The U.S. Army Ethos

U.S. Army WW2, Korean war Paratrooper and combat Commander General Matthew B. Ridgway considered leadership to have three primary ingredients: character, courage, and competence.

He described character-including self-discipline, loyalty, selflessness, modesty, and willingness to accept responsibility and admit mistakes-as the "bedrock on which the whole edifice of leadership rests." His concept of courage included both physical and moral courage. Competence included physical fitness, anticipating when crises will occur and being present to resolve them, and being close to subordinates-communicating clearly and ensuring that they are treated and led well and fairly.

Mitchell, George C.; Matthew B. Ridgway: Soldier, Statesman, Scholar, Citizen Stackpole Books, 2002; pages 20-22

The following U.S. Army Ethos should be published Army-wide and given in a plastic covered form for every Soldier of all ranks to carry in his pocket to serve as a moral compass. Each year every Soldier will be tested on the U.S. Army Ethos and must attain a passing score.


The genesis of this HONOR CODE for ALL U.S. Army Soldiers began when 1st Tactical Studies Group (Airborne) Director, Mike Sparks experienced first-hand as a young enlistedman in the USMC that he was in no "band of brothers" but a collection of weak, narcissistic egomaniacs who were in a co-dependent state needing the military to fill a vacuum in their life that should have already been filled by their realization of their own individual intrinsic value as an unique human being. Rather than embrace necessary improvements and fixes to problems they denied they existed and attacked any messenger who did not worship their vaunted "mother may I?" outfit which their self-identity depends on. Seeing something needed to be done, he went to Officer's Candidate School (OCS) to be an officer to get the job done and take care of the troops who deserve a better outfit that LEADS them into becoming strong adults instead of exploiting their youthful open-ness to manipulate and use them destructively. At USMC OCS (Platoon Leader's Course Junior and Senior) he discovered an amazing vestige of morality and honor within the institutionalised marine corps, The 14 Leadership Traits. He and his comrades created a memory device to remember them; "JJ DID TIE BUCKLE". They are:

Justice Judgment

Decisiveness, Initiative, Dependability

Tact, Integrity, Enthusiasm

Bearing, Unselfishness, Courage, Knowledge, Loyalty, Endurance

Not surprisngly, the 14 USMC Leadership Traits smack dab contradict the rampant narcissism of "the Few, the Proud, the marines" and would bring into conflict anyone who tried to live by these ideals with the weak egomaniacs populating the USMC. There can be no HONOR without HUMILITY. The American military mind doesn't get this; it thinks it can have its narcissistic "cake" and "eat it, too". You cannot have an adaptive, and progressive military that outhinks and outfights the enemy if its vain and snobby. There is no "morality free lunch" of military excellence. If you are immoral, you will not bring out the best in people. As the German Army reforms of the 20s/30s began to be eaten up by Hitlerian Fascism, they were doomed to failure. Good and Evil does not mix any better with Americans than it did with the Germans. The British Army saying of "take the job seriously, not yourself" comes to mind. We have this ass-backwards in the U.S. military. After about a decade of frustration in the USMC, the then young 2LT Sparks realized that the 14 Leadership Traits as a moral vestige of an iconic American institution could be used by our citizenry to vaccinate them from drug use, even if the parent organization of these good values had long discarded them the minute young officers began writing "SPEAR EVALS" of each other at The Officer's Basic School (TBS) at Quantico, Virginia after commissioning. He had thought he was in a family of egalitarian, gung-ho! (means "work together" from Carlson's Raider not I-have-a-pressed-uniform-as-a-good-lemming-sheeple-and-am-better-than-you) warriors when really he was in a rat race of careerist military posers. He sent this suggestion in to Anti-Drug "Czar", Dr. William Bennett:

He got the following reply only a few weeks later:

As you may be aware, Dr. Bennett later went on to write books on the need for defined virtues.

