current Affairs, Leadership, Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

We have lost a giant in the ranks of great military leaders throughout history.  General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., who commanded the U.S.-led international coalition to drive Saddam Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait in 1991, died on Thursday, December 27, in Tampa, Fla., of complications from pneumonia, according to press reports.  This comes as a shock and surprise because this larger than life man seemed to be invincible, never willing to give in to defeat of anything in war, nor in life.  He was a soldier’s general who “embodied the warrior spirit,”[i]

General Schwarzkopf was commissioned a Second Lieutenant after graduating in 1956 from the United States Military Academy at West Point.  He received advanced infantry and airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia.  He attended the University of Southern California, receiving a Master of Science in mechanical engineering in 1964.  In 1966 he volunteered for Vietnam and served two tours, first as a U.S. adviser to South Vietnamese paratroops and later as a battalion commander in the U.S. Army’s Americal Division.  He earned three Silver Stars for valor — including one for saving troops from a minefield — plus a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and  three Distinguished Service Medals.[ii]

Of course, General Schwarzkopf’s most notable and celebrated career achievement was when he was Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Central Command.  In 1991, Schwarzkopf commanded Operation Desert Storm, and a coalition force from 34 nations, against Iraq in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.  It was Schwarzkopf’s blueprint for the defense of the oil fields of the Persian Gulf (against a hypothetical invasion by Iraq), which was the basis for Operation Desert Shield, the defense of Saudi Arabia.[iii]  During the Gulf War, he commanded more than 540,000 U.S. troops and 200,000 allied forces in a six-week war that routed Saddam Hussein’s army from Kuwait.  The sweeping armored movement he employed during the ground campaign is seen as one of the great accomplishments in military history.  The maneuver ended the ground war in only 100 hours.

General Schwarzkopf was a brilliant strategist and inspiring leader.  If there was ever a leader who knew mission accomplishment was about the troops, and not about the leader, it was General Norman Schwarzkopf.

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Brigadier General John C. “Doc” Bahnsen, Jr. once wrote the following about his friend, General Schwarzkopf:

…I have known (Norm Schwarzkopf) for over 45 years, ever since our Plebe year at West Point in 1952.  He was…personable when I first knew him…Norm has charisma that stems from a boyish-like enthusiasm for being a soldier.  His enthusiasm has been his most important professional trait among a number of other extremely important and unique qualities.  Norm loves soldiers and he loves soldiering, and it shows in everything he does and says.  His outgoing personality has made him internationally popular.  His sincerity is genuine.  What you see is what you get.  He has walked the walk of a soldier all his life and he can talk the talk of a soldier based on solid credentials and impressive performance in peacetime as well as in war.

Brilliant intellect and rock solid integrity have been key factors in Norm Schwarzkopf’s development as a charismatic leader.  Being a big man makes him stand out in a crowd, but what makes people remember him is his bright, infectious, enthusiastic conversation.  You remember talking to Norm, you remember him looking directly at you, and you remember his thoughtful and colorful comments.  His sense of humor is well developed [sic] and although he is not overly profane, he can cuss colorfully if the occasion so dictates.[iv]

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The following quotes attributed to General Schwarzkopf are from Leadership Now‘s Leading Blog:

On Leadership Development
You learn far more from negative leadership than from positive leadership. Because you learn how not to do it. And, therefore, you learn how to do it.

On Character
Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.

On Leadership
Do what is right, not what you think the high headquarters wants or what you think will make you look good.

On Courage
True courage is being afraid, and going ahead and doing your job anyhow, that’s what courage is.

On Knowing Doing
The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.

On Success
Success is sweet, but the secret is sweat.

Continue reading Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf 1934-2012 via Leadership Now‘s Leading Blog

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GULF WAR Schwarzkopf – The Victory

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There is much more that can be discussed about General Schwarzkopf’s leadership.  This blog intends to continue to study and discuss this remarkable military officer in future posts.  Since General Schwarzkopf’s death last week, much has been written about his leadership, and his influence on the troops, the United States Army and the military he served.  Below, I share a few of these articles and resources with you.  Additionally, I have interspersed a few (much) older articles and resources that you might like to read and view.  I recommend and encourage you read each of them.

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson

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Footnotes

[i] From a statement made by U.S. Army General Martin E. Dempsey, 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/GENDempsey) on Friday, December 28, 2012. (accessed Monday, December 31)

[ii] God Speed Stormin’ Norman… – Posted December 27, 2012 – http://www.blackfive.net/main/2012/12/god-speed-stormin-norman.html – Accessed Monday, December 31, 2012 – BLACKFIVE – http://www.blackfive.net/main/ ~ Details of General Schwarzkopf’s service in Vietnam can also be found on Wikipedia at Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. under the content Service in Vietnam.

