The United States, not only the world’s only military superpower right now, but because it also considers itself as the self-enforcer for democracy in the world, inevitably the US military or specifically the US Army finds itself in hot or troubled spots all over the world. There is then a much perceived need to determine how further leadership can improve the morale and cohesion of soldiers serving in Iraq or the US Army. A closer look, however into all the examples portrayed by strong, effective, and inspired leadership qualities show that, all throughout US military history, that these fine leadership qualities are not only inherent to exceptional military commanders, per se, but they are also unwittingly displayed by mere foot soldiers as well.
The United States as the only world’s military superpower right now is into 890 worldwide military installations varying from main Air Force bases to smaller installations like radar facilities. Whether as an officer or as a soldier, one of the most dangerous places to be assigned in is in Iraq. The thought of staying longer within the confines of the “enduring bases” being presently constructed in Iraq plus the loss-clause extended tours of duties can put any soldier at wits’ end or taxed to extremes (Francis, 2004; Grossman, 2002; Hammer, 2005; Riechmann, 2006).
Aside from outright being shot at, hitting a mine or being ambushed in Iraq is truly fraught with a lot of other dangers. In just one of the Iraqi camps, a suicide bomber was still able to sneak in and kill 13 dining US soldiers and 4 US base contractors (Francis, 2004; Grossman, 2002; Hammer, 2005; Riechmann, 2006).
Kidnapping by extremists and to be used as a political hostage is not at all also a remote possibility. Added to the above are the usual boredom, depression, and loneliness any stranger in a foreign land has to struggle against.
Statement of the Problem
As in any military, all the soldiers above face, either if not inefficiency in their service posts or loss of lives during their tours of duty.
The Research Question
Therefore, the thesis or research question is: Can the fine qualities of strong, effective, and inspired leadership spell the difference for those soldiers’ staying alive, improving their morale and cohesion in the US Army especially those serving in Iraq?
Significance of Study
This study is very important because if officers and soldiers could find time, say only 5 minutes to read this paper and only just another 5 minutes to ponder over these results, then maybe they can be inspired to save their lives or even other peoples’ lives.
Definition of Terms
Improved morale means better, enhanced, or superior confidence, self-esteem, spirits, self-confidence, or drive while cohesion refers to the unity and the pulling together of the members to one another.
Therefore, “the Army is a team” simply means that a soldier does not want to let his buddies down from and from their training together, in building their collective competence, in their trusting in one another, while they become more experienced and enjoy more successes leading to a more cohesive group (Anonymous, 1999).
Review of Related Literature
The three qualities of leadership which are: strong, effective, and inspiring leadership are not directly found under the subject heading Military Leadership in the earlier August 1999 US Army Field Manual (FM) 22-100 Army Leadership Be, Know, Do version (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006) nor in just the latest October 2006 US Army FM 6-22 Army Leadership Competent, Confident, Agile version (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006)–but when they do are found in the organization, can then improved morale and cohesion readily be not far behind?!
From the 1999 US FM 22-100, Napoleon Bonaparte, a most famous military leader boasted (more, later) that:
“A man does not have himself killed for a few halfpence a day or for a petty distinction. You must speak to the soul in order to electrify the man” (Anonymous, 1999).
Moreover, according to the same 1999 US FM 22-100, it would be safe to declare then that with those three good qualities of leadership, former US Army Sergeant Major Richard A. Kidd had this to say (more, later), that:
“Soldiers learn to be good leaders from good leaders” (Anonymous, 1999).
As the US military found itself, according to Zoltan Grossman (Grossman, 2002), deeply ensconced in the Gulf Wars, Somalia Wars, Balkan Wars, and Afghan Wars–David R. Francis (Francis, 2004), Joshua Hammer (Hammer, 2005), and Deb Reichmann (Riechmann, 2006) all can only ask that speculative question whether when the US Iraqi involvement will end, if at all. Whereas, Ann Scott Tyson (Tyson, 2006) can only report more acts of heroism encountered in the battle fields.
Thus, all the more making relevant the question on how leadership can improve soldiers’ morale and cohesion in a US military that is already spread thinly all over the world.
This discussion then on the review of related literature must take on in the form of, as it were, a standing pyramid (apex on top) rather than, normally as an inverted pyramid (apex at bottom). Considering that the entire civilian literature reviewed is all “heavyweights”, for example, how can you beat a bestseller with more than 5 million copies sold and translated into more than 32 languages of Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Covey, 1900), so there are two very essential reasons for this approach:
First, it is to stress, which will be at best a very highly debatable issue (Frances Hesselbein, 2004; Jason A. Santamaria, 2003), the importance of military leadership over civilian leadership, as just fitting and right, within the context of this paper’s original and continuing military objectives in mind.
Second, it is for this review not to stray into the other relatively rather equally important issues of the civilian literature, but otherwise not directly relevant to military leadership and thus becomes either superfluous or redundant, if not at all contradictory (Covey, 1900; Frances Hesselbein, 2004; Jason A. Santamaria, 2003).
Over 228 years of US Military fighting history and existence, only in the past 8 years, already two military volumes of the US Army on Military Leadership had been printed, as we have seen above: the year 1999 FM 22-10 and the year 2006 FM 6-22, representing the US’ foremost military leadership literature. Why and how the US became a military power may also be attributed to those two manuals which encapsulated especially the US Marines’ superior rigorous and highly-proven training methods over 228 years to produce the US Military’s effective and successful military leaders/officers and soldiers (women from all ranks included).
Without deliberately and unnecessarily comparing and contrasting (though debatable) military leadership and civilian leadership, it just cannot be helped; however, to sufficiently point out only two major differences between them.
Obviously, first, the highest stakes are over human life-and-death situations and possible widespread public infrastructure damage by which military leaders could legitimately under military leadership give the orders for the go-ahead, as in “to seek and destroy (with impunity and without prejudice!)”. Such situation cannot be compared with any other civilian leader, except for the lone duly-elected civilian President also deciding as Commander-in-Chief of the nation under a democratic country where civilian authority is supreme over the military. In other words, hands down, each individual military leader or officer is tasked to the extremes: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, socially, and so on–more than any of his civilian counterpart under any same given conditions (Frances Hesselbein, 2004; Jason A. Santamaria, 2003).
Second, it could be generally inferred that it would be much easier to make the transition by a military leader to become a civilian leader (to be discussed later); than for a civilian leader to become a military one—simply because of more demanding requirements of the civilian individual (or leader) by the military life (Frances Hesselbein, 2004; Jason A. Santamaria, 2003).
Civilian leadership may be further subdivided into spiritual leadership in origin or in nature (Greenleaf, 2002), political leadership (Gardner, 1990; Warren Bennis, 1995; Yukl, 2001), and business leadership (Covey, 1900, , 1992, , 2006; Jason A. Santamaria, 2003; Yukl, 2001).
