Archive for courage

Pithy Points to Ponder (A Leader’s Moral Compass)

Posted in Leadership, Pithy Points to Ponder with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

As a leader, which way will you go when your moral compass brings you to the intersection of human nature and temptation?  Your life’s experiences and lessons learned, as well as your attentiveness (remaining aware of your surroundings), should provide you the sense of direction necessary to make the right decision.  You must have courage, faith and confidence that your moral compass will point you in the right direction to the path toward the intersection of character and integrity, and your ultimate destination of success and victory.

Dale Richard Wilson, Sr.

Blogger @ Command Performance Leadership

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson

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Related Articles:

More on the Navy’s “Moral Compass” (navycaptain-therealnavy.blogspot.com)

The Navy’s Moral Compass: Commanding Officers and Personal Misconduct (www.dtic.mil)

Power and the Fallen Man (blog.usni.org)

Moral Courage and Faith to Become a Leader of Character

Posted in Leadership, Quote of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Quote of the Day

“Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole truth can be won.  Endow us with the courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when truth and right are in jeopardy.”

Excerpt From the Cadet Prayer, United States Military Academy, West Point

Courageous Confidence

Posted in Leadership, Quote of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

“Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking.”[i]

Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch

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Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch

During World War I, in 1914, Field Marshal Foch was selected to command France’s newly formed Ninth Army during the First Battle of the Marne.  Only a week after taking command, with the whole French Army in full retreat, he was forced to fight a series of defensive actions to prevent a German breakthrough.  Foch pushed the Germans back across the Marne, and on 12 September he regained the Marne at Châlons, liberated the city.  His counter-attack was an implementation of the theories he had developed during his staff college days, and it succeeded in stopping the German advance.  Field Marshal Foch is said to have declared the words quoted above during the advance at the marshes in St.-Gond.  These words were seen as a symbol both of Foch’s leadership and of French determination to resist the invader at any cost.

Throughout our life, we face many challenges that we never envisioned we would have to face.  At times, they come as a complete surprise.  Our education and experience do not always prepare us for these encounters, although it would be convenient and helpful.  You can never be prepared for every situation and circumstance.  But, life experiences provides us building blocks to develop many of the core values and qualities that lead to success that are necessary to function, grow and survive.  These experiences influence our behavior, attributes and personality, as well as the actions we take and the decisions we make.  From this, we are able to act courageously, and with confidence, when we are consumed by overwhelming circumstances that seem insurmountable.

Field Marshal Foch faced such a situation during World War One at the first Battle of the Marne.  He was not deterred, nor did he back down.  He was never intimidated, and he took appropriate and courageous action.  His words seem almost blithe in the face of danger and uncertainty.  He wasn’t trying to defy the reality of the situation, nor was he trying to deceive his superiors about the complexities, dangers and realities on the ground.  He was merely expressing confidence that his Ninth Army were capable to adapt to the unfavorable conditions, against all odds.  He knew the strength of his soldiers, and he had faith in them.  He knew that they were capable of accomplishing the objective; pushing the Germans back across the Marne.  He knew he had to take certain risks, and he was driven and determined to achieve victory.

Ferdinand Foch knew what kind of person it would take to size up a situation and make a decision.  He knew that indecisiveness is a weakness.  He knew that it would take a leader who is unwavering, determined and courageous.  From his book, Precepts and Judgments, Foch wrote the following:

When the moment arrives for taking decisions, facing responsibilities, entering upon sacrifices — decisions which ought to be taken before they are imposed, responsibilities which ought to be welcomed, for the initiative must be secured and the offensive launched — where should we find a man equal to these uncertain and dangerous tasks were it not among men of a superior stamp, men eager for responsibilities? He must indeed be a man who, being deeply imbued with a will to conquer, shall derive from that will (as well as from a clear perception of the only means that lead to victory) the strength to make an unwavering use of the most formidable rights, to approach with courage all difficulties and all sacrifices, to risk everything; even honour [sic] — for a beaten general is disgraced for ever [sic].[ii]

Courage and fear are perhaps the most natural of the human dimensions of combat.  With courageous confidence as Field Marshal Foch’s beacon of example, the French Ninth Army instinctively followed his lead, in spite of any fear they may have had.  Leading by example, and the willingness of Foch to show a demonstrable acceptance of risk and sacrifice drew his soldiers to do their duty and fight.[iii]

Obviously, in our daily lives, we are not going to find ourselves in a position to fight an army of thousands, nor are we going to make life or death decisions.  But, there will come a time when we will have to face a tremendous challenge, and we will need to make hard decisions.  When that time comes, it will be essential to have courage and confidence.  Your power of influence, demonstrating bold leadership and poise in the face of adversity, will establish trust, loyalty and support among your people and superiors.

