Leading in the Three-Meter Zone

Up out of the Bunker Archives – 1999.

Also published in the Field Artillery Journal. May-June 99

The choice of non-commissioned officers is an object of the greatest importance: The order and discipline of a regiment depends so much upon their behaviour, that too much care cannot be taken in preferring none to that trust but those who by their merit and good conduct are entitled to it. Honesty, sobriety, and a remarkable attention to every point of duty, with a neatness in their dress, are indispensable requisites; a spirit to command respect and obedience from the men, an expertness in performing every part of the exercise, and an ability to teach it, are absolutely necessary, nor can a sergeant or corporal be said to be qualified who does not write and read in a tolerable manner.”-Major General Friedrich Baron von Steuben, Baron Von Steuben’s Revolutionary War Drill Manual: A Facsimile Reprint of the 1794 Edition (Dover Military History, Weapons, Armor)

In the beginning, standing between independence and the superpower of the day, we were an Army of citizen soldiers in desperate need of professional leadership, discipline, and training. Today, we’re the world’s best trained, most powerful, and professionally led Army. We owe our strength to a willingness to change when necessary and the good sense to understand and leave alone the enduring things that must never change. Ours has been a dramatic evolution from a collection of citizen soldier militia units to the force of Desert Storm.  (continue reading)