Excerpt from the Editorial Review from the Library Journal:

"Believing with Plato that 'tales which the young first hear should be models of virtuous thought,' former Secretary of Education Bennett ( The De-Valuing of America , LJ 4/1/92) has produced a McGuffey's Reader for the Nineties. The author draws upon a variety of literature ranging from biblical stories to political legends and speeches to illustrate the catalog of virtues--self-discipline, compassion, work, responsibility, friendship, courage, perseverance, honesty, loyalty, faith--that he believes are foundational to strong moral character. Most selections are introduced by a short thematic note, e.g., "an honest heart will always find friends." Bennett's elevation of these virtues to moral absolutes renders the book's view of morality rather simplistic. In addition, the collection's lack of attention to women's and non-Western voices encourages the view that the experience of virtue belongs primarily to Western males. Still, this anthology will prove popular with some readers. Recommended for public libraries."

- Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Westerville P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

If you do not DEFINE what virtues are, its entirely possible VICES will become institutionalized as culturally acceptable mind and behavior sets as the "Pride" of the USMC corrodes that outfit. God says "Pride goeth before a destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall", so if we SAY we are a Judeao-Christian based culture we have no business with the SIN of pride as the center of our armed services. War is a necessary evil not an ego trip.

After leaving the USMC, Sparks found the U.S. Army ranks somewhat more professional and less riddled with weak narcissists wanting to prove their self-worth by dying in a war. Somewhat less. Keep that in mind. However, authors like Gabriel & Savage and Lucian Truscott IV have written for years on the need for an Honor Code in the U.S. Army so Honor would not be just something West Point cadets and OCS candidates are energized by, but BY THE ENTIRE FORCE. Idealism must be given "legs" if we are to outhink and out-fight the cunning enemies of today on non-linear, 4th generation war battlefields. This means a code of Honor has to be enforced. This means cronyism and corruption must stop. What makes us think we can defend FREEDOM with tyranny, anyway? The best way to defend FREEDOM is with FREEDOM. We "ain't" going to do it if we remain petty snobs. We in the 1st TSG (A) have learned the hard way that good improvements are rejected not on their merits but on stupid zero-sum thinking concerns like who is going to "win" or "lose" if the idea goes forward. As Benjamin Franklin warned us years ago, "Either we learn to hang together or we are surely going to hang separately". For there to be progress there has to be some belief in the value of EVERY HUMAN BEING PERIOD, regardless of his rank, position and badges so ideas can be moved forward on their merits to meet the demands of necessity. If that makes us a "liberal" then so be it, progress is worth it. Better to be a "liberal" than a failed status quo excusing "asshole". We need an U.S. Army Ethos that is morally sound not the current boot-licking LDRSHP on our Army key rings.

The inspiration for the following U.S. Army Ethos came from Savage/Gabriel's book; "Crisis in Command" and the Israeli Defense Force's (IDF) excellent ethos. Several 1st TSG (A) members have trained with the IDF and find their internal discipline of shared THINKING purpose beats our do-it-or-else external tyranny of blind obedience and you-are-feces snobbery. If we do not wake up soon and instill a morally sound THEMIS (see Dr. Jonathan Shay's book "Achilles in Vietnam") in America's Army and marines, no adults will want to be in such corrupt outfits; we will as John Stuart Mill warned us "have cowards do our thinking and fools do our fighting".

An Honor Code and Sense of Honor for ALL Soldiers of ALL Ranks at ALL Times

ANY Soldier of ANY rank who violates the U.S. Army Ethos can be brought before a court-martial for possible punishment. DA civilians that violate the Army Ethos can be fired from their jobs. The law is king in the U.S. Army not the other way around. Army Generals and DA civilians are not above the law and can be brought to trial by any Soldier of any rank if they violate the U.S. Army Ethos.

If these Army values are accepted at the top then they will easily be accepted at the bottom. These ethical values are critical to the health of the U.S. Army. They must be adopted.




