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.
Raise your hand if you think the United States Air Force has a special forces branch? If your hand is in the air, you are correct: the USAF does man a wing (no pun intended) in Special Operations Command, and their most notable asset is the Parajumpers, or “PJ’s”. As a former Marine and Afghan vet, I will be the first to stand up and vouch for the PJ’s (these guys aren’t your average Airman); they’re absolutely legit. Until now, the Air Force hasn’t allowed a peek into the PJ’s training or life on deployment, which is where National Geographic TV comes into play with their latest smash hit, “Inside Combat Rescue”. So what in the world does Leeroy Jenkins have to do with any of this? If you haven’t seen an episode, then you’ll have no idea; heck, if you’ve only seen one episode you may not have caught it either. Hit the link below for the answer, and also my slightly qualified thoughts on the importance of humor in the (combat) workplace.