T

he following is a collection of the writings of SGM Dan Cartwright, USA (Ret).  They are meant to foster encouragement to those engaged in Christian life within the military.  Just an old retired soldier sharing his heart with those who serve us.  Dan Cartwright is a 28-year veteran of the Special Forces.  He also serves as the Chairman of the CMF Board of Directors.

Special Forces

Day One - Basic Training: Unit One - Mission Analysis - Decision Making
One thing I learned from serving in the military was the art of decision making.  It was a subject that appeared at every level of leadership and career development training in the Army, at least before this guy retired.  I am certain that decision making is among the hottest topics at schools in the other military branches as well.  We had the decision making process down to a science; define the problem, develop solutions or courses of action and analyze each one, determine the best course of action, make a decision and go for it.  Decision matrixes were even developed to assist in the process in which different courses of actions could be placed along with their good and bad points, numeric values could be assigned and a decision adopted based on the sum of values. To crusty old noncommissioned officers like me, much of it seemed to be common sense, but it was also good to have a process articulated so that it could be taught to those younger soldiers who were on a career path and not just doing their 'time'. read more ...

Day Two - Basic Training: Unit One - Mission Preparation 101 - Mission Focus
In my years serving in military, it seemed like we spent most of our time training.  We were either honing our skills or conducting training missions patterned after actual missions that we might be called upon to perform.  Just about everything we did revolved around one specific mission or another.  Real missions dictated how we trained, what skills we developed and sharpened.  We focused on even the smallest detail.  When we actually deployed, we were given operations orders, the first important line of which was the mission statement. read more ...

Day Three - Basic Training: Unit One - Mission Preparation 102 - Attitude Check
I met Wally while attending the Defense Language Institute in California.  He was an Army helicopter pilot attending a Spanish course while I was trying to learn Polish.  I met him in church and he and his wife sort of adopted me, since I was there without my family members, who remained at my home station in Massachusetts.  We spent quite a bit time together and became really close as a couple of guys and brothers in faith.  We did a lot of things together over the several months we were students at the language school.  I have several stories about Wally, but this is the one that still remains indelibly in my memory. read more ...

Day Four - Basic Training: Unit One - Overt Tactics - Called to be Peacemakers
Have you ever wondered what your purpose or calling in life is?  I know I have.  All through high school and some college (before money dried up), I had goals of some sort and thought I knew what I wanted to do with my life.  I joined the Army to jump out of perfectly good airplanes and thought that would be it.  A Special Forces recruiter showed up at basic training one day and then I knew I had found my calling!  Then, some years later, God invaded my heart with his love, called me back to himself and I was wondering all over again.  There seemed to be more questions than ever. read more ...

Day Five - Basic Training: Unit One - Covert Tactics - Escape and Evasion
I remember a certain training exercise in Denmark during which being captured at least once was almost inevitable due the sparse foliage and the 'enemy' having some very good search dogs.  I learned a lot about paranoia when, after having been captured and having been released in the middle of nowhere, I had to find my way to a predetermined link-up point to rejoin my detachment.  It was necessary to travel during daylight hours which was difficult enough, and the sound of barking dogs seemed to be everywhere!  They were mostly dogs hunting game animals with their masters, but I assumed they were enemy search dogs after me.  Well, I made the link-up and our team continued to the next mission target.  What a sense of relief! read more ...

Day Six - Basic Training: Unit One - The Ultimate Goal - Pass in Review
As military folks, I think we have all found ourselves on an open parade field at one time or another, sharply dressed in our uniforms, proud to be serving our country, maybe listening to our commander speaking to and encouraging the troops. On the other hand, it might have been a hot, humid summer day and we might have been just waiting for the 'Pass In Review!' command because that would mean it was almost over and we could go home. We might have been in the stands watching. It can certainly be a grand occasion with the formations of troops, the marching band, flags flying and all the pomp and circumstance. I wasn't among the marchers at my all time favorite parade field ceremony. I was watching my son marching past at his graduation ceremony from MP school. A little fatherly pride showing here, I'm afraid. But this isn't about me. read more ...