I’ll leave you with another poignant quote from Field Marshal Foch on the execution of a plan:

The fundamental qualities for good execution of a plan is first; intelligence; then discernment and judgement, which enables one to recognize the best method as to attain it; the singleness of purpose; and, lastly, what is most essential of all, will – stubborn will.


 

 

Footnotes –

[i] Message to Marshal Joseph Joffre during the First Battle of the Marne (8 September 1914), as quoted in Foch : Le Vainqueur de la Guerre (1919) by Raymond Recouly, Ch. 6

[ii] Precepts and Judgments. Ferdinand Foch, Hilaire Belloc, and A. Grasset. New York: H. Holt and, 1920. p. 139-140. Google eBook. Electronically Published / Digitized 09 Oct. 2008. Web. Date Accessed on 08 Nov. 2012. http://books.google.com/books?id=VkYuAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0

[iii] Inspired by the writing in the book, Leadership: The Warrior’s Art. Christopher D. Kolenda, Barry R. McCaffrey, and Walter F. Ulmer. Carlisle, PA: Army War College Foundation, 2001. Chapter Two, Teaching Combat Leadership at West Point: Closing the Gap between Expectation and Experience, by Charles F. Brower, IV and Gregory J. Dardis. p. 32-33. Google eBook. Stackpole Books, 2001. Web. Date Accessed on 08 Nov. 2012. http://books.google.com/books?id=F57e_IYaHn8C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0


Sources and Recommended Content –

Ferdinand Foch – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Foch – Last Modified on 8 November 2012 – Accessed 8 November 2012 – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/

Ferdinand Foch – Wikiquote – http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Foch – Last Modified on 4 July 2012 – Accessed 8 November 2012 – Wikiquote – http://en.wikiquote.org/

World War I: Marshal Ferdinand Foch – By Kennedy Hickman – About.com Military History – Accessed 8 November 2012 – About.com – http://about.com/

Ferdinand Foch – Encyclopedia Britannica – http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/211837/Ferdinand-Foch – Accessed 8 November 2012 – Encyclopedia Britannica – http://www.britannica.com/

Unjustly Accused: Marshal Ferdinand Foch and the French ‘Cult of the Offensive’ – Feature Articles – http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/foch.htm – Posted Saturday, 22 August 2009 – Accessed 8 November 2012 – Firstworldwar.com – http://www.firstworldwar.com/

The First Battle of the Marne, 1914 – Battles: The Western Front – http://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/marne1.htm – Posted Saturday, 22 August, 2009 – Accessed 8 November 2012 – Firstworldwar.com – http://www.firstworldwar.com/

Execution Is Key: Getting Beyond The Plan (theentrepreneurinheelsblog.wordpress.com)

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.

Leadership: My Military Heritage

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Trevor, over at the blog Leadership Musings of a Skeptical Positivist is proud of his military heritage, and what the military has done to help lay his leadership foundation. The values of honor, courage and commitment are the cornerstones of that foundation, and he opens up in this post what those values mean to him, and to leadership in general.

I/O Musings of a Skeptical Positivist

Leadership ValuesNestled amidst the swampy forests of Fort Benning, Georgia, the image of Iron Mike is a common site.  No, not Mike Tyson.  Rather, Iron Mike, the U.S. Army’s Infantry symbol and mascot.  An advancing soldier, rifle clutched in one hand and his other arm raised above his head, beckoning others forward.  The infantry motto….Follow Me!

It’s this image that inspired a nineteen year old Army Private in the early 90s, not only for its romantic visage of honor and courage, but for the message it held up as the standard for leadership.

Half a decade later, it was the Navy’s touted values of Honor, Courage, Commitment that helped round out my vision of what leadership means.  It’s a combination of all these that defines the highest quality of leadership to me.

