Archive for military

Channeling an Ever-Present Desire to Serve

Posted in Current Affairs with tags , , , , , , , on February 24, 2018 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

BY ANDREW HANNA

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We are pleased to be sharing the following blog post, written by Team Rubicon Clay Hunt Fellow Andrew Hanna. Content courtesy of Team Rubicon. To learn more about their mission of continued service through disaster response, visit TeamRubiconUSA.org.

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I like to tell people that I enlisted in the military because I made the dangerous error of reading Starship Troopers and Fight Club back-to-back. Together the books made a compelling case – Fight Club argued the need to induce radical change as a means of compelling personal growth and Starship Troopers showed the benefits of devoting yourself to a greater cause.

Andrew Hanna Photo

Photo credit – David Callahan, Team Rubicon

When I was in basic training, the USS Cole was attacked and our drill sergeants ordained it a terrible omen.  “War is coming, privates.”  Maybe they’d been saying that to every class for the last ten years, I don’t know, but this time they were right.  A year later I was in the barracks at Ft. Bragg watching the planes hit the Towers live on CNN. We all knew what that meant.  Everything changed – though not right away.

We finally got our chance in 2003 as part of OEF III.  We landed in Afghanistan in January, while the world’s attention was increasingly focused on Iraq and WMDs. It put a chip on our shoulders; everyone being focused on the war that wasn’t happening in Iraq while we chased the Taliban around Afghanistan. We came home from Afghanistan eight months after we left, only to immediately start prepping for a rotation into Iraq. A few months later we rotated home and I decided to try out the education benefits I’d heard so much about.

I was a civilian again, and for the longest time I purposefully steered clear of veterans’ groups. I was trying to get as far away from the military and military life as I could. I went to school and I worked and was a loner. I see now what a mistake that was. It really took me reaching a dark place personally to turn the corner on that attitude. I’m not being hyperbolic when I say that joining Team Rubicon saved my life.

I don’t define myself solely as a veteran and I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life talking about some stuff I did when I was twenty. But being a veteran is part of my identity and those experiences helped shape me. Being a part of the veterans’ community is meaningful chance to help others through the transition from service member to civilian.

I think that a big part of the drive for many people to put on a uniform and join the military is the desire to serve others, and once you take off the uniform and go home that drive to serve remains. Finding the right place to channel that can be difficult, however, and the sense of isolation that afflicts our transitioning service members can have tragic results. Team Rubicon is the opportunity for me to give back and be a part of a great community. I hope every veteran can find something as fulfilling.

Team Rubicon takes the skills and experiences from the military and channels them into helping people after a natural disaster. It’s difficult, dirty, and soul-cleansing. It has reconnected me with the things I really missed from the military – camaraderie, satisfaction of service, and the joy of hard work. It has also taught me new skills, like how to wield a chainsaw. I encourage veterans to get out of their shells and get involved wherever they can; we bring a unique perspective and skillset to the problems we’re facing as a society right now and we can have an impact. Team Rubicon has shown me that path.

Many Americans may not have a grasp on why we’re fighting, how we’re fighting, or what the experiences are of our men and women in combat, which is why a series like Chain of Command is important. And I think even many service members struggle to gain a larger perspective; when you’re overseas you really only see your own tiny piece of the war. Part of this is cultural discomfort, part of this is the reticence of service members to talk, and part of this is just exhaustion with a problem that seems to have no simple solution.  But it’s an important dialogue to have. Aside from the professional class of senior military leaders, there haven’t been many willing to make the case for why our presence is important or what we’re hoping to accomplish in the Global War on Terror. We dedicate billions of dollars and precious lives to these conflicts. People should understand why. Chain of Command is a key part of that dialogue.

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Don’t miss the series finale of Chain of Command, airing this Monday night, February 26, at 9/8c, only on National Geographic.

Part 8, ‘Why We Fight’

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Andrew Hanna served in the U.S. Army from 2000–2004 as a company mortar team leader in the 82nd Airborne Division for two combat deployments. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in History Education in 2008 and his Juris Doctor from Phoenix School of Law, magna cum laude, in May 2012. Andrew is now the Midwest Associate for Team Rubicon.

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This blog post originally appeared on Tumblr HERE, and on Team Rubicon’s Reflections blog HERE.