For leaders who are successful in their own fields, yet surprisingly, they still feel themselves very melancholy and unexplainably “unfulfilled”, the most plausible search for their fulfillment, obviously with very strong spiritual undertones, may come from imbibing that concept of servant-leadership, a term coined by Robert K. Greenleaf who wrote Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness, 25th Anniversary Edition as a hardcover, (Covey, 2006; Greenleaf, 2002).
Naturally, proponents, advocates, practitioners, and “fanatics” of this “Greenleaf culture” or those practicing spiritual leadership should be, just to give examples, are the so-called Roman Catholic religious orders with lifetime vocations of daily self-denial comprising the monks, missionaries, contemplatives, and so on.
Tao Te Ching, ca. 6th century BCE as described in chapter 17, on “servant-leadership” remains to be a timeless ideal (Greenleaf, 2002).
Following closely at his heels, Jesus Christ ca. 33 AD sought to teach his disciples that in order to be first they must “wash each other’s feet”. In other words, taken directly from the Online 1611 King James Version (Anonymous, 2007) from the gospel evangelists’ accounts, the disciples must seek to serve each other in order to be true leaders from Chapter 13 of the Gospel of John (Anonymous, 2007). And again, Jesus said that “many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first” meaning that true leadership, according to Jesus, was leadership based on servanthood from Chapter 19 according to the Gospel of Matthew (Anonymous, 2007; Covey, 1900, , 1992, , 2006; Gardner, 1990).
Thus, now many years later if analyzed, notice Bonaparte’s speaking to man’s soul to electrify man for man to join his Army, with the certainty that that man will get killed–can be found in the servant-leader concept during World War II as exquisitely applied by the German people and the German Army in their allegiance to their Fuehrer (Adolf Hitler) of the Fatherland (nation Germany) and by the Japanese people and the Japanese Army in their allegiance to their considered demi-god Emperor (Emperor Hirohito) of their beloved nation Japan.
It really is noteworthy that Larry C. Spears, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership since 1990, summarized Greenleaf’s works by listing down the servant-leaders’ ten (10) characteristics which because of the concept/principle of the servant-leaders’ deep spiritual underpinnings, all the other mentioned habits or values of civilian leadership literature can be included in any one of these ten items.
The following list can be considered a veritable “How To’s in Leadership”:
Hence, those other leadership habits or values, also cited accordingly alongside each of these characteristics mentioned are from Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Covey, 1900), Principle-Centered Leadership (Covey, 1992), and The 8th Habit from Effectiveness to Greatness (Covey, 2006); John W. Gardner’s On Leadership (Gardner, 1990); Warren Bennis and Joan Goldsmith’s Learning to Lead, (Warren Bennis, 1995); and from Gary Yukl’s Leadership in Organizations (Yukl, 2001).
1. Listening (Greenleaf, 2002):
While other leaders are expected to be excellent communicators and decision-makers, servant-leaders, rather than to be listened to, are now more than ever, expected to listen intently to the others (Greenleaf, 2002).
Habit 6, Synergize (of 7 or of 8), that the would-be-leader, believing that the whole is bigger than the sum of the parts, through mutual trust in attentively listening to the other person they could both arrive at the best solution because they listened to one another, better than either’s (Covey, 1900).
Same as Characteristic 7, They Are Synergistic (Covey, 1992).
2. Empathy (Greenleaf, 2002):
Servant-leaders try very hard to understand and empathize with others, accepting them as they are, and as they come and go (Greenleaf, 2002).
Habit 5, Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood, that the would-be-leader must try his best first to identify with the other person before he himself expects to be understood by that person (Covey, 1900).
3. Healing (Greenleaf, 2002):
An on-going phenomenon between serving and being served is not only the potential but the actuality that both serving and being served are “healed” or “made whole” again by their shared experiences (Greenleaf, 2002).
Habit 4 (of 7 or of 8), Think Win/Win, that the would-be-leader makes sure that his counterpart and he are both benefited by any arrangement or agreement they have arrived at (Covey, 1900).
Habit 7 (of 7 or of 8), Sharpening the Saw, that the would-be-leader voluntarily and regularly maintains a balanced personal renewal of his physical, mental, social/emotional, and spiritual dimensions (Covey, 1900) and very similar, if not the same as Characteristic 5, They Lead Balanced Lives (Covey, 1992) and Characteristic 8, They Exercise For Self-Renewal (Covey, 1992).
Bennis was able to grasp this truth, in that:
“As Sophocles observes in Antigone, ‘’But hard it is to learn the mind of any mortal, or the heart, ’til he be tried in chief authority. Power shows the man’’’” (Warren Bennis, 1995).
4. Awareness (Greenleaf, 2002):
Able servant-leaders are usually sharply awake and reasonably disturbed from integrated holistic perspectives, yet with inner serenity (Greenleaf, 2002).
Habit 1 (of 7 or of 8), Being Proactive or the concept of Inside-Out, that any significant type of change in the would-be-leader must first come from within himself (Covey, 1900).
5. Persuasion (Greenleaf, 2002):
Servant-leaders rely primarily on persuasion and on convincing even by way of group-building consensus, rather than through coercion or force based on the traditional authoritarian model (Greenleaf, 2002).
While Gardner insists that:
“Leadership is the process of persuasion or example by which an individual (or leadership team) induces a group to pursue objectives held by the leader or shared by the leader and his or her followers” (Gardner, 1990).
Yukl emphatically stressed, in that:
“influence is the essence of leadership” (Yukl, 2001).
6. Conceptualization (Greenleaf, 2002):
Servant-leaders perform a delicate balance between thinking out a problem and facing beyond day-to-day-focused-realities approach (Greenleaf, 2002).
Habit 2 (of 7 or of 8), Beginning with the End in Mind, that the would-be-leader develops his own principled-center mission statement in life with long-term goals (Covey, 1900).
7. Foresight (Greenleaf, 2002):
Intuitive servant-leaders understand the lessons from the past, the realities of the present, and the likely consequence of a decision for the future (Greenleaf, 2002).
Characteristic 1, They Are Continually Learning, that the would-be-leader’s perception is more than enough honed by his self-initiated desire to know it all (Covey, 1992) and similar to Characteristic 6, They See Life As An Adventure (Covey, 1992).
Alfred North Whitehead strongly suggested, in that:
“Every leader, to be effective, must simultaneously adhere to the symbols of change and revision and the symbols of tradition and stability” (Warren Bennis, 1995).
8. Stewardship (Greenleaf, 2002):
Servant-leaders merely act as stewards or “hold men and resources in trust” for the good of all or for society, emphasizing openness and persuasion (Greenleaf, 2002), likewise very similar to Stewardship Delegation (Covey, 1900).
Habit 3 (of 7 or of 8), Put First Things First, that the would-be-leader’s effectiveness lies in making sure he balances his Production (P) with his building Production Capacity PC (Covey, 1900). Also, hence, according to Covey’s classification, Stewardship is under Habit 3 (Covey, 1900).