Basic Points

* America can no longer assume its protected by oceans/distances
* America cannot afford to allow war to reach her territories
* Precision firepower bombardment cannot control ground, change governments control people or decisively defeat enemies: GROUND MANEUVER is key to victory
* Defensive on the strategic level, no territorial ambitions
* Desire to avoid war by political means and a credible deterrent posture
* Preventing escalation by quick, decisive campaigns
* Determine the outcome of war quickly and decisively through skilled, global maneuver
* Combat local terrorism through secure borders, alertness and decentralized, combined-arms armed units

The Operational Level

Defensive Strategy - Offensive Tactics
Prepare for Local Defense
A globally mobile standing Army with 2D/3D maneuver capability, fights alone or jointly with Air Force, Navy
An efficient reserve mobilization and transportation system
Move to Pre-empt or Counter-Attack
Multi-arm joint coordination
Transferring the battle to enemy's territory quickly
Quick attainment of war objectives


Adaptable; entire Army alert and flexible
Global forced-entry
STRAC; self-reliant Soldiers and combined arms units Full Spectrum of War operations
All-Weather, 24 hour continuous operations
Joint operable
Global land combat dominance in all climes/terrains
2D/3D decisive combined-arms maneuver
Sustained land operations
All-source Intelligence
Long-range strike capabilities
Anti-missile defense
Advanced training systems

Main Areas of Activity

Continuous high state of readiness for war NOW
Anti-terrorist warfare
Combating terrorism locally
Building the armed forces for future battlefields


The Spirit of the U.S. Army
The Ethical Code of the U.S. Army

The Spirit of the U.S. Army is an expression of the identity, moral values and norms of the Army. It underlies every action performed in the U.S. ARMY by each and every Soldier. (Hereafter the term "Soldier" will be construed as applying to both male and female servicemen and servicewomen and will be spelled with a capital "S".)

The Spirit of the U.S. Army comprises 10 individual leadership, 12 core shared and 4 enduring values. It defines and presents the essence of each of them, and includes basic principles which express these values.

The Spirit of the U.S. Army draws its values and basic principles from three traditions:

* The tradition of the American People throughout its history.

* The tradition of the United States of America, its democratic rule of law principles, laws and institutions.

* The tradition of the Army and its military heritage.

The Spirit of the U.S. Army is the ethical code by which all Army enlisted personnel, officers, units and corps act. It is the norm to guide them in forming their patterns of behavior. They are expected to educate and critically evaluate themselves and others in accordance with these values and principles.

The complex nature of military activity in general, and combat in particular, may generate tensions with the values and basic principles of The Spirit of the U.S. Army, and may raise problems of judgment about the proper balance needed between theory and practice.

The obligation to fulfill the mission and ensure military victory will be the compass guiding any effort to balance these values and basic principles of The Spirit of the U.S. Army. The striving for proper balance according to this compass will make it possible to preserve the Army as a body of high quality, imbued with values, and which fulfills its duties and missions appropriately.

10 Individual Leadership Values (L-E-A-D-E-R-S-H-I-P)

Loyalty and Candor: Bear true, honest faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit, and other Soldiers.

Gordon & Shughart, Munemori, Pitcher, Washington and Williams

A Soldier's first loyalty is to the welfare of his command not his personal career. He will never allow his men to be misused or abused in any way. As Patton pointed out, it's a two- way street. During our time in the Army we have seen many officers who demanded that you be loyal to them but somehow didn't think they had to be loyal to their own Soldiers. What this means is, if you have a Soldier in your command who is a great deal of trouble, you don't throw him to the wolves. He is one of yours, and it's up to you to bring him around. You have to lead by example, by establishing that a troubled Soldier is still one of yours and not just a problem to be done away with.

Soldiers that are loyal tell the truth to friendly personnel at all times. Not reporting the truth only serves to disconnect the person being deceived from actual reality. In combat and life threatening operations failure to face and overcome reality costs Soldiers their lives. Going along with lies is not loyalty. Only by candid reporting of the facts and observations can the commander's intent and the mission truly accomplished in REALITY not spun by public relations lies. America demands an Army that gets REAL results to stop dangerous people from harming our citizens and free government.