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Related Content:

Salvation through Service – Coming home to Team Rubicon after leaving the military by Andrew Hanna via Team Rubicon’s Stories About Service on Medium

National Geographic Channel – Chain of Command on Tumblr

A Leadership Blog Reborn

Posted in Command Performance, Inaugural Posts with tags , , , , , on December 28, 2014 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

It has been far too long since I last posted to this blog.  Shame on me!  First, let me extend my sincerest apologies to those who have found this blog to be informative and inspiring.  I realize that my abrupt departure from writing has disappointed many loyal readers who have come to enjoy Command Performance Leadership.  I realize that one of the worst things a blogger can do is abandon their blog for long lengths of time, running the risk of losing readership, as well as the credibility of what the writer and the blog represents to its audience.  Although I have been mini-blogging on Twitter (@5StarLeadership), there is nothing like writing a blog that presents ideas and perspectives on topics that are compelling; themes and subjects that provoke thought and inspire discussion.

But, I’ve been a little busy, lately.  Let me offer a brief explanation, and bring you up to date on what’s been going on in my World.

In February of 2010, I found myself unexpectedly facing an abrupt transition in my career.  Laid-off from the company I had been working for, and on the brink of exiting the industry that I had spent the first twenty-years of my career, I was thrown into quite a discouraging and frightening set of circumstances for someone who had, up to that point, been settled into a comfort zone of stability virtually their entire career.  For the two years that followed, I struggled to gain footing onto a new career path.  But, In April of 2012, I entered into a hiring process for a business operations management position with an industrial butterfly valve company, serving the petro-chemical and power-generation markets.  After countless interviews, which occurred through the remainder of that year, I was hired to become the Business Manager of Quadax Valves, Inc.; a newly established start-up here in the United States.  I began my job in January of 2013 with the task of organizing the business administration and operations of this new business unit in a highly competitive and seasoned marketplace.  I have been hard at work and deeply engaged in those endeavors, building the North America operation for our parent company, which is headquartered in Forchtenberg, Germany.

In my absence from writing, the military leadership genre in the blogosphere has continued to grow, with online discussions about the synergies between military and private-sector leadership continuing to add new voices.  In a recent Tweet, The Military Leader shared a post from his blog, “7 Military Blogs You Need to Check Out,” which highlighted his ‘go to’ list of blogs that focus on the discussion of military leadership.  That blog post, and the Tweets in reply that followed, revealed that there are many in social media (blogs, Twitter, etc.) talking about military leadership and life in the military; far more than when I first started my blog a few years ago.  The Military Leader has since expanded his Blogs Page, and I am proud that my blog now appears on that list among other blogs I aspire this blog to be like.

So, I better get back to it, if I want to be considered a legitimate and credible resource in this genre.  There’s a lot of work to do to get my blog back to where it used to be, and to enter back into the forum of discussion with those who find that there is great importance in highlighting the traits and skills that our military offers, and to tell the many stories about how military leadership has its place in today’s corporate environment.  Command Performance Leadership will take its place among its peers in the blogosphere.

Of course, this is an ideal time to bring this blog back to life.  With a new year upon us, we should all be looking to kick aside old and bad habits, and to resolve to develop new behaviors and lifestyle changes that will bring greater success and victory.

For those of you that are new to my blog, WELCOME!  I am grateful that you have found it.  Please take some time to browse around this blog, paging back through recent and older posts, and using the search tool to look for topics that interest you.  For a quick-start to the blog, please read About the Blog and The Birth of a Leadership Blog to learn more about the premise and purpose of this blog.  And, I encourage you to look through the Archives of Past Posts.  I sincerely hope that what is within the pages of this blog now, and posts that I write in the future, will interest you enough for you to become a loyal reader.

Your turn to join the discussion 

What would be your “Mount Rushmore” of blogs?

Who are you following on Twitter that brings you valuable information and news?

What are you planning to change in the coming year that will translate to more victories in your life?

Suggestion Box 

What topics should this blog focus on and discuss in future posts?