9. Commitment to the Growth of People (Greenleaf, 2002):
Servant-leaders are seriously responsible and deeply committed to the growth and nurturing of each individual worker within the institution (Greenleaf, 2002).
Characteristic 2, They Are Service-Oriented, that the would-be-leader/ servant-leader regards his work as a vocation or a way of life and not as a career (Covey, 1992).
Characteristic 4, They Believe In Other People, that the would-be-leader is very hopeful for the beneficial potential capacity of everyone around him (Covey, 1992) though not quite far is Habit 8, It is about Finding Your Voice and Helping Others to Find Theirs (Covey, 2006).
10. Building Community (Greenleaf, 2002):
Servant-leaders selflessly give themselves for building true communities among themselves who work within given institutions (Greenleaf, 2002).
Characteristic 3, They Radiate Positive Energy, that the would-be-leader despite the “drudgery” of strengthening his institution, you could still find him cheerful, pleasant, happy; his attitude optimistic, positive, upbeat; and his spirit enthusiastic, hopeful, believing.
Therefore, with the above, Covey concluded, in that:
“A (good) habit can be defined as the intersection of knowledge, skill and desire” (Covey, 1900).
Thus, with all of the above information, Sergeant Kidd’s dictum of soldiers learning to be good leaders from good leaders (Anonymous, 1999) could now apply even to civilian employees or even ordinary civilians as more and more people are convinced through more and more pieces of literature pointing towards that thinning gray area between military and civilian leaderships.
Political leadership is what John W. Gardner in his On Leadership, espoused in that:
“Men and women of the greatest integrity, character, and courage should turn to public life as a natural duty and a natural outlet for their talents” (Gardner, 1990).
While under business leadership falls all the works of Covey, Bennis, Goldsmith, and Yukl; however, noteworthy are those other works by Frances Hesselbein and Retired US Army General Eric Shinseki’s BE*KNOW*DO, Leadership the Army Way (Frances Hesselbein, 2004) and Jason Santamaria, Vincent Martino, and Eric Clemons’ The Marine Corps Way: Using Maneuver Warfare to Lead a Winning Organization (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003) because they believe that the business world could benefit from their shared experiences of the military.
While the civilian sector regularly and easily pirates top executives from one private company to another or among themselves, the military sector cannot do that but because the military must so promote within its own ranks is why military leadership development is that paramount according to Hesselbein and Shinseki (Frances Hesselbein, 2004).
Santamaria, Martino, and Climons first laid down the premise that although business and war are entirely worlds apart, the same principles apply to them because they both thrive in very competitive environments. The authors gave 23 true-to-life civilian examples followed by explanations before proceeding to compare and contrast 23 parallel true-to-life military examples (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003).
Like the non-original “Servant-Leader” Greenleaf with his 6th century BCE Tao Te Ching, the non-original “Maneuver Warfare” Santamaria has his more than 2,500 years ago genius and timelessness of Sun Tzu’s work The Art of War, especially in targeting critical vulnerabilities, surprise, focus, tempo (speed), and combined arms. The authors ask if they are really “natural or universal laws of warfare”; however, because the concepts are intuitive to the greatest strategists, generals, and CEOs, the authors have endeavored to transform such intuition into a systematic problem-solving approach that “the rest of us” can clearly grasp and then apply (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003).
These authors interchangeably explained the 46 examples in detail the workings of the Marine Corps Way by compressing Maneuver Warfare through these not only 7, but 10 Guiding Principles which when implemented singly and shortly is very powerful, but all the more deadly when applied in subsets or as an integrated whole(Jason A. Santamaria, 2003).
When these situationers are examined closely, potential businesses should achieve breakthrough results(Jason A. Santamaria, 2003):
1. Targeting Critical Vulnerabilities (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003):
To attack and to swiftly take advantage of the competitor’s weaknesses after thoroughly studying both the allied leader’s group and the competitor’s situation (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003).
2. Boldness (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003):
When occasion arises to grab that opportunity to carry out calculated risks which can secure breakthrough results (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003).
3. Surprise (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003):
Using surreptitiousness, vagueness, and sham to confuse the competitors. and for them to outrightly disregard their knowledge of the allied leader’s group condition thereby prejudicing their capability to position well their assets against the allied leader’s group (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003).
4. Focus (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003):
Clustering together the allied leader’s group materiel at decisive places and times to take advantage of important favorable conditions to meet the allied leader’s group needs and objectives (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003).
5. Decentralized Decision Making (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003):
Designating responsible people for them to make their own judicious decisions nearest the action centers after they have timely and thoroughly assessed firsthand local information about the situation within the mission target area (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003).
6. Tempo (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003):
Recognizing prospective breaks, deciding, and executing plans more swiftly than opponents for the allied leader’s group to grab the upper hand and relegate the enemy to always be on the defensive and always to be confused by the allied leader’s group concerted and coordinated actions against the enemy (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003).
7. Combined Arms (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003):
Timing the allied leader’s group attack in such a way that his group’s people, vehicles, equipment with pre-planned sequencing become orchestrated as only one entity; whereas, if the allied leader’s group use them singly, the effect will not be as dramatic (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003).
8. Integration of Principles (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003):
When measured individually, these concepts give the best results when implemented in subsets or all are treated collectively as only one whole (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003).
9. Reconnaissance Pull (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003):
Reconnaissance pull is an illustration of implementing the concepts in subsets: the unintended reaction is an actual time happening to a golden chance to weaken or defeat the enemy, whereby when the possibility is afforded to the allied leader to surprise the enemy, that leader then familiarizes the greater organization towards the situation, with him assuming that leadership function in setting up and applying the attack. Reconnaissance pull covers four of maneuver warfare’s ten concepts: decentralized decision-making, targeting critical vulnerabilities, tempo, and focus (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003).
10. Full Integration (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003):
Joining simultaneously all ten concepts together as one combined entity allows the person to effect the greatest outcome with much reduced cost of materiel (Jason A. Santamaria, 2003).
What a better way to differentiate leadership and management by these 2 very self-explanatory popular business amorphisms:
Management guru Peter Drucker and Bennis jumbled words, in that:
“Management is doing things right; Leadership is doing the right things” (Covey, 1900).
Thus, Bennis, then has more to say, in that:
“Managers want to be efficient. Leaders want to be effective” (Warren Bennis, 1995).
A historical survey was conducted to determine the actual examples of properly documented different heroic styles of leadership. Those examples initially collected had to show particularly those 3 qualities of leadership. Additional criteria was provided not only to broaden the scope; but to clearly show that fine qualities of leadership are not only displayed in times of actual combat or battle situations; further, that those fine qualities of leadership are in fact, already correctly being displayed especially in the course of training before battle or war.
From the scores of examples collected, the examples had to be classified into the specific leadership criteria. Where some examples showed more than one leadership quality, they had to be classified into a fourth category of combined leadership qualities.