Follow MeFollow Me – More than simply being provided the authority to demand performance of others, it’s the essence of…

View original post 368 more words

What Will Your Leadership Legacy Be?

Posted in Quote of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Quote of the Day

“And when at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment on each of us, recording whether in our brief span of service we fulfilled our responsibilities to the state, our success or failure in whatever office we hold, will be measured by the answers to four questions: First, were we truly men of courage…Second, were we truly men of judgment…Third, were we truly men of integrity…Finally, were we truly men of Dedication?”[i][ii]*

John F. Kennedy


* Address of President-Elect John F. Kennedy Delivered to a Joint Convention of the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, The State House, Boston, January 9, 1961. Also know as the “City Upon a Hill” speech.

Audio and text of this speech can be found at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum online HERE AND audio with historical perspective can be found at The Speeches of President John F. Kennedy website HERE.

Footnotes –

[i] Montor, Karel. Naval Leadership: Voices of Experience. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute, 1987. p. 3.

[ii] Barnes, John A. John F. Kennedy on Leadership: The Lessons and Legacy of a President. New York [etc.: AMACOM, 2007. p. 217.
 
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Additional Resources –
 
 
 

Chief Tecumseh’s Words of Wisdom (from Act of Valor)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Act of ValorAct of Valor is a very powerful movie.  From the personal side of the lives of those in the military, to the fight they face on the front lines in today’s dangerous World, Act of Valor takes you on suspense-filled missions of today’s Navy SEALs.  Although the movie is fiction, you cannot come away from it thinking that the scenarios presented could never occur; they very well could occur.  The members of our military put their personal life on the shelf to go fight our wars.  They leave the ones they love, and the safety of their homes, to go to all points around the World to take the fight to our enemy, so that the enemy never brings the fight to our shores.  The movie reveals the sacrifices of our men and women, who respond when called, to dedicate themselves to the profession of arms, and the courage it takes to do so.  A very good quote from the movie captures all of this very clearly: “If you’re not willing to give up everything, you’ve already lost.”  Our country was founded on this principle, and our military fights for our freedoms and liberties according to it, and damn few choose to make the sacrifices to fight for their fellow-man.  Those who do certainly give up everything for us.

When I was driving home from the movie, it was a beautiful day, with clear blue skies.  Although there was a chill in the air, it certainly looked like a spring day.  The movie had certainly put my mind into a different perspective, and I found myself embracing what we take for granted as citizens.  Of course, on the road with me were people in their hustle and bustle to get to wherever their lives were taking them; for most, I am sure, not a care in the World.  I assure you that I was paying attention to the road, but I couldn’t help day dreaming about the things we take for granted.  Here we are, on such a splendid day, enjoying our freedoms; freedom to go to the mall, to church, to school.  While there are men and women facing the grueling challenges of fighting our enemy, we’re enjoying life.  My mind split between the image of that day’s beauty with that of the images from the battle scenes of Act of Valor.  I thought to myself, “At this moment, there is a soldier somewhere in this World attempting to gain entry into a dilapidated shack in Afghanistan (or anywhere) to eradicate an insurgent who wants nothing else but to destroy our way of life, uncertain of what he might find on the other side of the door.  And, here I am…driving to my home on a beautiful sunny day in my home town.”  Meanwhile, the men and women of our military have put their sunny days aside so that we can enjoy ours.

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At the very end of the movie, the narrator speaks the words from a poem written by Chief Tecumseh, a Native American of the Shawnee tribe.  As I did research on Chief Tecumseh, I found a few other poignant quotes:

“A single twig breaks, but the bundle of twigs is strong.” (teamwork)

“Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.” (courtesy)

“Let us form one body, one heart, and defend to the last warrior our country, our homes, our liberty, and the graves of our fathers.” (common bond for a common cause)

The words of the following poem, spoken at the end of the movie Act of Valor, have deep meaning, and I wanted to share it with you.  As was stated in the Williamsburg Military Insider, the poem is “truly amazing and I hope that it inspires you to make this life count, to pursue noble undertakings, and live to the fullest  having used all your talents and have no regrets.”

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So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about their religion;
respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.

Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,
even a stranger, when in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools
and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled
with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep
and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

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Related Articles –

Shawnee Chief Tecumseh Created a Confederation to Oppose White Encroachment

Act of Valor

Act of Valor ~ (Navy SEALs – Sea, Air, Land…Hollywood)

Prints Tecumseh Poem from Act of Valor Movie

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson

Act of Valor ~ (Navy SEALs – Sea, Air, Land…Hollywood)

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

An unprecedented blend of real-life heroism and original filmmaking, Act of Valor stars a group of active-duty U.S. Navy SEALs in a film like no other in Hollywood’s history.  A fictionalized account of real life Navy SEAL operations, Act of Valor features a gripping story that takes audiences on an adrenaline-fueled, edge-of-their-seat journey.

Act of Valor follows a Navy SEAL squad on a covert mission to recover a kidnapped CIA agent, which unexpectedly results in the discovery of an imminent, terrifying global threat.  An elite team of highly trained Navy SEALs must immediately embark on a heart-stopping secret operation, and in the process takes down a complex web of terrorist cells determined to strike America at all costs.

Act of Valor combines stunning combat sequences, up-to-the-minute battlefield technology, and heart-pumping emotion for the ultimate action adventure film–showcasing the skills, training and tenacity of the greatest action heroes of them all: real Navy SEALs.  The filmmakers had unprecedented Naval access resulting in never-before-seen military operation scenes which are composited from actual events in the lives of the men appearing in the film and their comrades.

Here is the Extended trailer for the movie –

The Navy SEALs in Act of Valor

Behind the scenes of Act of Valor

Oh, and did I mention that they’re using REAL BULLETS????

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Related links discussing The United State Navy SEALs –

Inside Navy SEALs Team Six, Training

An Inside Look at the SEAL Sensibility

The True Undercover Boss

Act of Valor

Leadership Lessons of the Navy Seals

The True Undercover Boss

Posted in Current Affairs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Meet Admiral William McRaven: The True Undercover Boss

Admiral William McRaven was the Special Operations coach for SEAL Team Six for the operation that brought down the World’s leading terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, last May.  And, last night, Both Adm. McRaven and SEAL Team Six had another big night.  Adm. McRaven was the guest of Michelle Obama at her husband’s State of the Union Address.  And, before President Barack Obama’s speech to combined session of Congress and the American people, forces under Adm. McRaven’s command were carrying out a special operations mission to rescue two hostages from the hands of pirates in Somalia.  Navy SEAL Team Six, the same unit that killed Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, carried out a nighttime helicopter raid on Somali kidnappers during the rescue of American Jessica Buchanan and Poul Hagan Thisted of Denmark, aid workers taken hostage last October.

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A Select Biographical Summary about Admiral William McRaven –

Admiral McRaven is the ninth commander of United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.  USSOCOM ensures the readiness of joint special operations forces and, as directed, conducts operations worldwide.[i-a]

Adm. McRaven served from June 2008 to June 2011 as the 11th commander of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C.  JSOC is charged to study special operations requirements and techniques, ensure interoperability and equipment standardization, plan and conduct special operations exercises and training, and develop joint special operations tactics.[i-b]

Adm. McRaven served from June 2006 to March 2008 as commander, Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR).  In addition to his duties as commander, SOCEUR, he was designated as the first director of the NATO Special Operations Forces Coordination Centre where he was charged with enhancing the capabilities and interoperability of all NATO Special Operations Forces.[i-c]

Adm. McRaven has commanded at every level within the special operations community, including assignments as deputy commanding general for operations at JSOC, commodore of Naval Special Warfare Group 1, commander of SEAL Team 3, task group commander in the CENTCOM area of responsibility, task unit commander during Desert Storm and Desert Shield, squadron commander at Naval Special Warfare Development Group, and SEAL platoon commander at Underwater Demolition Team 21/SEAL Team 4.[ii-a]

Adm. McRaven’s diverse staff and interagency experience includes assignments as the director for Strategic Planning in the Office of Combating Terrorism on the National Security Council Staff, assessment director at U.S. Special Operations Command, on the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations and the chief of staff at Naval Special Warfare Group 1.[ii-b]