[iii] Persian Gulf War – Wikipedia (Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr.) – Last modified on Monday, December 31, 2012 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Schwarzkopf,_Jr.#Persian_Gulf_War – Accessed Monday, December 31, 2012 – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/

[iv] Leadership: The Warrior’s Art. Christopher D. Kolenda, Barry R. McCaffrey, and Walter F. Ulmer. Carlisle, PA: Army War College Foundation, 2001. Chapter Fourteen, Charisma, by John C. “Doc” Bahnsen. p. 266. Google eBook. Stackpole Books, 2001. Web. Date Accessed on 31 Dec. 2012. http://books.google.com/books?id=F57e_IYaHn8C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=

Photo Credits

Schwarzkopf in 1988 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NormanSchwarzkopf.jpg via Wikipedia Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Schwarzkopf,_Jr.

General Schwarzkopf with the troops – Coaches Hot Seat Bloghttp://coacheshotseat.com/coacheshotseatblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/NormanS6.jpg via “Coaches Hot Seat Quote of the Day – Friday, June 3, 2011 – General H. Norman Schwarzkopf”http://coacheshotseat.com/coacheshotseatblog/archives/6089

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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED CONTENT

A Great Warrior Passes (seanlinnane.blogspot.com)

Statement on behalf of McHugh, Odierno on passing of Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf (army.mil)

Schwarzkopf On Leadership (inc.com)

Norman Schwarzkopf: 10 Quotes on Leadership and War (forbes.com)

[VIDEO] Schwarzkopf on Leadership: 50th Anniversary of D-Day (cultureunplugged.com)

[VIDEO] Schwarzkopf Speech to (West Point) Corps of Cadets 5/91 (Part 1) (Schwarzkopf speech upon his return to West Point shortly after the end of Desert Storm) (youtube.com)

[VIDEO] Schwarzkopf Speech to (West Point) Corps of Cadets 5/91 (Part 2) (Schwarzkopf speech upon his return to West Point shortly after the end of Desert Storm) (youtube.com)

[VIDEO] Schwarzkopf Speech to (West Point) Corps of Cadets 5/91 (Part 3) (Schwarzkopf speech upon his return to West Point shortly after the end of Desert Storm) (youtube.com)

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Related Articles

Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, coalition forces leader during Persian Gulf War, dies (foxnews.com)

Norman Schwarzkopf Dead: Retired General Dies At 78 (huffingtonpost.com)

Desert Storm commander Norman Schwarzkopf dies (bigstory.ap.org)

Norman Schwarzkopf, U.S. commander in Gulf War, dies at 78 (reuters.com)

Remembering Gulf War Commander Norman Schwarzkopf (pbs.org/newshour)

EDITORIAL: Stormin’ Norman, a general for all times (lehighvalleylive.com/opinion)

Merry Christmas

Posted in Miscellaneous, Video of the Week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

As I write this post, Santa has already begun his annual mission to bring joy to children (young and old) around the World.

For many reasons, this is a difficult job for Santa.  Not only is it an overwhelming challenge to deliver presents to all of those on his ‘Nice‘ list in a 24-hour period, but it is also difficult to ensure that all of those who receive the gifts of the season truly feel the Christmas Spirit.  Bringing a Merry Christmas to the entire World may seem insurmountable, but I have faith that Santa will be victorious to ensure that everyone is living in harmony with the Christmas Spirit.

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“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.”

Roy L. Smith[i]

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I want to wish all of my blog and Twitter friends a very Merry Christmas.  May the joy of this season and the Christmas Spirit reach your heart and your home this day, and everyday.  Having friends like you during this special time of year has certainly delivered joy to me.  Merry Christmas to you and your family.  And, as you enjoy the Christmas season, please take a moment to remember our men and women serving our Country around the World, and pray that they may feel the Christmas Spirit also.

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Twas the night before Christmas in Afghanistan[iii-a]

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Military Christmas Poem           (as heard in the video above)

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas,
He Lived All Alone,
In A One Bedroom House
Made Of Plaster And Stone.

I Had Come Down The Chimney
With Presents To Give,
And To See Just Who
In This Home Did Live.

I Looked All About,
A Strange Sight I Did See,
No Tinsel, No Presents,
Not Even A Tree.

No Stocking By Mantle,
Just Boots Filled With Sand,
On The Wall Hung Pictures
Of Far Distant Lands.

With Medals And Badges,
Awards Of All Kinds,
A Sober Thought
Came Through My Mind.

For This House Was Different,
It Was Dark And Dreary,
I Found The Home Of A Soldier,
Once I Could See Clearly.

The Soldier Lay Sleeping,
Silent, Alone,
Curled Up On The Floor
In This One Bedroom Home.