The kinds of examples and their numbers were taken from the various wartime as well as peacetime conditions in chronological order, the US Army was involved in were from the: American Revolution, 1; Civil War, 2; First World War, 2; Second World War, 5; Peacetime, 2; Korean War, 1; Vietnam War, 4; Somalia, 2; and Desert Storm and Iraqi War, 4.
After each of this paper’s example, as the result of the historical research conducted, immediately discussed is the importance of that leadership quality to the particular heroics displayed by that research subject person on leadership.
Results and Discussion
These true-to-life examples came from the archival records of the US Army itself!
A. Of the three, Strong Leadership, as a Characteristic of Quality Military Leadership, is ranked first in importance, because, first, with strong leadership, the strong leader, despite the odds or on any given situation; nevertheless, still leads his men thus influencing positively his desired and ultimately the whole organization or US Army outcome:
1. General (GEN) Washington at Newburgh:
In 1781, camped at Newburgh, New York the victorious Continental Army which fought the British at Yorktown waited for things to settle down with Great Britain. However, the weak central government organized under the Articles of Confederation did not want to properly supply the Army or even pay the soldiers who fought and won for them their war for independence—to the extent that militant officers, to force the issue, proposed marching the Army onto Congress, the seat of government in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Anonymous, 1999).
Upon hearing all of the above, with one colonel (COL) even wanting to make him George I, General (GEN) Washington called in his officers together, publicly, and categorically rejected all of the above. By his believing that using the Army to force the issues or to seize power would be to negate everything for which the Revolutionary War had been fought (Anonymous, 1999).
By this deed, GEN Washington securely determined this first and permanent guide; that first, the US armed forces should always obey America’s civilian authority and second, the US armed forces should always uphold the democratic principles which are outlined and therefore protected by the Constitution (Anonymous, 1999).
GEN Washington’s gesture permanently paved the way for the Army to be expected by the people to be, and at the Army’s own professional volition, by remaining loyal to country, thereby ensuring the protection of the freedom enjoyed by all Americans (Anonymous, 1999).
GEN Washington should have been the first man to have complained of his hardships more than any other officer or soldier regarding their predicament, during that time. He suffered worst, yet with strength of both personal character and leadership, he was not only able to control himself but verily his subordinates as well.
2. Trust Earned:
New York Congressman Hamilton Fish recalled in an interview that he, in 1917 when he was then a 369th Infantry Regiment white commissioned officer (CO) who commanded an all-black all-volunteer combat unit in the then segregated Army, knew that he had to first earn the trust of all his men. Fish finally got his chance for his men to trust him when he alerted the leaders of the white regiment which threatened to attack his unit in training camp, thus his averting a very serious tragedy (Anonymous, 1999).
Here, then Officer Fish showed strength in leadership because he risked his life in defending his men whose fault was it that they were blacks from the many white men who thought they were more superior than these blacks.
3. Brigadier General (BG) “Stonewall” Jackson at First Bull Run:
In the First Battle of Bull Run the Union forces defeated on Matthews Hill the Confederate forces. Despite badly wounded by shrapnel, Brigadier General (BG) Thomas J. Jackson, on Henry Hill coolly, defensively positioned, and reassured his 2,000-man Virginian brigade (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Though his men continued their retreat, BG Jackson, confident and self-controlled, still managed to reply to BG Barnard E. Bee:
“Sir, we will give them the bayonet” (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Fired, BG Bee rode off towards their remaining officers and men and rallied them, shouting:
“Look, men! There is Jackson standing like a stone wall! Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer! Follow me” (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Although the charge fatally injured BG Bee, the Confederate line stood, and his moniker to BG Jackson stuck in American military annals (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
BG Jackson showed his strength of leadership as stability under pressure by turning a possible rout into a well-rounded defense, inspiring not only his men under his command but other men in other commands as well (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
4. Multinational Resource Allocation:
After the successful Normandy landings, Allied logistics systems grossly overstretched. General of the Army (GA) Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander, determined to preserving the alliance with an Allied success in the West, gave GEN Bernard Montgomery, the Twenty-first Army Group Commander, only a limited priority for a risky attempt to gain a Rhine bridgehead, meanwhile, slowing GEN George Patton’s effort, as Commander of the Third (US) Army in GEN Omar Bradley’s Twelfth Army Group, to what was logistically feasible under the circumstances. His decision, with serious implications for the conduct of the war in the European Theater of Operations (ETO); obviously detested by GEN Patton his longtime colleague; contributed to alliance unity; communicated a message to the Soviets; and assured a final victory which did not depend on the still high uncertainty of German defense collapse (Anonymous, 1999).
GEN Eisenhower’s tough leadership decision, very necessary, though how it seemed unfavorable mostly to him and to everyone around him was just was needed according to the situation. Likewise was needed a tough and strong character inside the man making that decision!
5. Self-Control in Combat:
Near a Vietnam village, an American infantry company felt frightened, distressed, and aggravated upon suffering many casualties over booby traps and snipers’ ambush. The angry soldiers wanted to enter the village; however the commander angry himself, with his foresight, knew that revenge could be in the offing. Thus, his order stood to avoid the village (Anonymous, 1999).
Especially in a situation like this where high morale and cohesion are paramount, but with a very strong yet unpopular decision, yet the decision still had to be made and made it was–despite the commander acting like a square peg in many round holes around him!
6. Warrant Officer1 (WO1) Thompson at My Lai:
On March 16, 1968, on a helicopter reconnoitering mission over My Lai village, Republic of Vietnam, Warrant Officer1 (WO1) Hugh C. Thompson, Jr., and his two-man crew observed that American soldiers were deliberately firing on civilians. WO1 Thompson outrageously witnessed firsthand an American soldier pointblank fire on an injured Vietnamese child. Before questioning by W01 Thompson, a young officer remarked that the ground action was none of his business while W01 Thompson saw American soldiers moving towards a ditch with a number of civilians in it (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
After WO1 Thompson took off to continue circling the area, he rescued a group of ten villagers, from certain death, whom he coaxed out of a nearby homemade bomb shelter and airlifted them to safety. Previously, to protect the civilians, he had to land his helicopter between the soldiers and the Vietnamese by even ordering his gunner to fire at the Americans if necessary. WO1 Thompson’s radio reports of what actually happened initiated US unilateral ceasefire saving more civilian lives (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
His willingness to lay down his life for people he knew not, who were faced by dangers from his own kind, for him to do only the moral thing, took not only great personal courage but superb strength of leadership example as well (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
7. Task Force Ranger in Somalia, 1993:
Before the October 3, 1993 Mogadishu raid, “Sarge”, who was a strong New Jersey youth, always pulled practical jokes on his buddies, and though annoying to them, he usually got everyone to laugh, endearing him all the more to his company (Anonymous, 1999).
During the raid, when Sarge was hit and killed while manning his Humvee’s .50 cal, the driver and some of the guys in back panicked and all simply became dumbfounded. After their squad leader tried to get someone else up to man the gun, he yelled at them to collect their wits, to continue on fighting, or they would never ever leave the place alive (Anonymous, 1999).