Adm. McRaven’s professional education includes assignment to the Naval Postgraduate School, where he helped establish and was the first graduate from the Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict curriculum.[ii-c]

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Admiral McRaven was the terrorist hunter on whose shoulders Osama bin Laden raid rested.  Soon after the successful operation that eliminated Osama bin Laden, conducted by SEAL Team Six, Adm. McRaven’s name emerged as the architect of the mission.  At the time, Admiral McRaven was former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ recommended new leader of U.S. Special Operations Command.  One of the most experienced terrorist hunters, Adm. McRaven tapped a special unit of Navy SEALs for the mission two earlier.  The author of a textbook titled “Spec Ops,” McRaven had long emphasized six key requirements for any successful mission: surprise, speed, security, simplicity, purpose and repetition.  For the especially risky bin Laden operation, he insisted on another: precision.  A former SEAL himself, Adm. McRaven had overseen weeks of intensive training for a covert operation that could cripple al-Qaeda if it worked, or strain an already troubled alliance with Pakistan if it went awry.[iii]

Choppering 25 Navy SEALs into a populated area covered by the air defenses of an unsuspecting sovereign nation.  Fast-roping them down into a fortified compound containing unknown numbers of enemies.  Killing or capturing the world’s most dangerous terrorist.  Extracting them safely and flying them to Afghanistan the same way they came.[iv]  That was the plan.  A daring plan that we now know was a great success, although one of the two Blackhawk helicopters that carried the SEALs into bin Laden’s Pakistani compound grazed one of the compound’s wall and was forced to make a hard landing.  Osama bin Laden was eliminated, SEAL Team Six became American heroes, and Admiral McRaven became a household name.

Fast forward nine months, and Admiral McRaven again finds himself front and center.  Last night, he was one of Michelle Obama’s many guests, along with other military guests, at President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.  As the television cameras captured him sitting in the gallery of spectators, he appeared calm and composed.  He did not look like a person who had just ordered the rescue of two hostages being held by pirates in Somalia, nor did he appear to be stressed or anxious about the mission’s outcome.

U.S. military forces sent helicopters into Somalia in a nighttime raid Tuesday and freed the two hostages who had been captured on October 25, 2011.  The raid was conducted by a joint team involving Special Operations Forces, including Navy SEAL Team Six, the same unit that killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May 2011.[iv]  See Fox News’ television report on this raid at this link.  The two hostages were freed uninjured after a shoot-out that resulted in nine of their captors being killed.  There were no casualties reported among US forces.

In an interview on ABC News Good Morning America this morning, Vice President Joe Biden said that the senior leadership of the Special Forces (Admiral McRaven) recommended that now was the time and the opportunity to act, and the President authorized the mission.  In discussing the Special Forces that conducted the raid, he said that they are “The most incredible warriors this World has ever seen.”

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Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta released a statement this morning on the hostage rescue operation in Somalia:

Last night U.S. Special Operations Forces conducted, by order of the President of the United States, a successful mission in Somalia to rescue two individuals taken hostage on October 25, 2011. Ms. Jessica Buchanan, an American citizen employed by the Danish Demining Group, and her Danish colleague, Mr. Poul Thisted, were kidnapped at gunpoint by criminal suspects near Galcayo, Somalia.

Ms. Buchanan and Mr. Thisted have been transported to a safe location where we will evaluate their health and make arrangements for them to return home.

This successful hostage rescue, undertaken in a hostile environment, is a testament to the superb skills of courageous service members who risked their lives to save others. I applaud their efforts, and I am pleased that Ms. Buchanan and Mr. Thisted were not harmed during the operation. This mission demonstrates our military’s commitment to the safety of our fellow citizens wherever they may be around the world.

I am grateful to report that there was no loss of life or injuries to our personnel.

I express my deepest gratitude to all the military and civilian men and women who supported this operation. This was a team effort and required close coordination, especially between the Department of Defense and our colleagues in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They are heroes and continue to inspire all of us by their bravery and service to our nation.[v]

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Members of the military, and those who lead them, do not seek fame or fortune for the heroic acts they perform.  They are doing their job.  The results of their success are felt throughout America in the sustained freedom, and the protection from foreign aggressors who threaten that freedom, that we all enjoy.  We sometimes take for granted what these men and women do, and we sometimes forget that they are out there doing these kinds of things when we least expect it.  The members of SEAL Team Six deserve the recognition and praise on this day after such a daring and successful mission.  And, to Admiral McRaven, our gratitude for mastering the profession of arms and the ability to be a leader of character and a gentleman in the face of challenge and adversity.  Admiral McRaven’s charisma displayed on Tuesday night is a true example of what our senior military leaders are all about.