A perfect example of the right kind of candor was Colonel Charles Beckwith, founder of the U.S. Army's anti-terrorist force. CSM Eric Haney writes in his book, "Inside Delta Force":

"He was the only field-grade officer I've ever known who would provoke rough-and-tumble verbal exchanges with his subordinates and not fall back on the protection of rank if he found himself being bested. Charlie had no respect for a push-over. He liked a good tussle and he expected to get as good as he gave. But there was never any doubt as to who was in charge"

Excellence: everything that is "U.S. Army" is the best; in terms of effort, creativity, thoroughness at every level everything must be second to none

Excellence is having the vision to do things greatly and the attention-to-detail to accomplish these goals. It means not accepting mediocrity and determining excellence through professional study and candor. This is important everywhere but it's most important at the NCO level. That's what NCOs are for. To get the details. This takes respect from officers and distance (objectivity, fairness and a known standard) from the troops that the NCO leads. Standards determine excellence, we have to set the standards high and make ALL of our Soldiers live up to them.

Alertness: problems are seen and corrected immediately using initiative, we are not an Army of robots, the German word Auftfragstatik or "mission orders" is another "A" word that goes here

Alertness or the lack of it, is the single biggest defect in our Army. If you look around at the Army today, there are no serious preparations to go to WAR with the PRC, even though they are holding amphibious rehearsals and activating reserves for an invasion of Taiwan. We are going to defuse the situation by not doing anything. It seems always that every platoon sergeant in the Army is doing his best to prepare his troops. But at Platoon Leader and above they don't want to talk about it.

I suspect it's no coincidence that ALERTNESS was left off the list of the current 7 core L-D-R-S-H-P values. The whole idea requires a change in direction and thinking if your alertness detects signs of changing circumstances. At signs of change a good officer might drop a class in sensitivity to others and start studying PLA mines, skipping a retirement ceremony and firing personal weapons and in general changing the schedule. This would mean that some mandated training may not get done. If in fact you didn't go to war you might get your men in a meat grinder because lets face it, there would be lots of questions from higher HQ about how come you didn't get some important training done. The answer that you were preparing your Soldiers for war would never fly, unless we had one. It could mean the end of a career. We know this doesn't apply to all officers but to many, it does. If alertness was an accepted value, then like cascading dominoes you would start to see INNOVATION on a daily basis. That would scare the General officer to the depths of his soul. Once you accept ALERTNESS as a value, you're accepting change. When that happens anything is possible and we suspect that's why it's not a current Army Value but it needs to be.

Duty: Fulfill your moral obligations.

Here is an excellent quote on duty:

"I am only one, but I am one.

I cannot do everything, but I can do something.

And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

What I can do, I should do.

And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do."

-- Edward Everett Hale

Bodlak, Loman and Reybold

Enthusiasm: Soldiers accomplish the mission with optimism and camaraderie towards their fellow warriors

In the BreakPoint Commentary by Charles Colson #020703 - 07/03/2002; "Exhausted and Elated: A Just War Justly Fought" he writes:

"At the Bagram air base in Afghanistan last March, hundreds of American Soldiers poured out of CH-47 Chinook helicopters. They had just returned from a week of heavy fighting, going after Taliban and al Qaeda die-hards in mountain hideouts.

'We were hailed on, snowed on, shot at, and mortared at, but we did the right thing at the right time,' one officer recalled. In the battle's aftermath, according to THE WASHINGTON POST, the men were sunburned, exhausted, and elated.

That 'right thing' was killing hundreds of enemy fighters -- which leads to a question: Even when we believe a war is just, is it right for Soldiers to feel 'elated' about what they do in war? Shouldn't they be more solemn, more regretful?