Here, the explosive combination of personal loss of a beloved friend, combat shock, and battle fatigue could make anyone jittery. But the strong leader will always be there such as their squad leader with his will of steel to be calm and collected, stable under pressure to continue the fight for dear survival’s sake.
8. The Qualification Report:
One of the newly activated division’s battalion focused did nothing but improve its weapons qualification, more especially so on the “in writing” rating aspect. Because his gunners had fired only on the 10-meter range, the “A” Company Commander insisted they were still unqualified because he believed the manual said so (Anonymous, 1999).
While the battalion commander objected that because they fired on the only range they had, since the transition range was not yet built, and that’s how they did it at Fort Braxton, with some of the “A” Company NCOs concurrence, still the captain had his way–that the gunners were still unqualified–until his report went onto the brigade commander (Anonymous, 1999).
The brigade commander by agreeing with “A” Company Commander, sent a message to division to get that transition range built (Anonymous, 1999)!
By correctly doing so, the “A” Company Commander showed both his loyalty and honesty towards the Army, his unit, and to his soldiers. He just had to have that more than enough share of moral courage to show his strength of leadership (Anonymous, 1999).
9. The Expert Field Medical Badge (EFMB) Test:
Sergeant (SGT) Kirk, having already earned the EFMB, was assigned as a grader on the division’s EFMB course, where SGT Kirk’s squad leader, Staff Sergeant (SSG) Michaels who failed the task, asked SGT Kirk to pass him, just before SGT Kirk tallied the score (Anonymous, 1999).
SGT Kirk realized that although SSG Michaels even spent two Saturdays assisting him prepare for SGT Kirk’s promotion board—nevertheless, loyalty to the Army, to the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) corps, to the soldiers, and to himself comes first before loyalty to SSG Michaels (Anonymous, 1999).
Strength in character especially moral courage is dire needed as strength in good quality leadership.
B. Of the three, Effective Leadership, as a Characteristic of Quality Military Leadership, can be considered second in rank because once Strength of Leadership, first, is established, then leadership effectiveness can then be readily expected and more fully realized.
1. Colonel (COL) Chamberlain at Gettysburg:
In late June 1863, GEN Robert E. Lee’s victorious Army of Northern Virginia captured western Maryland and Pennsylvania. The Army of the Potomac rushed for five days to repulse the Confederates away from near the national capital. Union commanders hurried reinforcements to the hills south of little Gettysburg town, where also on July 1, the 20th Maine was ordered to proceed there (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Before noon July 2, the 20th Maine Regimental Commander COL Joshua L. Chamberlain, having had only two hours sleep, no hot food during the previous 24 hours and after marching more than one hundred miles in five days, arrived at Gettysburg as part of that brigade commanded by COL Strong Vincent (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Brigade Commander COL Vincent then ordered his brigade to occupy a little hill at the extreme southern end of the Union line, Little Round Top which dominated the Union position. He ordered COL Chamberlain’s 20th Maine to secure his position at all costs on COL Vincent’s left flank of the brigade or the extreme left of the Union line (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
On Little Round Top, COL Chamberlain ordered his 20th Maine Regiment’s right flank company to connect with the 83rd Pennsylvania’ left flank; while the 20th Maine Regiment’s left flank company should anchor itself on a large boulder where next to it was nothing except a small hollow and Big Round Top’s rising slope. The 20th Maine Regiment therefore was literally at the “end of the world” (Anonymous, 1999).
After COL Chamberlain considered possible threats to his unit including his open left flank, there he ordered “B” Company under CPT Walter G. Morrill to:
“act as the necessities of battle required” (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Captain (CPT) Morrill hid his men, joined by fourteen 2nd US Sharpshooters, behind a stone wall that could thwart any Confederate advance (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
But the 15th and 47th Alabama soldiers, having likewise marched all night, wearied and dehydrated; nevertheless, they viciously battered the 20th Maine which had been in position just minutes before (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Amidst a relentless confederate attack five times on his left flank, COL Chamberlain created a new maneuver, with the large boulder as the hinge, similar to a swinging barn door of running downhill Maine men bayonets fixed against the uphill attacking Alabama soldiers (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
The exhausted and shattered Alabama regiments, when CPT Morrill’s “B” Company and the sharpshooters opened fire on the Confederate flank and rear, thought they were surrounded, so they broke and ran, not realizing that one more attack would have carried them through (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
A third of the 20th Maine died with 130 men out of 386 farmers, woodsmen, and fishermen from Maine—commanded by a leader whose bravery, creativeness, anticipation, improvisation, and disciplined initiatives in the heat of the battle–all spelled towards effective leadership (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
2. Small Unit Leaders’ Initiative in Normandy:
On the evening of June 5 to 6, 1944, preceding the amphibious landings in Normandy on D-Day, 1944, thousands of aircraft delivered a corps-sized night parachute assaults by the 82nd and 101st US Airborne Divisions as well as the 6th British Airborne Division into Normandy (Anonymous, 1999).
The airborne forces had to destroy bridges and roads leading to the Normandy beaches so that the Germans could not counterattack when the Allied invasion began (Anonymous, 1999).
However, over wide expanse of areas: whether by being blown off-course, by enemy fire or by becoming simply lost–these subordinate leaders still managed to luckily regroup and still were able to accomplish their individual missions, greatly supporting the invasion plans and implementations (Anonymous, 1999).
Such leaders like 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment’s CPT Sam Gibbons grouped together 12 soldiers he had seen only for the first time, coming from different commands as other small unit leaders from both the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions throughout the Cotentin Peninsula were similarly doing (Anonymous, 1999).
This example of effective leadership however was the result of higher leaders’ supervision into hard work and realistic training; their care for their soldiers needs; communicating the importance of the mission and trusting their subordinate leaders to accomplish the assigned tasks. This resulted in small unit leaders who were able to focus on the force’s overall mission, knowing, understanding, and believing that if they applied disciplined initiative within their commander’s intent, everything would turn out right (Anonymous, 1999).
3. The 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Normandy:
On June 7, 1944, the day after D-Day, the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment’s nearly 600 paratroopers deployed themselves in Ste. Mère Église town, Normandy (Anonymous, 1999).
The paratroopers, outnumbered 1:10, pre-emptively assaulted the German flank, thereby preventing the enemy’s counterattacking the Allied invasion forces (Anonymous, 1999).
Effective leadership here was caused by the 505th’s highly motivated and well-trained teams. Indeed, against all odds, they did what they had to do to achieve victory (Anonymous, 1999).
4. The 96th Division on Leyte:
This Platoon readily secured its sector of the beach’s landing area because the beach had not been heavily defended. Since the Japanese preferred to defend villages at road crossings and to set-up heavily fortified checkpoints along roads and trails, the Company’s strategy then was to move through the knee-deep muck, mud, swamps, and rice paddies and to attack the relatively weaker-defended Japanese positions from directions towards the Japanese enemy strong holds (Anonymous, 1999).
