FRONT-line Leadership (American officers and sergeants)

Moment of Truth In Iraq by Michael Yon

“Throughout 2005, the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police in Mosul improved month by month, and recruits would form long lines to volunteer. Here’s one sign: the Iraqis took much heavier losses than we did, but their morale seemed to improve. Iraqi forces  that used to flee would now stand and fight, partly because their American trainers would stand and fight with them. The Iraqis were amazed that American officers and sergeants would lead from the front into the worst situations. This even caused some friction during 2005. I recall CPT Matt McGrew, who lived and fought with Iraqis, talking about how some Iraqi officers became upset with American leaders during the early days, because in the Iraqi view officers were not supposed to be leading from the front. Seeing how American officers and sergeants behaved, the Iraqi jundis (soldiers) began to hold their own leaders in contempt. Iraqi soldiers might be alot of things, but cowards they are not. Before this war some said personal courage was passe in a high-tech war. But we have learned that moral and physical courage are as essential now as ever. Soon the Iraqi officers who survived and mattered were leading from the front. Courage is not in short supply in Iraq.
Leading the Iraqis by example worked, but cost us casualties. The American combat soldiers I was with in Mosul in 2005 were not there to play it safe. Their goal was to win. If it cost blood, then blood it would cost. The Iraqis were wild for that sort of leadership.”

Insurance companies probably hate to hear stories like this where safety is not the priority. Our guys are demonstrating true leadership by putting their own lives on the line for the Iraqi citizens.

PAID media

Moment of Truth in Iraq by Michael Yon

Here is an interesting paragraph from Yon…

“All news organizations, from the newbie blogger to the New York Times, from right-wing talk radio to NPR, from CNN to Fox, all ultimately depend upon the financial support of their audiences. So readers and listeners and viewers should not be surprised when media organizations tell them what they want to hear. Happy news for the Left was that U.S. soldiers were demoralized and the war was being lost. Happy news for the Right was that there was no insurgency, then no civil war; we always had enough troops, and we were winning hands-down, except for the left-wing lunatics who were trying to unravel it all. They say heroin addicts are happy, too, when they are out of touch with reality.”

oops – Did Yon just make some people mad by elaborating on truth?

Get THEE Facts

More from Michael Yon…

“In September 2007, I went back to the United States for a few weeks and found a nation not at all inclined to believe in miracles. I was struck by the bizarre contrast between what most Americans seemed to think was happening in Iraq versus what I had just seen. My countrymen seemed to be living under a glass dome that allowed few hard facts to filter in unless attached to a string of false assumptions or skewed to a convenient ideaology. My trip coincided with General Petraeus’s testimony before the US Congress, when media interest in the war was (I’m told) much greater than it had been for months. Translation: Britney was competing for airtime with O.J. in one of the saddest sideshows on Earth…The hearing made it clearer that there was a tremendous gulf between what was actually happening in Iraq and what people in American thought was happening. It was as if the inertia of bad news from the previous three years had made it impossible to take in new information…The response to all this: General Petraeus was told that his testimony, like all good fiction, required ‘a willing suspension of disbelief.’…We’d spent billions of dollars to protect ourselves against roadside bombs in Iraq, while mostly failing to cultivate the most effective defense of all: an Iraqi citizen with a cell phone…Iraqi’s are e-mailing our guys Google Earth maps to show where the terrorists are…(our guys) can spend more time in…building closer ties to their communities, which then translates into being more effective in working on local civil affairs issues.”

Yon points out with chilling clarity that the strategy to win in Iraq was/is gaining the support of the Iraqi citizen rather then surrounding our men with thick steel. Why? People naturally gravitate towards safety and security so if we provide a means for the Iraqi citizen to bring stability (cell phone) they will support our efforts. Yes, I cringe everytime horrible atrocities come out of Iraq on the news, but I sure appreciate knowing our guys are building strong relationships with the citizens and teaching them how to recover their country beleaguered with so many troubles.

Measuring Morale

Moment of Truth In Iraq by Michael Yon (autographed)

Michael Yon explains how the USA has made adjustments in Iraq to overcome the likely odds of defeat in Iraq. Michael’s expertise both practical (military experience) and idealogical (cultural philosophy) combined with stellar writing skills coerce readers into his impartial analysis of what is happening in Iraq. For those only wanting to hear good news from Iraq (Bushites) this book will humble your lofty dreams. For those whose complete source is the short sighted biased national media who believe the Iraqi War has been a complete failure, well you will be stumped by Yon’s presentation of success stories among US military and Iraqi citizens.

Yon provides a treasureable method of analyzing morale. It is not only effective in the military, but also at in the corporate office, sports teams, and any other area where you have leaders and followers.

” As I traveled around with SCM Mellinger, I watched for signs of the state of morale in the face of these horrors. Gauging morale is not a simple affair of asking a few soldiers how they are feeling today. Happy soldiers may complain loudly, while profoundly depressed, demoralized, and angry ones might stay quiet. A person must live with them and keep eyes and ears open for a range of signs. High-morale troops are disciplined and focused  on the mission. They keep their quarters neat and their weapons clean. When they’re not out in the field, they drill and practice and learn new skills to keep their edge.
Bad morale reveals itself through apathy. Soldiers might be quiet and sullen. When they do speak, it’s often in argument. They neglect the mission and focus on their own needs and feelings. They become petty, complain about small problems, and become risk-averse. They find ways to look like they’re doing their job instead of doing it.”

So how is your morale in your marriage, in your family, at your church, at your job, at your school, on your team?

Tony Eubanks (Clemson University Spiritual Life Coach)

I had the opportunity to attend the NCCAA National Convention in Greenville, SC last weekend. Tony Eubanks did a session on Leadership Development that encouraged us to be engaged in serving the students we coach. Tony graduated from Tennessee Temple University and played basketball under the leadership of Ron Bishop, President of Score International.

Tony gave us six reminders in leadership following his message on Christ in John 17.  

1. Be an authority figure to the athletes (Nothing worse than a leader with a noodle as a back bone)
2. Be an example
3. Be a decision maker
4. Be a friend
5. Be an inspiriation
6. Be prepared for controversy

Tony closed by telling us that his goal is to encourage two people in the Lord on a daily basis. After hearing remarks from Tony about the life of Tommy Bowden it almost makes me a Clemson football fan.