My last piece about Navy SEAL training and business received so many great comments from people with special operations experience that I decided to modify my plan a little and share these with you. Below are some great items to amplify the list of SEAL leadership wisdom that I wrote about in the first post (Teamwork is paramount, Training, Innovation, and Failure is an option). I am only planning on adding “Focus on mission” to my original list, but we’ll see how things go after I get comments back
Absolute focus on mission. This goes without saying...
Read the rest....
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I had the great privilege of attending a September 11 10th Anniversary remembrance ceremony at the US Naval Academy’s storied Memorial Hall. It was a solemn occasion; quite a few alumni – including a neighbor of mine – were lost in the attacks. The majority were lost in our campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. As I looked around the room at the photos of our fallen comrades, I thought about the friends that I’ll never see again: Bill “Salty” Watkins, Tony Domino, and Scott Zellum.
One of the speakers, 1st Lt Andrew Kinard, USMC(Ret.), US Naval Academy Class of 2005, relayed a powerful story to us. He arrived in Iraq on September 11th, 2006 – a little over a year after he graduated – and two months later he was critically injured by a roadside Improvised Explosive Device, or IED. Andrew was evacuated to the US, and during a layover in Germany, an 18-year old Marine noticed that something was wrong with Andrew. The clamp on his femoral artery had come loose, and if the Marine didn’t act quickly to put pressure on the wound and commence CPR, Andrew would have died. The Marine’s quick thinking saved Andrew’s life, but it couldn’t stop Andrew from losing his legs.
Since he was in a coma when all this happened, Andrew was not able to thank the Marine personally until they met each other again this past summer. Andrew asked the Marine why he saved him, and the Marine answered just the way that you would expect a Marine to respond: he was just doing his job. However, the Marine also said that he had been following-up on Andrew, and that he couldn’t be more proud of what Andrew had accomplished over the last few years.
This is what our military, fire fighters, police officers, etc. want us to do with their sacrifice – they want us to make the most of it. After telling us that story, Andrew asked us to take a look at the pictures of those who gave their lives since 9/11, and he exhorted us to live lives that would make our fallen soldiers, sailors, and airmen proud. They paid the ultimate price so that we can make the most of our lives; so that we can live lives of value and meaning We owe it to them to make the most of their sacrifice. As Capt Miller (played by Tom Hanks) says to Private Ryan (played by Matt Damon) at the end of the movie Saving Private Ryan: “Earn this!” Don’t wait to earn the sacrifice of those who volunteer to go in harm’s way on your behalf. We owe it to them to make our lives remarkable.