The Face Was So Gentle,
The Room In Such Disorder,
Not How I Pictured
A United States Soldier.

Was This The Hero
Of Whom I’d Just Read?
Curled Up On A Poncho,
The Floor For A Bed?

I Realized The Families
That I Saw This Night,
Owed Their Lives To These Soldiers
Who Were Willing To Fight.

Soon Round The World,
The Children Would Play,
And Grownups Would Celebrate
A Bright Christmas Day.

They All Enjoyed Freedom
Each Month Of The Year,
Because Of The Soldiers,
Like The One Lying Here.

I Couldn’t Help Wonder
How Many Lay Alone,
On A Cold Christmas Eve
In A Land Far From Home.

The Very Thought
Brought A Tear To My Eye,
I Dropped To My Knees
And Started To Cry.

The Soldier Awakened
And I Heard A Rough Voice,
“Santa Don’t Cry,
This Life Is My Choice;

I Fight For Freedom,
I Don’t Ask For More,
My Life Is My God,
My Country, My Corps.”

The Soldier Rolled Over
And Drifted To Sleep,
I Couldn’t Control It,
I Continued To Weep.

I Kept Watch For Hours,
So Silent And Still
And We Both Shivered
From The Cold Night’s Chill.

I Didn’t Want To Leave
On That Cold, Dark, Night,
This Guardian Of Honor
So Willing To Fight.

Then The Soldier Rolled Over,
With A Voice Soft And Pure,
Whispered, “Carry On Santa,
It’s Christmas Day, All Is Secure.”

One Look At My Watch,
And I Knew He Was Right.
“Merry Christmas My Friend,
And To All A Good Night.”

Written by Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt in 1986. Printed in Leatherneck (The Magazines for the Marines) in December 1991, under the title “Merry Christmas, My Friend.”[ii]

Also known as “A Soldier’s Silent Night”[iii-b]

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Related Post –

Merry Christmas (commandperformanceleadership.wordpress.com)

A Soldier’s Christmas | A Different Christmas Poem (billericapolitics.org)

Footnote –

[i] Roy L. Smith. (n.d.). BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved December 24, 2012, from BrainyQuote.com Web site: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/r/roy_l_smith.html
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/citation/quotes/authors/r/roy_l_smith.html#gVohdkFyMKDWeWHj.99

[ii] Military Christmas Poem – Posted by  – About.com / US Military – http://usmilitary.about.com/od/theorderlyroom/a/xmaspoem.htm – Accessed December 24, 2012 – About.com Guide (US Military) – http://usmilitary.about.com/ – About.com Guide – http://www.about.com/

[iii-a,b] The poem spoken in the video is known as “A Soldier’s Silent Night,” written originally by Marine Corps Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt in 1986 (see note to poem within this post, and footnote [ii]).  It is narrated by Father Ted Berndt.  A Soldier’s Silent Nighthttp://www.asoldiersilentnight.com/ – Accessed December 24, 2012

*Another video version of A Soldier’s Silent Night can be found at the post Soldier’s Silent Night on the blog Fellowship of the Minds.

Photo Credit –

Santa – Dave Kenyon and his blog Insights Incites Change, on the post Living in Harmony with The Christmas Spirit; accessed on Monday, December 24, 2012

Soldier –  Fetrow Creations website – http://www.fetrowcreations.com/ – Accessed December 24, 2012

To All Veterans on This Veterans Day…

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

THANK YOU!!!

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Freedom isn’t free.  Men and women throughout our history have paid the price, sometimes the ultimate price of their lives, to ensure your life of freedom is preserved for you now and long into the future.  On this Veterans Day, we honor…we thank…we celebrate their courage, commitment and sacrifice for us; your fellow Americans.

Freedom Isn’t Free

And, this is why they fight and why we honor:

For freedom, they stand and fight:

Thank a Veteran today! Thank them for paving the road to continued freedom and fighting to ensure that our Country’s ideals are secured.  We owe them more than a dedicated day on the calendar.

The 237th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , on November 10, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

USMC logo.svgThere are few who are as true to the core,  who are so tremendously proud to serve their Country, as those of the United States Marine Corps.  If you have known, have met, served with, or served as a Marine, you know what I mean.  Today is the Marine Corps’ 237th Birthday, and they deserve to be honored and celebrated today.  On November 10, 1775, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Captain Samuel Nicholas formed two battalions of Continental Marines as naval infantry.  I dedicate this message to all U.S. Marines; retired, active duty, reserve, and those who aspire to become Marines.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, OORAH and SEMPER FI!!!

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“Some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference.  The Marines don’t have that problem.”