Day Seven - Basic Training: Unit One - Navigation 101 - Land Navigation
In my younger days on a Special Forces detachment specializing in warfare in mountainous terrain, we actually carried small altimeters that, when set properly, could help us maintain a level traverse along a mountainside.  Existing paths were rarely used. We could actually navigate along the brown contour lines that were only seen on military maps.  With map, compass and a good altimeter we would chart our course through rugged terrain.  Navigation became more challenging at night.  When the weather was clear we might have some moonlight, depending upon the current moon phase, and of course we had NOD's (Night Vision Devices).  Travel at night and rest during the day was an ironclad rule, violated only when absolutely necessary to accomplish the mission. read more ...

Day Eight - Basic Training: Unit Two - Tactics - Targets of Opportunity
The scene is at night around a warm fire in a forest clearing somewhere in Pennsylvania.  The entire team is there, relaxing in the base camp after a day of practicing patrolling skills.  It's a peaceful environment, free of hostile enemy, hence the warm fire.  The team medic, John, started asking me questions about some things he had heard from a girl from Boston he had been dating.  It sounded to me like she had been telling John about her church and some if its doctrine.  Anyway, I was able to answer his questions because I was very familiar with the teachings of that particular denomination.  However, my discussion with John was just the tip of the iceberg! read more ...

Day Nine - Basic Training: Unit Two - Fitness Training - Pain Builds Character
This was a favorite saying of an "A" team operations sergeant I once worked with.  I was on his team.  We mostly heard it uttered in the middle of rigorous physical training, heavy breathing and lots of sweat, not to mention the body aches.  The training was  hard, but it was worth it in both physical and mental terms.  Our team sergeant was teaching us the art of self-discipline.  He was also helping us to learn that this lesson comes with a cost.  After we had paid that cost, the result was that we were prepared physically and mentally to handle any mission! read more ...

Day Ten - Basic Training: Unit Two - Unit Cohesion - The Buddy System
For as far back in the military as I remember, all the way to basic training in fact, there was some sort of buddy system in place.  We didn't have formal 'Battle Buddies' like today's Army basic training but the system was definitely in place.  There has always been a buddy system in Ranger and Scuba schools, we had a system in Special Forces training, and we always operated in pairs on the battlefield or in hostile territory.  A 'Lone Ranger' mentality had no place and 'solo' missions were extremely rare.  Maybe that's why I have a problem with the current advertisements that tell prospective recruits they can be an "Army of One". read more ...

Day Eleven - Basic Training: Unit Two - Nutrition 101
We all know the proper diet is important.  Moms take great pains to provide their children with the right foods that contain all the right vitamins and minerals.  I remember food groups from health class and the balanced diets placards in the school cafeterias.  When I was a young single soldier living in the barracks and eating in the dining facility, a well-balanced diet was again available to me.  I think all of the military services provide the troops the opportunity to have a well balanced, low-cost diet. read more ...

Day Twelve - Basic Training: Unit Two - Leadership 101 - The Example of Others
One of the main subjects taught at military leadership schools revolves around leadership traits and principles.  When I was struggling through university-level studies for a management degree we discussed leadership from the private sector corporate perspective, with all the latest buzzwords and techniques.  At one point we had a homework assignment to think of someone we considered a leader and be able to share our thoughts with the class at the next session.  I listened quietly during my classmates' offerings of familiar historical figures, then took my turn. read more ...

Day Thirteen - Basic Training: Unit Two - Communication 101 - Getting Past the Filters
Why is it that you can discuss just about anything, including some religions, but if you talk about the one true God, folks seem to get upset? read more ...

Day Fourteen - Basic Training: Unit Two - Security 101 - Guard Duty
I hated guard duty and don't remember many soldiers that didn't feel the same way.  Walking in endless circles around the commissary or "PX" (Post Exchange) wasn't anyone's idea of being a 'real' soldier, especially in miserable, cold rainy weather. read more ...

Day Fifteen - Basic Training: Unit Three - Training for Success - Dare to Succeed!
'Dare to Succeed!' - Words in big bold print at the top of a brochure that arrives in the mail.  Infomercials with good looking motivational speakers telling us how to buy property for a buck and change and sell it for thousands.  Endless junk email, with get rich quick schemes of some sort or another. Success is all about how much money you can make and how much time you can spend lounging around the pool in your backyard while you effortlessly make money following their methods.  They lied! read more ...