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Leadership That Is McChrystal Clear

Posted in Leadership with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2013 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

When a military leader hangs up his combat boots after a long and successful career, I always hope that they plan to share their experiences, wisdom and leadership philosophies in the pages of a book.  It has become commonplace in the last two decades for a military officer who has been successful on the battlefield to write a book about their life in uniform (Schwarzkopf, Franks, Powell).  And, throughout history, we have been fortunate to learn a lot about our greatest, most storied Generals and Admirals (Washington, Grant, Lee, Halsey, Nimitz, Eisenhower, Patton, MacArthur, etc.) through their own writing and words, and those of historians, biographers, authors, and bloggers who have determined that learning and discussing what made these military officers great leaders is valuable knowledge to current and future leaders and scholars.  You can find an assortment of these books on the internet.

General Stanley McChrystal (U.S. Army Retired) has written a memoir entitled, “My Share of the Task,” adding to the list of many great military leaders whose life in uniform has been chronicled.  Stanley McChrystal retired in July 2010 as a four-star General in the U.S. Army.  His last assignment was as the commander of the International Security Assistance Force and as the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.  He had previously served as the direc­tor of the Joint Staff and as the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command.  He is currently a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and the co-founder of the McChrystal Group, a leadership consulting firm.

I have yet to add McChrystal’s book to my bookshelf, so this post is not a review or endorsement of it.  I absolutely intend on grabbing a copy of his book very soon.  Instead, this post is to highlight his leadership philosophy and wisdom that allowed him to climb the ranks of the United States Army to become a Four-Star General.  While most people are focusing more attention on how his career came to an abrupt end following a Rolling Stone article in 2010, I would prefer discussing his leadership.  I think each of us can learn a lot from this warrior, statesman and scholar.

A one-of-a-kind commander with remarkable record of achievement, General Stanley McChrystal is widely praised for creating a revolution in warfare that fused intelligence and operations.  He stresses a uniquely inclusive leadership model focused on building teams capable of relentless pursuit of results. When old systems fall short, McChrystal believes true leaders must look for ways to innovate and change.  From his extraordinary career, McChrystal reveals a four-star management strategy, stressing openness, teamwork, and forward-thinking.

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General McChrystal is the co-founder of the McChrystal Group.  From his time as a commanding general, he revolutionized key leadership principles such as transparency and inclusion; leveraging the power of teams through shared ownership; and sharing a clear vision for winning with an extended team.

He, along with his team at The McChrystal Group, have developed a program called the CrossLead Way.  The principles and operational structure of CrossLead are based on the exceptional military leadership successes of the General and his staff.  The principles of CrossLead are:

1. Trust

Build a foundation of relationships based on trust and teamwork.

2. Understand
Understand the operating environment and your organization while constantly adapting for purpose.

3. Align
Align the team around a clearly defined vision, set of values and an achievable and resilient strategy.

4. Communicate
Force and foster a culture of inclusion, transparency, and accountability through constant communication.

5. Decide
Create shared ownership by decentralizing decision-making and execution to the most effective level.

6. Discipline
Ruthlessly prioritize, maintain a disciplined and sustainable battle rhythm, and focus on what only you can affect.

7. Win
Accomplish your objectives. Succeed constantly by relentlessly assessing and improving performance. Win.

From these principles, the McChrystal Group believes that the collective wisdom of an organization is it’s most valuable resource – that trust, speed and discipline are decisive – that leaders are made and leadership is a choice.  Most importantly, we believe in winning in any environment.

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Since General McChrystal’s retirement, he has shared what he learned about leadership over his decades in the military as a public speaker and lecturer.  His overall leadership premise is how can you build a sense of shared purpose among people of many ages and skill sets?  His answer is by listening and learning — and addressing the possibility of failure.  This blog has featured General McChrystal in the past, but I wanted to again highlight some of the key points General McChrystal emphasizes in his presentations to groups, organizations, companies and students:

1) If your people do everything you taught them to do, and they do those things properly, you led them well. People follow leaders.

2) Leaders can let you fail, and yet not let you be a failure.

3) Leaders build confidence and trust in their people. And, those who you are leading have to have faith and trust in the leader. Leaders have to build faith, trust and confidence.

4) In failure, the leader must reach out to his force and rebuild trust and confidence…rebuilt confidence in the force, rebuilt confidence in the leader, and rebuilt confidence in the seniors of the leader and the force.

5) A leader must build consensus and a sense of shared purpose with his force.