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson


Footnotes –

[i-a,b,c] “Admiral William H. McRaven – Commander, United States Special Operations Command – United States Navy” – United States Navy Biography – Updated 24 January 2012 – http://www.navy.mil/navydata/bios/navybio.asp?bioid=401 – Accessed 25 January 2012 – NAVY.mil (Official Website of the United States Navy) – http://navy.mil

[ii-a,b,c] “What Michelle Obama’s guests tell us about the State of the Union”Guest List for the First Lady’s Box – State of the Union Address – Posted by Brad Plumer – Posted on 01/24/2012 – Ezra Klein’s WONKBLOGhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/what-michelle-obamas-guest-list-tells-us-about-the-state-of-the-union/2012/01/24/gIQAJw4COQ_blog.html – Accessed 25 January 2012 – The Washington Post – http://www.washingtonpost.com/

.[iii] “Adm. William McRaven: The Terrorist Hunter on whose Shoulders Osama bin Laden Raid Rested” – By Craig Whitlock – Published: May 4, 2011 – The Washington Post Nationalhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/national/adm-william-mcraven-the-terrorist-hunter-on-whose-shoulders-osama-bin-laden-raid-rested/2011/05/04/AFsEv4rF_story.html – Accessed 4 May 2011 – The Washington Post – http://www.washingtonpost.com/

[iv] “Spec Ops Chief Sketched Out bin Laden Raid…in 1995”– By Spencer Ackerman – Posted May 3, 2011 – Danger Room – http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/05/risky-bin-laden-raid-came-from-commanders-book/ – Accessed 25 January 2012 – Wired – http://www.wired.com

[iv] “US Military Raid Frees American, Dane Held Hostage in Somalia” – FoxNews.com (with contributions from The Associated Press) – Published January 25, 2012 – http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/01/25/sources-us-raid-frees-american-and-dane-held-hostage-in-somalia/ – Accessed 25 January 2012 – Fox News – http://www.foxnews.com

[v] “SECDEF Releases Statement on Hostage Rescue Operation in Somalia” – Press Released Statement by the Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta – Release Date 01/25/2012 – http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=64962 – NAVY.mil (Official Website of the United States Navy) – http://www.navy.mil

Quote of the Day – January 24, 2012

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

“We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world. For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country. Most of al-Qaeda’s top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban’s momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home.

These achievements are a testament to the courage, selflessness, and teamwork of America’s Armed Forces. At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. They’re not consumed with personal ambition. They don’t obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together.

Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example.

Above all, our freedom endures because of the men and women in uniform who defend it.

Those of us who’ve been sent here to serve can learn from the service of our troops. When you put on that uniform, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white; Asian or Latino; conservative or liberal; rich or poor; gay or straight. When you’re marching into battle, you look out for the person next to you, or the mission fails. When you’re in the thick of the fight, you rise or fall as one unit, serving one Nation, leaving no one behind.

One of my proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took with them on the mission to get bin Laden. On it are each of their names. Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn’t matter. All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics. No one thought about themselves. One of the young men involved in the raid later told me that he didn’t deserve credit for the mission. It only succeeded, he said, because every single member of that unit did their job — the pilot who landed the helicopter that spun out of control; the translator who kept others from entering the compound; the troops who separated the women and children from the fight; the SEALs who charged up the stairs. More than that, the mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other — because you can’t charge up those stairs, into darkness and danger, unless you know that there’s someone behind you, watching your back.”

Barack Obama, in his State of the Union Address, January 24, 2012

Source –

“Transcript: Obama’s State Of The Union Address”The text of President Obama’s State of the Union address, as released by the White Househttp://www.npr.org/2012/01/24/145812810/transcript-obamas-state-of-the-union-address – Accessed 24 January 2012 – http://www.npr.org

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