There are those handful of movies that when you see that they’re on television you’ll watch, even if you’ve seen the film a million times already. Whether it’s late at night, or a lazy Saturday afternoon on the couch, if Bloodsport or Behind Enemy Lines comes on there’s a 99.9% chance my butt is not leaving the couch. However if Independence Day comes on, that percentage just hit 100%.
But there may be something you didn’t know about Independence Day, which believe it or not will turn 18 years old this July. Having just watched Will Smith and Randy Quaid expel the city-leveling alien force yet again this past week, I came across some very subtle life lessons – five of them, to be exact – that may just surprise you.
Take yourself back almost three years to February of 2010. What were you doing then? Were you in school, or at your last job? For the Marines of 1/3, 1/6, 3/6, and 3/10, they were about to begin what was dubbed as the most dangerous combat operation since Fallujah with the commencement of Operation Moshtarak. Their mission: clear the Taliban-infested city of Marjah, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. While I have never set foot in Marjah, I did deploy just next door in Nawa district, having gone on many a patrol just outside of Marjah in the “friendly” area of Trek Nawa. Before you watch this legendary speech by Gunnery Sergeant Walgren of 1/6 (1st Battalion, 6th Marines), try and imagine yourself as one of these young Marines that’s about to climb into a CH-53 helicopter and begin the assault. Can you imagine the mental preparation you have to do to really prepare yourself for a mission like that, especially with all of the intel/news reports on how heavy the enemy activity was? That’s where good leadership comes into play, and the video speech you’re about to witness is spine-tingling good. You don’t have to be a good public speaker to be a good leader, but it is a good quality to have, and Gunny Walgren possesses it in spades.