6) How does a leader stay credible and legitimate when they haven’t done what the people their leading are doing? Leaders must become more transparent and a lot more willing to listen.

7) Keep your promises and live up to your obligations; to your subordinates, your peers and your superiors. Be ready to support them when they need you most.

8) A leader isn’t good because he is right. They’re good because their willing to learn, and to trust. If you are a leader, the people you’ve counted on will help you out. And, if you’re a leader, the people who count on you need you on your feet.

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Unfortunately, General McChrystal’s career ended sooner than he or anyone anticipated, but in no way short of victory.  As with any abrupt departure of a high-profile military leader due to controversy, scandal or integrity issues, we should always look at what that person did in their career in total; the quality of the individual, and the successes they achieved.  General McChrystal dedicated 34 years of his life to the United States Army, and his leadership, warrior spirit and patriotism, without question, is what makes him one of the great military leaders of our time.  The military prematurely lost this officer, but the private sector has gained a gem in McChrystal (to use a bit of a pun).  We now become the new benefactors of his teachings, wisdom and philosophy.  Through his new book, we can see inside this man and the principles that have made him successful. , beyond the controversy of the Rolling Stone article back in 2010.  As I said earlier, I intend on purchasing his book, and I think you should too.

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson

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Related Articles –

McChrystal Speaks Out on Rolling Stone Article (foxnews.com)

General Stanley McChrystal: Leadership Lessons from Afghanistan (Forbes.com)

Stan McChrystal: Trading Shadows for Showtime with accompanying video Q & A With General Stanley McChrystal (time.com)

‘I Accept Responsibility’: McChrystal On His ‘Share Of The Task’ (npr.org)

Gen. McChrystal’s Lessons in Leadership

(cnbc.com)

[Video] Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal on Leadership (youtube.com)

Sources –

Plywood Leadership: Lessons on Leadership from a Warrior, Statesman and Scholar – Accessed 13 January 2013 – Association for Corporate Growth (ACG Global) – http://www.acg.org/

CrossLead Way – Accessed 13 January 2013 – McChrystal Group – http://www.mcchrystalgroup.com/home

Listen, Learn…Then Lead – Accessed 13 January 2013 – Command Performance Leadership blog – https://commandperformanceleadership.wordpress.com/

Photo Credits –

Book cover and profile picture – The McChrystal Group via http://www.mcchrystalgroup.com/home – Accessed 13 January 2013

Stanley McChrystal: Listen, Learn…Then Lead – http://images.ted.com/images/ted/1e1176d6968f6b244a1962d6231a5410fa7d8ef9_389x292.jpg – Ted.com – Accessed 13 January 2013

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

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

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 Navy Hymn: “Eternal Father, Strong to Save”

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

On this Sunday following yesterday’s celebration of the 237th birthday of the United States Navy, I thought it appropriate to share with you the story of The Navy Hymn; Eternal Father, Strong to Save.”

Click HERE to listen to the hymn

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked’st on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe’er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

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The Rev. William Whiting, a schoolmaster and clergyman of the Church of England, who lived from 1825 to 1878, wrote the original words as a hymn in 1860.  In the following year, the words were adapted to music by another English clergyman, the Rev. John B. Dykes, who lived from 1823 to 1876.

In the United States, the late Rear Adm. Charles Jackson Train, an 1865 graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, was a lieutenant commander stationed at the Academy in charge of the Midshipman Choir.  In 1879, Lt. Cdr. Train inaugurated the present practice of concluding Sunday’s Divine Services at the Academy with the singing of the first verse of this hymn.  Today, this song can be found in most church hymnals.

This hymn is often used at funerals for personnel who served in, or were associated with, the Navy. For example, Eternal Father was the favorite hymn of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was sung at his funeral at Hyde Park, New York in April 1945.  Roosevelt had served as Secretary of the Navy.  This hymn was also played as President John F. Kennedy’s body was carried up the steps of the capitol to lie in state.

The song, known to United States Navy men and women as the “Navy Hymn,” is a musical benediction.  It is a prayer for safety on the high seas. And, nobody senses the need of God more than those in peril; those in peril on the sea, on the land and in the air.  Those in the United States Navy need God’s strong arm, guarding hand and watchful care.