President Ronald Wilson Reagan

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FOR HONOR

FOR COUNTRY

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2012 Marine Corps Birthday Message

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Warriors of Honor, Courage and Commitment

Becoming a warrior means joining a brotherhood, forged in the crucible of training and proven on the battlefield.  A true warrior is measured not only by his strength, but his honor.  No battle is ever won alone.  Warriors never rest.  Anyone can follow a path; Few make their own.  Every warrior lives for the fight.  For there is always another battle waiting to be fought and won.

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United States Marine Corps 237th Birthday Tribute 2012 | Official GoDaddy.com Video

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Index of Marine Corps-related Blog Posts on Command Performance Leadership:

A United States Marine Corps MBA

Inspirational Wisdom from a War-Hardened Marine Corps Officer

Making Marine Corps Officers

How Would the Marines Run Your Business?

Quote of the Day By General John A. Lejeune

Leading the Charge: Leadership Lessons from the Battlefield to the Boardroom

Decision-Making in the New ‘Leadership Organization’

Improvise, Adapt and Overcome ~ Changing Plans, But Not Changing Vision

Putting the Principles into Practice

The United States Marine Corps Roadside Assistance Service

The Winds of Courage Will Push Us Forward

Posted in Miscellaneous, Pithy Points to Ponder with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

A tattered flag flies over the Union this morning.  It is split right down the middle, from its blue field of stars to the red stripes that would typically tie us together.  The winds of the storm may have taken us in another direction; but only temporarily.  We must trice up and move forward.  Be prepared to face the challenges ahead, and do not falter.  It shall be the winds of courage that move us in the direction we must go.  There will be no retreat.  Guided by faith, we will march toward a victory that today may seem so far away.  Fight on!  As an American, I will expect nothing less of you.

The Time Has Come to Vote

Posted in Miscellaneous, Video of the Week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

It has been very interesting to watch each of the candidates show us why they are the best choice, and why we should favor them over their rival.  They have campaigned to convince us that their style is better than the other’s.  As we watch each candidate’s attempts to influence our decision, we begin to form our opinions about each one.  We try to do this in an unbiased fashion, but each of us has our own personal preference of one over another.  In the final analysis, we have to look at each of the candidates and make our decision on who is the very best selection.  We want to pick a candidate that will inspire and motivate us, while demonstrating to us their true ability to lead.  It comes down to the candidate who possesses strong character, integrity and leadership.  The time has come to make our final vote.

No, I’m not talking about the Presidential election between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.  I am talking about the rival spirit spots between the service PSYacademies parodying PSY‘s song and video, Gangnam Style.  With over 500 million views on YouTube, Gangnam Style has taken over the World.  Leave it to the Air Force Academy, Naval AcademyUnited States Military Academy at West Point, Coast Guard Academy and Merchant Marine Academy to perform PSY-Ops to battle the mania.  In the last month, each of the academies have offered their version of Gangnam Style in spirit spots to coincide with football games, school activities and time between classes to just release some energy.

This blog post is meant to take a break from the hype and noise of the presidential election to entertain you with each of the five Gangnam Style spirit spots.  But, in the spirit of our democratic process this election season, I wanted to present the videos to you for your vote.  Psephology is the study of results and other statistics relating to elections (especially with a view to predicting future results).  But, PSY-phology is the study of which Gangnam Style spirit spot is the best among all of the military academies.

Watch each of the videos.  After you’ve viewed them, I want you to vote for your favorite one.  I want your unbiased opinion.  For example, although I am a Navy guy, I have voted for a rival video, as I think it is the best attempt at mimicking the original, while being humorous, unique and showing strong school spirit and pride.  Using that criteria, I want you to vote for your favorite.  Below the five videos is an election ballot.  The time has come to vote; to vote for your favorite military academy Gangnam Style spirit spot.

The United States Naval Academy –

The United States Air Force Academy –

The United States Military Academy at West Point –

The United States Merchant Marine Academy –

The United States Coast Guard Academy –

Now that you have viewed all five candidates, the time has come to vote.  Please use the voting ballot below to exercise your civic and democratic duty.  Which Military Academy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ Video has Earned Your Vote?

I’ve got to be honest with you, the song, to me, does not get old.  In fact, these spirit spots have reinforced my liking of the song.  By now, I would be absolutely exhausted from it.  The analogy of being exhausted from it all fits well with this year’s presidential election.  I have had enough of the speeches, debates and cable news ‘talking-heads’ fighting it out in our 24/7 news cycle.  This election process has gone on long enough; ENOUGH ALREADY!!!  I can’t wait until the election is over.  November 6 cannot come soon enough.

Related Articles –

Ten Things You Need to Know About PSY’s Gangnam Style and Korean Hip-Hop – (www.telegraph.co.uk)

The Man Behind the Moves: Psy of ‘Gangnam Style’ Fame – (www.businessweek.com)

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