Day Sixteen - Basic Training: Unit Three - Focus Points - Eyes on the Goal
Twelve-mile rucksack marches were just a part of our periodic certification.  We had to carry a minimum of 45 pounds in our "rucks", plus weapons and load bearing equipment.  A 3 hour completion time was a mandatory goal and 2 ½ hours was my personal goal.  There were times along the route that it was necessary to suck it in, pick a spot up ahead along the road like a tree, telephone post or hilltop and just press on.  Our team maintained our certification and I even hit my personal goal a few times.  Focusing on something and tuning out the pain really helped. read more ...

Day Seventeen - Basic Training: Unit Three - Field Manuals - Which One is for Me?
Every branch of the military has a ton of manuals. In the Army we had Field Manuals (FMs) for training and war, and technical manuals (TMs) for technical specialties.  I like to think of the Bible as FM-1.  There are several good translations to choose from. Which Bible translation should I read?  Which one is the best? There are some folks out there with lots of letters after their names that argue about this issue!  And what about all the foreign language Bible translations? read more ...

Day Eighteen - Basic Training: Unit Three - Joint Operations - Multianational Forces
My last overseas assignment was at a NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) headquarters in Naples, Italy.  Armed Forces South (AFSOUTH) had representatives from several nations, and from all military branches within those nations.  I learned lot about multinational corporations while working on a college degree and have received first hand experience since retirement from the Army.  We have seen UN (United Nations) and NATO operations across the globe.  Forces from some nations seem to have majority representation in these kinds of operations and seem to be doing most of the work. read more ...

Day Nineteen - Basic Training: Unit Three - Training Preparation - Prerequisites
Since my retirement from the military I’ve been employed by technical businesses in their training departments.  It was a natural extension of my military career but now I get to carry a business card that says I am a ‘Training Engineer’.  I think I have either been involved in being trained or training others for most of my adult life.  Having said that, I am reminded that there always seemed to be a list of prerequisites for attending most types of training.  Certain test scores had to have been achieved, skills had to have been mastered, specific schools attended or career levels attained.  In retrospect, it was a very sensible and efficient way to produce qualified soldiers with the minimum expenditure of training dollars.  Is there anything familiar to you here? read more ...

Day Twenty - Basic Training: Unit Three - Personal Hygiene - Sweet Aroma
There is a certain hotel in Cupertino, California (Greater San Francisco Bay Area, alias "Silicone Valley")that has an elevator with a very unusual characteristic.  When entering this elevator, in the early morning hours, I became surrounded by the distinct and wonderful smell of breakfast!  I noticed that the elevator was located quite some distance from the ground floor lobby, dining room and kitchen.  As I exited I noticed that this tantalizing aroma was absent from the hallway!  I think they must open a can of "Fragrance of Breakfast" intentionally pipe it through the elevator vents so that guests will be enticed to partake of the fare in the hotel dining room at fifteen dollars a head. read more ...

Day Twenty-one - Basic Training: Unit Three - Battle Ready - All the Way, Sir!
It was a greeting delivered along with the salute required when enlisted soldiers passed officers anywhere on Smoke Bomb Hill, the home of the Army Special Operations Command and Special Forces school at Ft. Bragg, NC. When rendered proudly, ‘All the Way, Sir!’ was more than just a greeting. It was delivered with a turn of the head, eye-to-eye contact, two soldiers of different ranks, united in purpose and dedicated to the SF motto “De Oppresso Liber!” – “To Liberate the Oppressed!” It conveyed an attitude of the spirit of the SF soldier, well trained and ready to carry out whatever mission necessary, whatever the cost, no questions asked. read more ...

Day Twenty-two - Intermediate Training: Unit One - Force Planning - Doctrines and Principles
In the military, much is said about doctrine and principles, in just about any format imaginable! Adequate training and preparation for war fighting is critical. Because of this the United States Army, in 1973, created the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Their intent was to consolidate Army combat development activities and formulate doctrine to be used throughout the Army. These war fighting principles, defined within this body of doctrine, form the building blocks for training soldiers and are key to success on the battlefield. Setting aside or forgetting sound principles often has disastrous results. read more ...

Day Twenty-three - Intermediate Training: Unit One: Team Building 101 - Maximizing Skills and Talent
During the early stages of Special Forces training, I was asked what SF specialty I wanted to pursue in Phase II of my SF training. I could become a medic, radio operator, engineer (demolitions), light or heavy weapons specialist, or junior operations and intelligence (O&I) specialist. Since the path to eventually becoming an SF Team Sergeant and running my own ‘A’ Team (the most prestigious position in SF) required being O&I qualified, O&I training was my first choice. read more ...