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File:USNavyChurchPennant.svg

Img5.jpgO Eternal Father, strong to save, we pause to remember the founding of the Navy.  We remember all who have served in the air, on land, on sea and under the sea.

Those whose lives were given in dark jungles, ocean depths, desert sands or on far distant bases and beaches.  May we recognize their contributions to the security of our nation.

Grant, O God, your blessing and protection on all men and women who now serve in our Navy, on watch and on station around the world, from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean, from the Western Pacific to the Middle East, especially those defending freedom in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan.  O Lord, may our soldiers and sailors be a safeguard unto the United States of America.

Put new meaning in our national commitment of “Peace through Strength,” that we may truly strive to be instruments of peace in a distrustful world.

Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our country’s Navy ashore and afloat, and all who serve in our Armed Forces.  Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them; keep them safe from evil; give them courage to face the perils which beset them and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be.

God, who founded the seas and equipped them with the very resources that sustain life on this planet, we seek your will for our nation in meeting its obligations to maintain the freedom of the seas.  We ask your blessings on the ships and their crews of the United States Naval forces in meeting their commitments.  Preserve them from the dangers of sea, air & land and bring them safely to port.

On this occasion of the birth of the United States Navy, save, sanctify and bless those in the Navy with favoring winds over the sea and into harbor.  According to your good will, and as their divine and heavenly pilot, bring them at last to the haven of peace.

Related Article –

The 237th Birthday of the United States Navy (commandperformanceleadership.wordpress.com)

The Birthday of the United States Navy ~ October 13, 1775

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , on October 13, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

3x5 United States Navy Flag USA US Naval Military Flags

Listen to THIS while reading this post!!! (link will open in new window to allow you to read the post while listening to “Anchors Aweigh.”)

“Without a decisive Naval force we can
do nothing definitive – and with it,
everything honorable and glorious.”

George Washington to Marquis de Lafayette, November 15, 1781

Today, October 13th, we celebrate a birthday.  We pause to celebrate the great heritage and birthday of the United States Navy; a formidable force in war, a potent power in peace, a respected adversary in conflict, an effective deterrent to war, and a welcomed means of compassionate assistance to those whose misfortunes make the Navy the means of their survival and hope.

On October 13th, 1775, the Continental Congress passed a resolution creating the Continental Navy.  For 242 years, men and women have accepted the rigors of our nation’s naval service.  For as long as our men and women have gone to sea in ships, they have felt the awesome urging and mystery which takes them from those they love, and to whom they long to return.  They have known that life lived only for one’s self is too constrictive, they have taken up arms for lives more precious than their own.  The sailor’s dedication to successfully sail the unobstructed seas is celebrated today on the birthday of the United States Navy.

Today, we celebrate the maturation of thousands of young Americans who, because of their service in the U.S. Navy, have sharpened their understanding of responsibility and honor.  We celebrate the countless hours of selfless sacrifice and devoted service evidenced by those of our Navy.  We celebrate the patience of those who accept without protest the hardships of shipboard life: living with seasickness, undergoing lengthy separations and enduring cramped living environments.

Sailors at sea America’s fighting men and women of the United States Navy, standing on guard over the free world, are held together by a common bond; their love of life and liberty for ourselves and for our loved ones.  When hostility and conflict threaten the stability of peace, when turmoil and chaos erupt around the world, the Navy is forward deployed and positioned as a floating fortress of men and machines blanketing the globe, striving to make the world a better place.

Today, their valor is commemorated and we properly honor their outstanding service.  The men and women of the United States Navy devote themselves to the fullest accomplishment of their every responsibility.  Their nation looks to them with pride and as a model of excellence in execution of every task.  We celebrate this glorious day with deep gratitude.

Today, we share the mystical experience of the sea so hard to describe to someone who has never known it.  We share the disciplined training in preparing for events we hope will never happen.  We share their sadness at leaving those they love and their joy in returning to them again.  We share their conviction that no other job would be quite so satisfying as serving at sea with men and women we respect and admire.  We share their sense of adventure in looking forward to new ports and, as yet, unsailed seas.

Throughout history, the seafaring men and women of the U.S. Navy, heroes one and all, have always stood at the ready.  By sea and by air, the U.S. Navy has always answered duty’s call.  From the sailors on deck to the skilled pilots of fighter jets, the men and women of our Navy work with one goal in mind: to defend freedom wherever it may be challenged.