This slow, dirty, and extremely fatiguing method, though it reduced the company’s exposure to the enemy, correctly did not recognize in combat the comfort of the front-line troops, but only what they can endure and still be effective; thus showing succinctly effective leadership in action (Anonymous, 1999).
5. From Vision to Victory:
General Norman Schwarzkopf, Commander, Operation Desert Storm, stated that:
“True courage is being afraid, and going ahead and doing your job” (Anonymous, 1999).
On November 14, 1990 General Norman Schwarzkopf wanted to give a very simple yet very comprehensive briefing to his 22 top commanders for Desert Storm (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
He revealed his analysis of Iraq’s forces and force strength, their willingness to use chemical weapons, along with their weaknesses. He stressed the strengths of his own forces revealing his vision. His strong belief in one of his objectives of “destroying the Republican Guard” would devastate also Iraqi’s capability as an effective fighting force (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
In return for the full authority given to him by the President and Secretary of Defense, GEN Schwarzkopf left his commanders to do their jobs with the least interference from higher headquarters (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
So that in mid-January 1991, when President Bush ordered the operations to begin and because each commander from division level and up had been made to hear the concept of operations from Schwarzkopf himself, which even privates could understand–all were then able to concentrate their full efforts (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Therefore, through his effective leadership, Schwarzkopf successfully drove out the Iraqis out of Kuwait; recovered and maintained Kuwaiti air superiority, while defeating the command and control of much of Saddam Hussein’s infrastructure. The Gulf Region stability was regained and the Republican Guard never fully recovered its fighting capability (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
C. Of the three, Inspiring Leadership as a Characteristic of Quality Military Leadership, is ranked as third because as Strength and Effectiveness of Leadership are unveiled, would not Inspiring Leadership closely follow for those who experience firsthand the incredibly yet true spine-tingling effects they create?
1. He Never Gave In:
Ironically, just weeks before he was to have left the Army, CPT Humbert “Rocky” Versace would have studied to become a missionary and return to Vietnam to help the orphaned children, but then he was captured (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
During October 1963, West Point graduate CPT Versace became a Military Assistance and Advisory Group (MAAG) intelligence advisor. However, a large Viet Cong battalion attacked CPT Versace and his two fellow Special Forces Soldiers, Lieutenant (LT) Nick Rowe and Sergeant First Class (SFC) Dan Pitzer while they were with a Vietnamese Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG) operating combatively in An Xuyen Province (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
The Viet Cong shot CPT Versace in the leg and back and took him prisoner along with the others. The captors forced them to walk long distance barefoot deep into the jungle. Because CPT Versace took it upon himself to be the senior prisoner, he demanded from his captors to treat them as prisoners of war and not as war criminals. However, their captors locked him in an isolation box, beat him up, and expectedly interrogated third-degree. Crawling through the surrounding swamp, he was recaptured but he unsuccessfully escaped three more times (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Because he adhered to the Code of Conduct; recited repeatedly only Geneva Convention chapter and verse requirements; resisted his captors loudly and fluently enough in Vietnamese and French so that local villagers could easily hear him; and frequently led through the jungle with a rope around his neck, hands tied, bare-footed, head swollen, yellowed from jaundice, and stress-caused white hair–CPT Versace won most of the attention of the Viet Cong, so that his fellow prisoners’ lives became more tolerable. Thus, he became their “idol” (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Other soldiers operating in remote areas would often hear local rice farmers’ stories about CPT Versace’s ordeals, his strength, character, and his commitment to God and his country (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Upon his second year as prisoner on September 26, 1965, his Viet Cong captors executed CPT Versace to avenge three Viet Cong killed in Da Nang (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
For his bravery, CPT Versace was awarded, posthumously, the Medal of Honor and was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame at Fort Benning (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
CPT Versace’s remains remain lost, but a tombstone bearing his name stands above an empty grave in Arlington cemetery while a park in Alexandria, Virginia is the life-size statues of an American Soldier, CPT Versace, with two small Vietnamese children. Near them is a wall where inscribed are 65 Alexandrian names which died during the Vietnam War (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
This memorial, although belatedly, came almost forty years after CPT Versace was executed, though it honors a man with strong character who never gave up his beliefs nor gave in during extreme hardships nor to the enemy, without fear of death (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
CPT Versace’s brand of inspiring leadership not only moved his own men to love, admire and deeply respect him, but other people unknown to him yet proximately near such as his Vietnamese rice farmer-admirers as well.
2. Master Sergeant (MSG) Gordon and Sergeant First Class (SFC) Shughart in Somalia:
In October 1993, in the Mogadishu raid, Somalia Task Force Ranger sniper team leader Master Sergeant (MSG) Gary Gordon and sniper team member Sergeant First Class (SFC) Randall Shughart, from above their helicopters, defended their buddies by giving precision and suppressive fires to two helicopter crash sites below (Anonymous, 1999).
Only after their third request, were they finally approved to be inserted to the crash sites to protect their critically wounded comrades, due to the very extreme dangers caused by the unavailability of rescuing ground forces and fast approaching growing number of menacing enemy (Anonymous, 1999).
After MSG Gordon and SFC Shughart, armed only with their personal weapons, were inserted one hundred meters south of the downed chopper, they had to battle their way to the downed fliers through intense small arms fire, run through a maze of shanties and shacks–with the angry and vengeful enemy mob rapidly easing towards their location (Anonymous, 1999).
Following their pulling their wounded comrades from the debris, setting up a respectable perimeter, establishing themselves in the most dangerous spots, until depleting their ammunition, and themselves getting wounded fatally, MSG Gordon and SFC Shughart repulsed repeated and successive attacks (Anonymous, 1999).
Their display of inspiring leadership of heroism under fire unto certain death, however saved the life of an Army pilot (Anonymous, 1999).
3. No Slack Soldiers “Take a Knee”:
In early April 2003, while paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division tried to secure Najaf, the holy city, as a bigger effort before proceeding to Baghdad, Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Christopher Hughes’ 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry several-weeks’ battle-wearied soldiers journeyed to Najaf (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
The 2-327th battalion call themselves “No Slack” to honor their best Vietnam veteran who was killed only days before he rotated to the States, and whose favorite saying was: serve
“Cut the enemy, No slack” (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
LTC Hughes got to know Muslim customs well during his conducting an official inquiry over the United States Ship (USS) Cole bombing and assisting on a joint anti-terrorism taskforce. Still, he tried to learn more about the Shi’ite people and their regarding the gold-domed grand Ali Mosque as a most holy site in Najaf, their destination. Previously, his Iraqi-American translator expounded Ayatollah Ali Sistani’s value to the Iraqi people and the difficult prison years Sistani served under Saddam Hussein (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
When LTC Hughes and his soldiers, came closer to the mosque to request a fatwa or religious decree to be issued by Sistani for the Americans to proceed to Baghdad unopposed, hundreds in the angry crowd protected the mosque entrance, thinking the Americans had come to destroy it, as the throng chanted:
“In city, Yes – in city, OK. Mosque, No” (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006)!
