Why had our team always done everything the hard way?
In no particular order.
Seth Godin - Delivering on never
Richard spent less than one month in Korea. In September of 1951, a Navy Chaplain and a Marine Corps Reserve Officer visited 1304 Guns Road in Bellevue, Wisconsin and delivered an American flag, a prayer book for Catholic servicemen, 3 medals including this Purple Heart and a letter from his Commanding Officer. Richard was dead. I cannot recount the grief of his mother Elouise, his father Bernard or his brother Jerry. But, I don't doubt that Richard fulfilled both his parents' wishes - He certainly made it into heaven and he even raised some hell.
So, I ask each of you today to consider that words have meaning and actions have consequences. Why do I tell you this? Because you need to know that I am going to use some words to describe Top Rogers that have lost their meaning through overuse in our every day language.
I met Top Rogers nearly 10 years ago and I've followed his career with keen interest ever since. He is the finest Marine I have ever been associated with in my 26 years of Naval service. I have not said before this of any other Marine. I will never say it again. I do not mean to even remotely suggest to you that Top Rogers is a politically correct Marine. He is not, was not, and never will be. He speaks his mind freely to all who will listen, kind of like our Master Chief John Vincent. So, don't ask him what he thinks unless you really want to know. Because, he will tell you. And you, in all probability, will not like it.
He will tell you that his Marine Corps is not the place for social experiments. You don't need to talk to Top about equal opportunity because he doesn't believe in hyphenated Marines. There are no Black Marines, White Marines, Hispanic Marines, Asian Marines or even Catholic or Jewish Marines. These men and women are United States Marines, straight up, tried and true. They truly are THE FEW - THE PROUD. They are his Marines and this has been his Marine Corps - America's most valued institution -- fundamentally unchanged in over 225 years. I don' think we would want it any other way. I don't think America could afford to have it any other way.
2 years ago, Marine Corps Commandant General Jones was satisfied that the Marine Corps was on the right track when he assumed command. His first order to the Marines was "continue to march."
Top Rogers, as you conclude your career I say, "continue to march."
And I hope you make it into heaven because God knows you have raised enough hell.
I served on the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) staff as the Branch Chief for Information Assurance (J6K) and on the Secretary of Defense's staff as Staff Director for the Detainee Task Force from 2003 to 2006. I am fairly certain I am the least decorated O6 during that time but I am proud to have this letter instead
- U.S. Army War College student observation
Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale - One of the five characteristics of a leader
Many professionals do not want to write because they feel by doing so they are telling people how to think or that no one will even care what the author, regardless of rank, thinks about a subject. What I have learned over the years is that published ideas, both good and bad, serve as a fuel for workplace conversations. And these conversations, which are a form of professional development, can have positive second and third order effects that the author never intended.
For example, an article about improving performance counseling could lead to leaders reassessing and eventually changing their counseling programs in a unit on the other side of the globe. The changes may not be exactly in line with the article, but it was the article that got that commander or first sergeant thinking and talking about counseling in the first place.
Much more is available HERE.