They’re out to sea for sometimes six, or even nine months. or more leaving behind friends, loved ones and the comfort of home.  They brave the mighty oceans around the far-flung corners of the globe never knowing where duty may call; the duty to protect America’s liberty.  They courageously do what every sailor in the United States Navy has done before; at the ready for duty, ever vigilant, and prepared to defend America.

As Americans, knowing that these valiant heroes are protecting us with unyielding courage and honor, should give us great comfort.  The Department of the Navy, as a portrait of honor and service, speaks to the patriot in us all.

File:United States Navy Ethos 2008.pdf

File:United States Navy Ethos 2008.pdf

The Sailor's Creed

I am a United States Sailor.
I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me.
I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.
I proudly serve my country’s Navy combat team with Honor, Courage and Commitment.
I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.

Related Articles –

A Global Force for Good (nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com)

Navy Birthday Information – 13 October 1775 (history.navy.mil)

Navy Birthday – 13 October 1775 (history.navy.mil)

Celebrating 242 Years on October 13! (navy.mil)

The Navy Turns 242 (military.com)

Articles and Links from Original Posting on 10/13/2012 =

237 Years of Putting Warfighting First (navy.mil)

SecNav Highlights Heritage and Warfighting in Birthday Message to the Fleet (navy.mil)

SECNAV Navy Birthday Message (navy.mil)

CNO Navy Birthday Message (navy.mil)

MCPON’s Navy Birthday Message (navy.mil)

Naval Station Norfolk Holds Birthday Celebration (navy.mil)

Six Key Words for CNO Birthday Message: Warfighting First, Operate Forward, and Be Ready (navy.mil)

What is a Teammate?

Posted in Leadership, Video of the Week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

File:USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) photo illustration.jpgThis past Saturday, October 6, the United States Navy commissioned its newest guided-missile destroyer, the USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), at pier 88 in Manhattan, New York City.  This ship honors Lt. (SEAL) Michael P. Murphy, a New York native who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan, June 28, 2005.

Among other distinguished guests, in attendance for the commissioning ceremony were the Mayor of New York City, the Honorable Michael Bloomberg, the Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Ray Mabus, and Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Adm. Jonathan Greenert.  Also present was Adm. William McRaven, Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command.  It was Adm. McRaven’s four-minute remarks during the ceremony that stood out to me, and is the subject of this post.

“Michael Murphy represents all that is good about our special operations warrior.  And, to have a fine fighting ship named after him is the highest compliment one could’ve paid to Murph, and all the SOF soldiers and SEALs who perished that fateful day,” Adm. McRaven said.  “In the SEAL teams, the greatest compliment one SEAL can bestow upon another is to call him a teammate.  It’s a simple term, but it conveys everything about how we live, how we fight, and sometimes how we die,” Adm. McRaven said.

What is a teammate?  Watch the video below, and let Admiral William McRaven define it for you.

The following video is a combination tribute to Lt. (SEAL) Michael Murphy and remarks by Adm. McRaven from the ship’s commissioning. Unfortunately, I was unable to embed the raw video from his speech. But, you can find the original video HERE. But, the video I am presenting here is quite touching. Adm. McRaven’s remarks, along with the music and images in the video, make it perfect for this post.

Lt. (SEAL) Michael P. Murphy lived, fought and died a teammate to his shipmates; a teammate to the end.

To the crew of the Michael Murphy, you have a legacy to uphold.  Murph would expect anything bearing his name to be battle-ready at all times; to go in harm’s way when the Nation calls, and to bond together as teammates, knowing that it’s not the metal in the ship that makes you strong, it’s the hearts and souls of her crew that make her invincible.  To the officers and crew of the USS Michael Murphy, may Michael’s spirit steady your resolve and guide your every deed.

Admiral William McRaven

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Commissioning Ceremony

USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112)

 

Related Articles –

USS Michael Murphy Commissioning – full live webcast (youtube.com)

SEAL of Honor (sealofhonor.com)

USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) on Facebook (facebook.com)

#Warfighter: USS Michael Murphy Crew Honors Namesake (navy.mil)

The Navy SEAL’s Way to Business Leadership Success

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

Recently, I came across a three part article series entitled, “From the Battlefield to the Boardroom: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Business Leadership Success,” on Forbes.com.  These articles were written by Brent Gleeson, a former Navy SEAL and a cast member on NBC’s new reality super show “Stars Earn Stripes.”  Brent’s articles are another example of how military experience and leadership are invaluable when applied to business.