LTC Hughes reacted quickly to dismiss their suspicions, by first pointing his weapon to the ground, but no one noticed (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
After LTC Hughes ordered his troops to “take a knee”, while some of them gave him questioning looks, but still they obeyed unhesitatingly because they trusted him as their leader–as many Iraqis in the crowd joined them. Having gone one step further by telling his soldiers to smile, the Iraqis also smiled back. Thus, as the crowd’s mood lightened, that universal language of goodwill spread enabling LTC Hughes and his soldiers to fade away safely (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Further, putting his right hand on his chest in that traditional Islamic sign of: “Peace Be With You” (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006),
LTC Hughes bade:
“Have a Nice Day” (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
LTC Hughes’ critical quick-action-thinking of his inspiring brand of leadership brought about by his personal and sincere desire to understand culture, cultural mix and adaptability, making for that unique American Soldier–produced the fatwa they desired, they took on Baghdad with everyone avoiding unnecessary conflict. Further, these battle-hardened warriors allowed diplomacy and respect for others to be “the order of the day” (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
D. Combinations of Strong, Effective, and Inspiring Qualities of Military Leadership:
1. Sergeant (Sgt) York:
The US Army drafted Alvin C. York after America entered World War I and turned him over to the “All Americans’” 82nd Division’s 328th Infantry Regiment (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Private (PVT) York, as a devout Christian who didn’t believe in killing, yet recognized as a potential leader by his commander CPT ECB Danforth who was nevertheless unable to budge PVT York from his convictions. The battalion commander, Major (MAJ) George E. Buxton, deeply religious himself and knowing the Bible as well as PVT York did, sent him for two-weeks home leave for reflection and deep soul-searching. PVT York returned to camp after finally reconciling his personal values with those of the Army’s (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
PVT York’s decision to return augured well for himself and his unit (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
In the morning hours of October 8, 1918 in France’s Argonne Forest, Corporal (CPL) York, having won his corporal stripes previously in combat in the Lorraine, would soon perform mind-boggling intrepidness (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
That morning, hidden on a wooded ridge overlooking a valley, a German infantry battalion, with heavy machine gun fire, ambushed CPL York’s battalion which was maneuvering across the valley to occupy a German-held rail point. As the American battalion scrambled for cover, the assault stalled (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Higher headquarters ordered CPL York’s platoon, already down to only 16 men, to silence the enemy machine guns (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
The platoon maneuver through the thickets to the German outfit’s rear astonished a group of about 25 German soldiers who resisted but lightly. The Germans took cover safely as more hidden German machine guns fired on the clearing, either killing or wounding 9 Americans including the platoon leader and the other two corporals—leaving only CPL York as the only unwounded leader (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Finding his platoon pinned down within 25 yards away from the German’s machine gun nests, CPL York; nevertheless, didn’t panic. CPL York, a sharpshooter, was relaxed while firing into the nearest enemy position to draw enemy fire and hit every German who popped his head over the parapet to get an aimed shot at him (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Determined to put him away, six Germans with fixed bayonets charged on him after CPL York had already shot more than a dozen enemies. With his Tennessee hunter instincts intact, he first fired on the farthest German from him so that those in front would not see any of their comrades fatally fall. After killing all six of them, CPL York focused again on the machine gun nests. After each shot, he would call and offered that the Germans surrender. Preposterous as it seemed, how could one lone American soldier, armed only with a rifle and a pistol, hold in total submission a fighting battalion-size contingent? Nevertheless, the German Battalion Commander seeing his position as hopeless, with more than 20 of his soldiers having been killed by this one lone American. Hence, the Commander offered to surrender if and only if CPL York from thence on, promised that CPL York would finally stop firing at them (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
CPL York’s next problem came before he accepted the surrender offer. How could he and his 7 remaining unwounded comrades, behind enemy lines, effect an orderly surrender, if at all? He, of course, carefully thought out, first, how the surrender movement should go. But as they moved along the other machine gun emplacements and their men which CPL York encountered soon joined the surrender group until he drew on a total of 132 prisoners and 35 machine guns silenced which he turned over to his outfit (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
The now silenced portion of the mountain again allowed for the American advance (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Promoted to sergeant and awarded the Medal of Honor, only show that:
“SGT York’s character, physical courage, technical competence, and his combined strength, effective, and inspiring qualities of leadership enabled him to destroy the morale and effectiveness of an entire enemy’s fighting battalion” (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Additionally, had not his two commanding officers not correctly assessed the situation and given the appropriate measures about then PVT York, all this would not have all come to pass, in that:
“MAJ Buxton demonstrated that a soldier’s duties could be consistent with the ethical framework established by his religious beliefs. Leaders who create a healthy ethical environment inspire confidence in their subordinates; that confidence and the trust it engenders builds the unit’s will. They create an environment where soldiers can truly ‘be all they can be’” (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
2. The Battle of the Bulge:
In December, 1944, the Germans needed to control the crossroads in the town of Bastogne so that they could continue moving their equipment to the front to the Allied’s weakest defense link in Belgium where because it was quiet, thousands of green Allied troops had been sent, but now were captured, thanks to which was to be the German Army’s last major offensive of massive infantry and armor formations onto the Western Front of the ETO. Whereas, for two desperate weeks the Allies fought to check the enemy advance, the 101st Airborne Division was sent to the town of Bastogne to stop any further German advances (Anonymous, 1999).
During the coldest weather Europe had ever experienced in 50 years, the 101st; 9th, and 10th Armored Division elements; and a tank destroyer battalion staved off repeated attacks with wounded men freezing to death in their foxholes and paratroopers fighting tanks (Anonymous, 1999).
Though outnumbered, surrounded, low on ammunition, out of medical supplies, and with wounded piling up; nevertheless, when the German commander called for the Americans to surrender, Acting Division Commander BG Anthony C. McAuliffe, simply replied:
“Nuts” (Anonymous, 1999)!
The Americans held and after four months, Germany surrendered (Anonymous, 1999).
Here is that another rare example of a combination of strength, effectiveness, and inspiring good quality leadership!
