18 May 2019


By Andy Weddington
Saturday, 18 May 2019

The will to succeed is important, but what's more important is the will to prepare. Bobby Knight

Last evening in a small deli in a quaint part of Omaha one of America's combatant commanders spoke words of warm welcome to a handful of officers and their spouses followed by heartfelt words of farewell to another handful of officers and spouses.


Good people moving on. 

Good people moving in.

And not a fraction of a beat skips Strategic Command. 

Whilst America at-large is none the wiser about the protective umbrella safeguarding life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  

I write about the brilliant, capable people who fight America's nuclear weapons - under the mantra 'Peace is Our Profession.' 

To see them in casual civilian attire, camouflaged really, ambling along a city street or sitting in a deli on a Friday night you'd never guess; the hardships, sacrifices, and risks selflessly volunteered to country.   

Smart. Educated. Trained. Focused. Serious folks - experts in nuclear warfare - entrusted with unimaginable responsibility(s). 

Listening to that four-star general briefly recap careers (of the comers and goers) while highlighting a personal note or two about each was a lesson in leadership. And a lot more.

Some remarks prepared. The impromptu best.  

This morning while reflecting on the evening over coffee and catching up on news flashed across the screen a segment teaser: It's commencement season. 

Which led me to wonder, if ever asked, what advice to offer new graduates.

With age and the scars of tough lessons that simple is best the starting premise - as it's path least likely to break - "I WILL" came to mind. 

So, graduates, for success, it's this simple ... 

Integrity - is not situational. Integrity leads all else.

Win - play fair. Win, with grace. With grace, lose. 

Invest - in self (prepare to be your best). Invest that best in others. 

Love - what you do. Love others, too. 

Live - every moment. Live as example.

The well-rounded roll through life. 

Rectangles not so much. 

Be a wheel, the bumps easier to absorb. 

Say, "I WILL!"


Jim said...

Very well put Andy my friend. At my ripe age of knocking on the door of 79 I think I would rather say I have. Having commanded a small but worthwhile organization of Young Marines I feel that I am paying back for the glorious years someone allowed me to serve our once great nation. Since I have nine grandchildren and five children all coming-of-age I have been to numerous commitments. Most I found lacking meaning; standard Phrases like do well Lottie Dottie Dottie Dottie Dottie Dottie. I do remember the commencement of one of my granddaughters from Eastern Illinois University many years ago she’s 29 now. The speaker wasn’t something that I would call great but he left them with some words that have stuck in my mind ever since . He said “always do what you said you were going to do when you said you were going to do it.” That simple phrase stuck in my mind because I always thought that I did what I said I was going to do when I said I was going to do it, so I think while I accept your thoughts. Me think I would rather say I have. thank you andy for a superb post . Sign me as an Admirer, Jim.

Unknown said...

Well stated; precisely and with minimal words. Excellent.