I find Brent’s articles to be quite informative and educational, and I wanted to bring all three articles to you.  In his articles, Brent discusses training, planning, communication, teamwork, managing in a chaotic environment, recruiting great talent & hiring great leaders, and successful leadership traits, among other topics taken directly from his Navy SEAL training and experience.  What is discussed in these articles translates nicely to a business environment.  It is Brent’s thesis that it would be beneficial to any organization to put these critical lessons learned on the battlefield into action in the workplace.  Additionally, he emphasises the importance and value of hiring veterans because of their leadership ability and the skills they’ve gained as members of the United States military.  In these three articles, Brent lays out the battle plan that will make business successful, profitable and victorious.

Below, I present abstracts and links to each of the three articles.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

From the Battlefield to the Boardroom: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Business Leadership Success

Six Aspects of Military Leadership Critical to Building a Successful Business and Developing a Driven Team (Part 1 of 3)

  1. Mission Communication
  2. Mission Planning
  3. Mission Team
  4. Mission Structure
  5. Mission Debrief
  6. Mission Training

Continue reading “From the Battlefield to the Boardroom: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Business Leadership Success (Part 1 of 3)” via Forbes.com HERE

Managing in a Chaotic Environment – Building a Team In the Midst of Chaos:  Forging SEAL Leadership (Part 2 of 3)

Originally, Part 2 was going to focus on strategic planning but I thought it would be more appropriate to discuss team building first and address that important topic later.  In this post, I will focus on building the team and managing in a chaotic environment. Most of my readers will probably never serve in the military or be in a combat situation, but we all deal with our own chaotic environments every day. In business, this could be a brand crisis, employee turnover, economic issues, or even externalities that mentally affect your staff. It’s essential that leaders know how to successfully guide their teams through these situations.

There is no better time to have a strong unified team than amidst chaos. That’s the basic principle of the Navy SEAL training program.  Before we can manage a strong team within our organizations, we must build one.

Continue reading “From the Battlefield to the Boardroom: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Business Leadership Success (Part 2 of 3)” via Forbes.com HERE

Identifying Great Leaders (Part 3 of 3)

The Result of War

Having been at war for more than a decade now, it is inevitable that the U.S. workplace has been, and will continue to be, flooded with men and women leaving the military.  This consistent wave of military veterans entering the workforce is a great opportunity for any organization looking for leaders.

Military men and women are taught leadership skills from their first days in service.  In Part 2, I wrote about SEAL training’s brutal Hell Week and how it teaches the students to immediately learn how to lead under pressure and amidst chaos.  In the SEAL teams, both Officer and Enlisted team members are given incredible amounts of responsibility during training as well as in combat.

Continue reading “From the Battlefield to the Boardroom: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Business Leadership Success (Part 3 of 3)” via Forbes.com HERE

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

About the Author –

Brent Gleeson spent five years in the Unites States Navy as a Navy SEAL.  During his service he completed several combat deployments to Iraq and Africa in support of the War on Terror.  His team’s primary objective was running capture or kill missions working in conjunction with the CIA.  Since leaving the Navy, Mr. Gleeson has become a serial entrepreneur that is passionate about leadership, building companies, and fostering positive change in his community and beyond.  As co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Internet Marketing Inc. (IMI) it is Mr. Gleeson’s primary focus to oversee brand development and marketing strategies.  As co-founder and one of the primary owners, Mr. Gleeson also leads strategic planning initiatives and recruitment.  Internet Marketing Inc. is currently one of the fastest growing integrated online marketing agencies in the country and is headquartered in San Diego, CA. with offices in Las Vegas, NV and Miami, FL.

Mr. Gleason earned his undergraduate degree in Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University, studied at Oxford University in England, and earned master degree in real estate finance and development from the University of San Diego.

Brent is also an accomplished public speaker with topics ranging from entrepreneurship and team building to integrated online marketing strategies for growing businesses.

You can follow him on Twitter at @BrentGleeson.

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