3. Task Force Kingston:
During the Korean War, First Lieutenant (1LT) Joseph Kingston, a boyish-looking “K” Company platoon leader in the 3rd Battalion, 32nd Infantry, took the lead for his 3rd Battalion’s push northward through mountainous terrain, the weather being bitterly cold weather with the temperature often below zero and a cornered yet still a dangerous enemy (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
As 1LT Kingston inched his way forward, his 3rd Battalion continued adding anti-aircraft jeeps mounted with quad .50 caliber machine guns; a tank; a squad then later a platoon of engineers; an artillery forward observer; some attachments commanded by lieutenants who outranked him; and a tactical air controller captain. Therefore, 3rd Battalion Headquarters began mentioning “Task Force Kingston” because they wanted 1LT Kingston to be maintained as “Task Force Kingston Commander” (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Hindered in Yongsong-ni with increasing injuries, wounded, and tough fighting, Task Force Kingston unrelentingly moved northward continuing to receive reinforcements to nearly 300 men. 1LT Kingston’s 3rd Battalion Commander wanted him to remain in command, though several more assigned officers to 1LT Kingston outranked him, as in a captain commanding an attached rifle company (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Badly wounded, while heading the attack on an enemy fortification, 1LT Kingston still hurled a grenade, just as a North Korean soldier shot him in the head; however his helmet, badly scraped, saved his life (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
As 1LT Kingston’s personal example and courage inspired his men and the soldiers from the widely varied units who were under his command, showed that because he could handle the job, such Task Force Kingston arrangement worked, despite his lower rank, because he himself was a capable leader who exemplified strength, effectiveness, and inspiration (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
4. A Fearless Leader-Twice a Hero:
In late 1965, at the famous La Drang Battle, LTC Harold Moore fought with one of the “young soldiers”, LT Cyril Richard “Rick” Rescorla, who was 24, British and definitely steeled by his Cyprus and Rhodesia combat experiences. He had come to America precisely to fight in Vietnam (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
LT Rescorla’s company was ordered to fill in for an entire company in the 7th Cavalry 2nd Battalion, which was almost wiped out the night before, at Landing Zone (LZ) X-Ray on the perimeter at the foot of the Chu Pong mountain ridge (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Thus that same night, LT Rescorla prepared his soldiers for battle, the best way was his displaying confidence, studying the terrain, relocating foxholes, laying booby traps, repositioning weapons, and sometime after midnight, he sang a slow Cornish mining tune: “Going Up Cambourne Hill Coming Down.” (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
One of LT Rescorla’s sergeants remembered that LT Rescorla upon visiting his foxhole, checked on him and analyzed his fields of fire, recalling that:
“We all thought we were going to die that night and he gave us our courage back. I figured if he’s walking around singing, the least I can do is to stop trembling” (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
The following morning, Bravo Company, with only a few light casualties, thwarted off four attacks by slaughtering over 200 enemy soldiers. The next day, however when the enemy ambushed their battalion, higher headquarters ordered LT Rescorla’s men to rescue and extricate the ambushees. Once more, LT Rescorla’s arrival under fire instantly lifted the spirits of their battle-fatigued soldiers who thought they were already goners (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
When Rescorla left Vietnam, he returned to civilian life and continued his military career in the Army Reserves, rising to the Reserve rank of Colonel. On that fateful day of September 11, 2001, a jet crashed into, exploded, and pulverized the north tower at the World Trade Center where he was Morgan Stanley Dean Witter ; Company’s Corporate Security Vice-President (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Reserve COL Rescorla, with stability under pressure and his military leadership experience taking the better of him, calmly guided to safety his company’s nearly 2,700 employees. Last spotted on the tenth floor, using a bullhorn to encourage everyone that they would all be safe, it was believed that he sang his Cornish song again and led everyone in renditions of “God Bless America” (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Reserve COL Rescorla telephoned his wife to tell her that she had filled to the fullest his life. On his last phone call, before he died, he called to Dan Hill, an old buddy from Vietnam, who recalled that:
“Typical Rescorla, Incredible Under Fire” (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
LTC Moore deeming Reserve COL Rescorla the best platoon leader he ever saw with his troops loving him for his undying spirit and bravery, Reserve COL Rescorla epitomized the combination of strength, effective, and inspiring quality military leadership (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
5. Character and Prisoners:
On the February 28, 1991 morning, about half an hour prior to the cease-fire, a US Officer was just about to fire away at an enemy Iraqi T-55 tank directly in front of them. However, his men held their fire as the heads of three men popped out from the tank turret, fleeing, and running around a sand dune. Amazing was: first, 150 Prisoners of War (PWs) hid at the tank’s rear, US captors had to run them through a gauntlet to be searched for weapons and stuff; the US soldiers had to line them up for the PW handlers to pick them up, and finally when the US captors blew up the tank, the Iraqi prisoners yelled and screamed for their lives, not to be shot at or killed! Until one US soldiers exclaimed:
“Hey, we’re from America; we don’t shoot our prisoners” (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
Considering also the well-known atrocities of Iraqi soldiers, this US Officer and his men showed strength in character by exhibiting excellent self-control in not finishing off their enemy. Effective leadership was portrayed because no untoward incident happened from prisoner-taking to prisoner-transfer (considering their sheer number). Inspiring leadership was shown to the enemy for the US soldiers in upholding properly the Articles of War on Prisoners (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006).
6. Mission First—Never Quit!
In March, 2005, SGT Leigh Ann Hester and the Kentucky National Guard 617th Military Police (MP) Company members, provided, what they thought to be as a routine convoy escort mission (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006; Tyson, 2006).
As vehicle commander SGT Hester rode in the second HMMWV behind a convoy of 26 supply vehicles, her squad leader SSG Timothy Nein moved towards his observed convoy attack (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006; Tyson, 2006).
When SGT Hester arrived at the ambush site, she saw that a rocket-propelled grenade had hit the lead vehicle. Immediately joining the fight, she with her comrades engaged a group of about 50 determined insurgents with well-aimed fires from her rifle and grenade launcher. The furious 45-minute firefight claimed 27 dead insurgents, six wounded, and one captured (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006; Tyson, 2006).
Having remained resilient, focused, professional, and fearless throughout the conflict, SGT Hester and Staff Sergeant (SSG) Nein enabled the soldiers overcome their initial ambush shock. Their successfully quelling the attack allowed the supply convoy to proceed uneventfully to the destination (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006; Tyson, 2006).
For SGT Hester’s MP company, the payback time came from countless hours on small arms ranges, practicing urban warfare and convoy operations, well-rehearsed battle drills becoming second nature—all permitting them to live the words, “Mission first – never quit” (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006; Tyson, 2006).
As SSG Nein and Sergeant First Class (SFC) Jason Mike won the Silver Star and several other unit members were awarded Bronze Stars for valor, SGT Hester became the first female soldier since World War II to receive the Silver Star award—all point out their unique display of combined strength, effectiveness, and inspiring qualities of military leadership (Anonymous, 1999, , 2006; Tyson, 2006).
Had that each of those situations prevailed with weak, ineffective, and uninspiring qualities of leadership, those outcomes would not have been painstakingly recorded as military history to be correctly emulated.
All the above personalities therefore portrayed have what many people look for in leaders: leaders with charisma or in other words, they are undoubtedly full-fledged charismatic leaders: strong, effective, and inspiring!
A closer look, however into all the examples just portrayed and discussed show that the fine leadership qualities discussed are not only confined to military commanders, per se, but they are also unwittingly displayed by mere foot soldiers as well.
Once the US military realizes this implication, it can and should operate with utmost confidence, effectively and efficiently, whether in Iraq or anywhere in the world.
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