Day Twenty-four - Intermediate Training: Unit One - Selfless Service 101 - Whose Life is it, Anyway?
Bob was a remarkable, young and single SF soldier. Not only was he good at his job, he continuously sought opportunities to become a better soldier, such as attending and graduating from the Special Forces HALO school. HALO stands for High Altitude, Low Opening, or parachuting at altitudes higher that radar can detect and opening one’s parachute lower than radar normally detects. He was also a dedicated Christian, who sought opportunities to present the Gospel to his fellow comrades-in-arms. I can remember one day entering the barracks building where Bob resided and watching him begin to share the gospel to another single soldier, as we were walking up the stairs to the second floor. Later Bob told me that he had asked God for some sort of a sign that it was His time and I walked into the building. He took my entrance as his sign since he knew that I would support him, if needed. read more ...

Day Twenty-five - Intermediate Training: Unit One - Improvised Demoliitions - Breaching Walls
This morning I was listening to a song about breaking down walls and I couldn’t help but think about all of the walls I encountered in my SF career. Walls outside and inside of buildings; walls I had to climb up or rappel down; walls of brick, wood, plaster and ice; walls we had to blow through and walls with doors we could move through. Believe me when I say that we knew lots of ways to deal with walls that impeded the mission. It was also quite normal for us to have to use whatever explosives we carried along with common materials to construct the demolitions charges required to breach walls that needed to be gotten through. The point here is that walls had to be destroyed in the normal course of the mission. read more ...

Day Twenty-six - Intermediate Training: Unit One - Strategic Principles - Force Multiplication
Special operations forces (SOF) are sometimes called ‘force multipliers’ because they can turn small numbers of military or paramilitary fighters into larger numbers of well-trained soldiers. The types of missions that result in force multiplication date back at least to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in WWII, when small numbers of operators infiltrated into areas controlled by Nazi Germany to train existing underground forces. The awesome impact of a small group of men that has the capability of literally training a small army has caused enemies of the United States to dispatch very large numbers of troops to try and capture a few well trained and effective ‘force multipliers’. This same principal of force multiplication is prevalent today around the world where Special Forces is involved in training other countries’ forces for a variety of missions. read more ...

Day Twenty-seven - Intermediate Training: Unit One - Leadership Principles - Commander's Open Door
I can’t remember when I first became aware of an ‘open door policy’, the mechanism by which a soldier could express concerns or grievances directly to a company commander. Open door policies were designed to provide direct access to unit commanders when using the normal chain of command or established policies and procedures did not seem to be operating properly. Prior to such policies, soldiers rarely, if ever, had direct access to their unit commanders. The commander’s open door policy served to encourage the chain of leadership to operate smoothly, as well provided a ‘last resort’ in case of a leadership or procedural breakdown. Although in my 28 years of service I only remember going directly to my commander a couple of times in order to resolve issues, it was comforting to know that such an avenue for solving problems existed, even though the commander’s door was open to anyone and everyone only an hour or two during a normal week. After all, commanders are very busy persons and really cannot afford to be available to anyone and everyone all day, every day. read more ...

Day Twenty-eight - Intermediate Training: Unit One - Protective Armor - Kevlar and Faith
Kevlar is the trademarked name of poly-para-phenylene terephthalamide, a nylonlike polymer that was first produced by Du Pont in 1971. Kevlar can be made into tough, stiff, high-melting fibers and is five times stronger per weight than steel. That’s pretty impressive. Kevlar has a wide variety of applications, the most familiar use being protective clothing, particularly the Kevlar helmet and vest used by military and law enforcement personnel. read more ...

Day Twenty-nine - Intermediate Training: Unit One - Verifiable Intellegence - The Human Factor
One important Special Forces mission has always been intelligence gathering. Intelligence reports from the field have their own specific format and include ratings for the reliability and verifiability of the information. The most trusted sources of information received high reliability ratings. Verifiable information is that which can be verified by multiple sources, including human eyes ‘on the ground’. In many cases, human intelligence, (HUMINT) is the only reliable and verifiable information! As an example, consider a requirement to positively identify enemy forces and positions on the ground when both enemy and friendly forces use a lot of the same weapons, wear the same sort of clothing and have no distinctions discernable from aerial surveillance. It is in just such a case that there must be ‘eyes on the ground’ verification. read more ...