Not at all, responds a man who survived the front lines of World War I. In his book, MERE CHRISTIANITY, C. S. Lewis attacks the notion that those who fight should do so with almost a sense of shame. As he puts it, 'War is a dreadful thing, and I can respect an honest pacifist, though I think he is entirely mistaken. What I cannot understand is this sort of semipacifism . . . which gives people the idea that though you have to fight, you ought to do it with a long face as though you were ashamed of it.'

'It is that feeling,' Lewis notes, 'that robs lots of magnificent young Christians in the Services of something they have a right to, something which is the natural accompaniment of courage -- a kind of gaiety and wholeheartedness.'

Now, Lewis had no delusions about war.

He had fought in the trenches in France. He saw firsthand the arrival of mechanized warfare, in which one side could slaughter, from a distance, huge numbers of men. Lewis lost friends in both world wars, and he himself was badly wounded.

And yet Lewis apparently never lost his belief in the nobility of a just war justly fought. But while he encouraged Soldiers to take pride in fighting the forces of evil in the moral enterprise that is war, he also warned against letting this pride turn into a love of killing.

'We may kill if necessary, but we must not hate and enjoy hating. We may punish if necessary, but we must not enjoy it,' he warns. "Even while we kill and punish we must try to feel about the enemy as we feel about ourselves -- to wish that he were not bad, to hope that he may, in this world or another, be cured: in fact, to wish his good.'

This is what the Bible means by loving our enemies, he added -- 'Wishing his good, not feeling fond of him or saying he is nice when he is not.'

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. Our founders declared our independence and then fought to make that declaration and that liberty they loved a reality. On the anniversary of our founding as you gather with friends and family for backyard barbeques and the sight and sound of fireworks, I hope you'll pray for the spiritual welfare of those brave Americans and allies who are fighting today.

Pray that they will know the rewards of courage, that they will never allow the grim joy that comes from fighting for a righteous cause turn into a soul- destroying hatred and love of killing. And if you have relatives or friends in the armed services, it's a good time to let them know we believe their cause is a noble one, indeed."

For further reading:

C. S. Lewis, MERE CHRISTIANITY (Touchstone, 1996).


Learn more about just war theory by reading BreakPoint's fact sheet: Just War Theory

Good example of enthusiasm in the U.S. Army today:

U.S. Army ADA magazine online, great magazine!

Respect: Treat people as they should be treated.

Baker, Kinney and Koelsch

Selfless service: Put the welfare of the nation, the Army, and your subordinates before your own.

This means no more rank-hath-its-priveliges bullshit.

The higher in rank you go, the MORE responsibility you have to share the burdens and risks of your men to lead them by power of your on-scene personal example, not miles away safe in a computer CP.

British General JFC Fuller in his book available here online: Generalship: its Diseases and their Cure describes this in great detail;

His main thesis:

"The more mechanical become the weapons with which we fight, the less mechanical must be the spirit which controls them".

Yet in the U.S. military we have consistantly sought to dehumanize our men into robots by S&M basic trainings and rites-of-passage games since the dawn of the 20th century. That this piss-poor military culture has resulted in battlefield defeats and thousands of casualties hasn't dawned on our military and civil leaders that its a recipe for the exctinction of our nation when we face a foe without time and resources to get our act together after initial losses.

Barker, Walker, Johnson, Lozada and Red Cloud

Humility & honor: the integrity to do see the truth and admit mistakes and do what is morally sound at all times, this is not a personal vanity or pre-occupation with your reputation before men, but your expected behavior evaluated by a just and Holy Creator who has given you a life and a mission to fulfill. To be a "straight shooter". Without humility there can be no honor.

Benavidez, Miyamura, Mize, Neibaur, Ochs, Pililaau and Wheelock

Being an Army Soldier DOES NOT make you better than civilians nor other Soldiers who you may think are "lesser" Soldiers because they do not have some qualification, badge or rank that you have. Being an U.S. Army Soldier does not automatically qualify you as a superior human being, and when we are snobs towards our own people is it a wonder that we under-estimate the enemy who then surprises us because he IS a human being, too and he kicks our ass? The U.S. Army must value HUMILITY or else we will not "what if" its plans with constructive criticism (Candor) from all of the ranks (not just 3 star generals and above once-in-awhile but all-the-time, 24/7/365 from E1 up) and then employ ALL THE COMBAT ARMS (not just play favorites) in the best ways possible because we realize through HUMILITY that wars are serious business and to win and save lives we must fight the BEST ways possible or we can LOSE.

