To Be and What Not to Be: A Critical Analysis on Anton Myrer's Once An Eagle

Essay by olemissman2004University, Master'sA+, March 2004

download word file, 6 pages 3.0

I believe you assigned this book for us to read because it is a clear representation of what it means and takes to be a great officer in the United States Army. It has taught me a lot of positive and negative attributes of leadership. Sam Damon represents everything that an officer should be, and Courtney Massengale represents everything that you hope your superiors are not. After reading this book I can ask myself, when encountered with a difficult problem, "What would Sam Damon do?" This book has taught me several very important lessons about leadership.

First, I must choose the harder right. I strongly believe that a good officer is one that is not afraid to go that extra mile to ensure the safety and welfare of the soldiers under his command, this is very rarely easier than just doing the minimum. Secondly, a leader must remain calm in all situations.

The soldiers under the command of a nervous and indecisive leader will tend to act in the same way, they actually "inherit" some of the traits that their commanding officer portrays, both on the battlefield and in garrison. If a leader even seems indecisive and unsure of him/her self then the soldiers he/she commands will be hesitant about following the orders they are issued, and hesitation on the battlefield does nothing more than cost lives. Next, I'd like to touch on the fact that in the army talent must be promoted. One should not be afraid to promote officers that have greater aptitude than that they possess. If talent had not been promoted, then Sam Damon would not have been able to create such a positive impact on the Army, and a few more soldiers could have lost their lives in combat.

One negative aspect of Sam...