the Madness of the Combat Medic: How American’s Lead


The motto of the US Army Infantry is “Follow me”. Every infantryman from the lowest private to the highest general is expected to lead the way regardless of the personal danger. The Elite of the US Army Infantry are the Paratroopers, and in the Airborne the Officer is always the first out of the plane. First to hit the DZ, and first to get shot at. When the 29th Infantry Division landed on Normandy beach the mission had gone all to hell, it took a Sergeant here a Lieutenant there, to create impromptu units, and storm the fortifications. Once the Engineers were able to clear the majority of the obstacles the Assistant Division Commander for the 29th Infantry Division, Norman Cota, in overall command of what was left of the first wave turned to the commander of his most elite unit under his command, 5th Ranger Bn, Major Max Schneider and ordered “Rangers, Lead the Way!”

via the Madness of the Combat Medic: How American’s Lead.

A good primer on leadership fundamentals. I’m going to have to pay more attention to the Mad Medic.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “the Madness of the Combat Medic: How American’s Lead

  1. Not a bad piece. However, the answer “I don’t know” is not illegitimate. There are times you will be forced to proceed even if that is the answer, such as when you are under fire and you have to act immediately. As they tried to drill into us at OCS, a poor decision now will usually be better than the perfect decision later.

    In the civilian world, however, you will generally have the luxury of getting the answer before proceeding and when that’s the case saying anything other than “I don’t know” is illegitimate.

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