Day Thirty - Intermediate Training: Unit Two - Relentless Pursuit - You Can Run but You Can't Hide
During the war against terrorism, that began after the New York World Trade Center disaster, the U.S. Defense Secretary was reported to have considered the use of American Special Operations Forces (SOF) to capture or kill terrorist leaders outside of their ‘home turf’. Whether the relentless pursuit of an enemy as a tactic is necessary or could even be successful in eliminating the threat might be a matter of debate. However, the message to terrorists clear, they can run but they can’t hide. A terrorist on the run without safe haven anywhere on the planet would have reason to be more than a little paranoid. Life becomes rather uncomfortable for that individual, to say the least. read more ...

Day Thirty-one - Intermediate Training: Unit Two - Personal Improvement - Measureing Growth
I will never forget when, in basic training, I was first able to knock out fifty pushups in a row. Considering my chosen lifestyle before enlisting in the Army, it was quite a feat! Years later, as a senior NCO and a student at the Defense Language Institute in California, it was nothing to roll out of my bunk early in the morning and knock out eighty pushups followed by eighty sit-ups. Through the years it had been necessary to reach higher and higher levels of physical fitness. read more ...

Day Thirty-two - Intermediate Training: Unit Two - Personal Development - Mental Conditioning
Just about anyone who has undertaken an intense regimen of physical conditioning has also experienced and understands the value of the mental conditioning that is an essential ingredient for achieving physical goals. When those goals are part of a continuous certification process for remaining part of a special operations unit, mental conditioning can be even more significant. Among my fondest memories there is a particular twelve-mile stretch of terrain that included Ft. Devens, Massachusetts and the federal terrain that consisted of a large training area and live fire munitions ranges. Part of those twelve miles was a section known as ‘Range Road’. It was asphalt and marked with telephone poles at regular intervals as it cut its path through the training area next to a series of firing ranges. That twelve miles, including Range Road, was the route used for an evaluated road march for which every soldier had to wear a 45 pound rucksack (minimum weight), load bearing equipment (LBE) and carry an M-16 rifle. Minimum completion time was 3 hours for the twelve-mile distance. The more competitive types went for such time goals as 2 ½ or even 2 hours. In any case, by the time Range Road was reached, it was necessary to forcefully focus one’s mind on something other than aches, pains and hot, tired and sometimes blistered feet. read more ...

Day Thirty-three - Intermediate Training: Unit Two: Personal Developement - Radical Change
I have the privilege of participating in a weekly fellowship lunch in one of the dining facilities on Ft. Carson, Colorado. From the outside, the building containing the facility looks exactly the same as it did when constructed, probably more than fifteen years ago. Internally, however there have been many changes through the years. What amazes me is the number of choices the modern soldier has concerning cuisine! There are two different hot food lines (real food on one side and fast food junk on the other), a complete soup and salad bar, a cold sandwich section, beverages of all sorts, as well as a variety of desserts. Indeed there is something for everyone - or is there? read more ...

Day Thirty-four - Intermediate Training: Unit Two - Mission Preparation - Understading the Task
Mission: At 150335Z Mar ODA-315 will infiltrate operational area Tiger, move to the selected target, a communications facility located at 32TUT31957328 and destroy both the main radio transmitters and the broadcast antenna tower. Target will be destroyed no earlier than 180200Z Mar but not later than 180400Z Mar. read more ...

Day Thirty-five - Intermediate Training: Unit Two - Operational Readiness - Rapid Deployment
Just about anyone who serves in military combat units has had the privilege of participating in a unit operational readiness test of some sort. It might have slightly different names in different branches of service, but the goal is the same - to assess the ability of a unit to meet deployment requirements in the event of war. Some units, such as special operations and rapid deployment forces are required to deploy from home stations more quickly than others. One of my fondest memories involves being alerted in the wee hours of the morning and being on an aircraft within a matter of hours, headed for a distant drop zone and knowing that we would not receive the exact details of the mission until we had reached our destination. Such is life in the world of special operations. Maintaining a posture of constant readiness for immediate deployment was routine. read more ...

