Advice from the Old Sarge

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I dropped out of college in 1966 and enlisted in the Marine Corps. Toward the end of my training I was asked by the company commander if I wanted to apply for Officer Candidate School. Since it was “only” going to add a couple of years to my enlistment I applied.

With some hard work (OCS was physically harder than boot camp, but not as tough psychologically) and luck, I made it through and was going to be commissioned. My mother, father, and fiancé (now my bride of almost 53 years) flew out to Virginia for the ceremony. My mom and Marge pinned on my shiny new bars and I was expecting a snappy salute from my dad, the old WWII Sarge.

He walked up to me and before he gave me his salute he reverted to “dad mode.” He poked his finger (hard) into my chest and said “Remember, your only job is to take care of your troops!” Then he gave me his salute.

That was the best leadership advice I ever received.

During these tough times I wish more executives had my dad around to remind them of their most important job.

Listen to the old Sarge, take care of your troops.

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