Thankfully, my fever broke last night; yesterday was the most sick I’ve been in recent memory. I think I now understand my wife’s rolled eyes in the past when I’ve whined over a runny nose. Yesterday was being sick!
My brother-in-law was kind enough to loan me his set of Band of Brothers DVDs. Given that I couldn’t do much as but lay in better for most of the last two plus days, I took in all ten parts of this excellent production. Sometimes I wonder what I would have been like during this time in history (i.e. if I was drafted). I feel fortunate that this answer will allude me, and I have a greater respect for those who do serve our country.
Here are some of the takeaways for me from this movie series:
- There is a big difference between training and game time. Capt. Soble didn’t understand this, lost all the respect of his men and his superiors and was eventually transferred.
- Command decisions are hard.
- You will know when you’re a leader by your subordinates. (Lt. Winters)
- Know what’s normal for you: Lt. Looks like you’re going to be surrounded. Capt. Winters: We’re paratroopers. We’re supposed to be surrounded.
- He wasn’t a bad leader because he made bad decisions; he was a bad leader because he made no decisions. 1st Sgt. Lipton regarding Lt. Dike (Foxhole Norman), his superior officer
- Defining moments are made and made again. As a result a team’s identity is constantly reshaped and reformed. Just because you are present for one such moment does not afford you the right of lifetime membership. Miss a critical event and you may need to reprove yourself.
- Know when you’re needed and when you’re not. Make certain you’re right about this by relying on the input of others (e.g. someone with influence and without bias).
- We salute the rank, not the man. Maj. Winters to Capt. Soble
- War is truly horrific; everyone loses.
- How can one really know the price of the freedom he enjoys if he hasn’t experienced Normandy, Bastogne or Haguenau, like someone in Easy Company did?