Day Thirty-six - Intermediate Training: Unit Three - Professional Development - Power of Motivation
During a period of United States history known for peace, love, and flower children a particular song hit the top of the charts, and remained there for five weeks in spite of the fact that didn't it fit the pop culture mold of the times. The song was The Ballad of the Green Berets. While this skinny kid from San Antonio loved the song, becoming one of 'America's best' was not even on the radarscope of human possibility. After the skinny kid enlisted an SF recruiter hit Ft. Polk, Louisiana, one thing led to another and about a year and a half later a skinny kid from Texas became a Special Forces soldier. To say that a high degree of personal motivation was involved in the process might be an understatement. Motivation became a passionate self-determination and that determination to become one of 'America's best' eventually prevailed. The same principles of motivation and self-determination toward success are at work to some degree in the life of anyone who enlists in any branch of military service or pursues a career anywhere in the civilian world. The degree of success a person achieves can be directly related to that person's level of passion for his or her chosen endeavor. read more ...

Day Thirty-seven - Intermediate Training: Unit Three - Principles for Success - Right Stuff
A Special Forces team preparing for a mission calculates the precise amount of explosives necessary to destroy a specified target. The team infiltrates enemy territory to carry out the mission. A mission support site (MSS) is established where at least two team members secure and guard any equipment and materials not essential to the target hit. The team travels by foot under cover of darkness to the target site, where a two-man surveillance team is waiting. The operations sergeant is updated on enemy activity at the target while the other members of the assault team await final instructions. A whisper travels from a team member through several team members to the operations sergeant. read more ...

Day Thirty-eight - Intermediate Training: Unit Three - Mission Survival - Rally Points
A Special Operations team has been inserted into enemy territory to locate and provide surveillance on suspected enemy missile sites and to assist in bringing in friendly fighter aircraft to destroy those targets. This team could be U.S. Army Special Forces, U.S. Marine Force Recon, British SAS, or men from any another country that is part of a Joint Forces operation to defeat the enemy. Once on the ground, this team must travel anywhere from 10 to 20 kilometers to the surveillance location. At strategic points along the carefully planned route there are rally points to be used in the event the team is split up or compromised and must regroup to decide whether to continue the mission or request extraction. Multiple rally points are selected during mission planning and each team member commits their locations to memory! read more ...

Day Thirty-nine - Intermediate Training: Unit Three - Combat Operations Order - Commander's Intent
The commander's intent describes the desired end state. It is a concise expression of the purpose of the operation and must be understood two echelons below the issuing commander . . . It is the single unifying focus for all subordinate elements. It is not a summary of the concept of the operation. Its purpose is to focus subordinates on the desired end state. Its utility is to focus subordinates on what has to be accomplished in order to achieve success . . .and to discipline their efforts toward that end. read more ...

Day Forty - Intermediate Training: Unit Three - Positive Principles - Remembering Our Roots
I'll never forget the day, when after having completed the rigorous year long training program, I finally won the coveted Green Beret! Talk about a sense of pride and accomplishment! Then I was assigned to a real SF unit and became the 'baby' on an SF 'A' Detachment. It didn't take long to realize that the real work had just begun. There was a career ahead of me filled with more schools, more training, more sweat and more pain. Looking back from the present with my 20/20 hindsight I am not at all certain which was the greater challenge - two years of intense training to make the cut; or the dedication and effort it took to remain 'in the game' for the next 25 years. So what's my point? The point is simply that it took a lot of hard work - work to make the cut and work to stay in the game read more ...

Day Forty-one - Intermediate Training: Unit Three - Positive Principles - Power to Obey
As of this date I am in Kirkush, Iraq serving as one of about twenty drill sergeants for the New Iraqi Army (NIA) training program. Without going into great detail, I must confess that I am beginning to think that nothing short of a miracle will instill a spirit of willing obedience into the hearts of our trainees. The trainees here with prior experience in the old Iraqi Army have even informed us that obedience is just not in the nature of the average young Iraqi male. read more ...

Day Forty-Two - Intermediate Training: Unit Three - Positive Principles - The Results of Obedience
Ideally, soldiers obey their leaders because they are loyal to their profession, dedicated to accomplishing the mission at hand, and because they are trained to obey commands.  The soldier who obeys because he fears the results of disobedience doesn't last long as a soldier, at least not in any of the elite combat units.  When strong moral leadership and loyal obedience combine with mutual respect and admiration, the result is the successful performance of the mission at hand, the inner sense of accomplishment for a job well done, and sometimes a more tangible reward presented in a public venue to honor the soldier who went ‘above and beyond’ the normal call of duty. read more ...