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Tags: bradley | schwarzkopf | york

Veterans Consistently Teach Service, Teamwork and Bravery

omar bradley in group photo taken decades ago

U.S. Gens. Matthew Ridgway (2nd L), NATO Supreme Allied Commander and Omar Bradley (3rd L), then Chairman of the U.S. Joint Staff Committee, André François-Poncet, Ambassador of France (3rd R), French Marshal Alphonse Juin and French Gen. Roger Noiret (D), Director of Maneuvers and commander in chief of the French Forces in Germany at maneuvers of NATO - Sept. 8, 1952. (AFP via Getty Images)

Kent Ingle By Friday, 11 November 2022 03:43 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

It’s time we put election results on pause and pay tribute to our veterans.

Our democracy thrives because of the sacrifices servicemembers made to preserve the freedoms we enjoy daily.

Originally known as Armistice Day, November 11 commemorated the end of World War I and the global goal of world peace.

In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower renamed the holiday Veterans Day to honor all who served in the United States Armed Forces.

Nearly a century later, world peace continues to be jeopardized  with Russia invading Ukraine and nuclear threats from North Korea.

As we watch these conflicts unravel, it should remind us of the gravity of self-government and the important role our veterans played in order to safeguard our liberty.

At a Veterans Day ceremony in 1988, President Ronald Reagan said, "Our liberties, our values, all for which America stands is safe today because brave men and women have been ready to face the fire at freedom’s front."

Veterans embody the best of this great nation: courage, bravery, resilience and patriotism.

While we honor our veterans this holiday, there are many leadership principles we can learn from them.

Recognize Every Role Has Value in Contributing to a Common Goal.

For any team’s task or vision to be met, it requires the collaboration of every individual.

One leader who embodied this was General Omar Bradley. A five-star general, Bradley was known as the "G.I.’s General" because of his care and compassion for his soldiers.

During World War II, Bradley commanded 43 divisions and 1.3 million men.

Eisenhower chose Bradley to be the Army Group Commander for Operation Overlord, the invasion of France. Bradley led the U.S. First Army as it fought through Normandy.

After the war, Bradley was named the Bureau of Veterans Affairs administrator. Soon after, Bradley became the first Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman. He served two terms in this role before leaving. In 1977, Bradley was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

During a congressional hearing, Bradley delivered calls for service cooperation saying, "Each player on this team  whether he shines in the spotlight of the backfield or eats dirt in the line  must be all-American."

Bradley understood that moving toward a common goal required a team effort. Every individual on the team was valuable despite their role or position. Leaders must make sure every team member sees the importance of their efforts.

Step Out With Courage Even in the Midst of Fear

Our veterans displayed a remarkable level of bravery in their battles for our country.

A decorated general, H. Norman Schwarzkopf, admitted in an interview that there is nothing wrong with being afraid. He said, "True courage is not not being afraid. True courage is being afraid, and going ahead and doing your job anyhow, that’s what courage is."

Schwarzkopf commanded the U.S. Central Command and combined coalition forces during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. He served in the Army for 35 years, which included two tours in Vietnam and being named the Deputy Commander of the Joint Task Force when the U.S. invaded Grenada.

When he was a colonel, Schwarzkopf received word that some of his men were trapped in a minefield. He responded by going to the minefield to lead his men out. Although he was injured in the process, he garnered their respect due to his willingness to put his life on the line.

Schwarzkopf received many awards including three Silver Stars, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, five Distinguished Service Medals, the National Order of the Legion of Honor and many decorations from other countries.

Veterans like Schwarzkopf teach us that it’s okay to be afraid. Everyone experiences fear.

But fear cannot prevent leaders from stepping out to do what is asked of them.

Lead With Service in Mind

Veterans not only serve our country on the frontlines, but they also give back to their homeland. Veterans are more likely than non-military civilians to volunteer in their communities.

One of many veterans who served others was Alvin York. A notable hero of World War I, York’s unit captured more than 100 German prisoners. He became a national hero and was awarded the Medal of Honor and French Croix de Guerre.

Upon returning to civilian life, York established the York Agricultural Institute, now known as the Alvin C. York Institute, in Jamestown, Tennessee, to give rural children a chance to obtain a high school education. York toured the U.S. to raise funds for the school.

He wanted to be remembered as an educator who helped prepare the next generation.

Leaders must have a service-first mentality.

They should always be seeking ways they can make an impact in the lives of others and for the betterment of their communities.

Veterans Day is a reminder of the best of America  those who were willing to give up everything for a cause bigger than themselves.

While we can implement many of these leadership principles into our lives, let’s also set aside some time to celebrate veterans with words and actions.

Reach out to a veteran you know and express your gratitude. Send them a text or a letter thanking them for their service, or buy them a meal and take time to listen to their stories.

Take steps to give back to veterans by supporting an organization or business that invests in them and their families.

Pay tribute to a veteran who made the ultimate sacrifice by visiting their gravestone or reaching out to their family to thank them.

Veterans have made an incredible impact on our lives; it’s time we do something for them.

Dr. Kent Ingle serves as the president of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, one of the fastest growing private universities in the nation. A champion of innovative educational design, Ingle is the author of "Framework Leadership.'' Read Kent Ingle's Reports — More Here.

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KentIngle
Take steps to give back to veterans by supporting an organization or business that invests in them and their families. Pay tribute to a veteran who made the ultimate sacrifice by visiting their gravestone or reaching out to their family to thank them.
bradley, schwarzkopf, york
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Friday, 11 November 2022 03:43 PM
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