Military analyst and Vietnam OV-1 Mohawk combat veteran Ben Works writes about the benefit of HUMILITY to admit that help is needed...which leaders must be egoless to find the best solutions (INNOVATION is closely linked) to accomplish the mission and take care of the men. He describes the actions of French Colonel Marbot during the war of 1812:

*One French light cavalry colonel kept his head throughout the disastrous retreat from Moscow and brought his whole regiment out in good order and in supply. The Army made the disastrous crossing of the Berezina river on Nov 26-28; Marbot's 23eme Chasseurs Cheval crossed early while the majority of the army dallied and collapsed when the Russians attacked on the 28th. The French survivors struggled west as the cold (- 27 C/-17 F), ice and snow really set in. Marbot was wounded in the knee and the horses were weakening; the wounded needed transport. It was December 7th and Marbot, by improvising, was able to save his regiment and to form a steady rear-guard. Marbot writes:

"...I took a sledge and had one of my horses harnessed to it. Seeing this new vehicle gave me the idea of using this method to save my numerous sick, and as in Russia there is no dwelling so poor that it does not contain a sledge, I soon had a hundred of them, and each, pulled by a troop horse, saved two men. [The brigade commander and the other Improvisation Regiment liked the trick and adopted it too.]... All that remained of our brigade harnessed its horses and formed a caravan which marched in excellent order.

Doubtless think that in moving like this we [cavalry] were paralyzing our means of defense, but don't be deceived, because on ice we were much stronger with the sledges, which can go anywhere and whose shafts support the horses, than would have been the case had we remained in the saddle on horses which fell at every step.

The road was strewn with abandoned muskets, so our chasseurs took two each and also continues an ample supply of cartridges. Consequently, when the Cossacks ventured to approach, they were received with the liveliest musketry and drew off again promptly. Besides, our men could fight on foot if necessary. Then in the evening we formed a great square with the sledges and lit our fires in the center. Marshal Ney and General Maison often came and spent the night with us there in security, since the enemy pursued us with Cossacks only. No doubt this was the first time a rear-guard had been formed with sledges, but the frost made any other method impracticable and this one succeeded."

- Baron Jean de Marbot (1782-1854): Memoirs, 26th ed. 1891

* Marbot re-crossed the Niemen with 693 of his original 1,048 troops (66%) still with the colors; far and away the highest percent in the reorganized army of 1813. The Young Guard, for instance, had mustered 8,000 at Moscow and only 400 (5%) at Vilna on December 8th.

Translation by Capt. John W. Thomason Jr. USMC; "The Adventures Of General Marbot By Himself", Scribners, NY. 1935

Innovation and Initiative: the U.S. Army leads the way with tactical firsts; like the airplane, the tank, the repeating rifle, the nuclear bomb, Airborne warfare, Air Assault warfare, solving the Soldier's load and now Air-Mech-Strike and the digitized Soldier...innovation must take place in all the ranks, at all levels made possible through vigorous, constructive candor based on the humility that on any given day, any army can be defeated and the professionalism to do everything in our power to overcome adversity.

JFC Fuller writes about innovation in Generalship: its Diseases and their Cure:

"Originality, not conventionality, is one of the main pillars of generalship. To do something that the enemy does not expect, is not prepared for, something which will surprise him and disarm him morally. To be always thinking ahead and to be always peeping round corners. To spy out the soul of one's adversary, and to act in a manner which will astonish and bewilder him, this is generalship. To render the enemy's general ridiculous in the eyes of his men, this is the foundation of success. And what is the dryrot of generalship? The Archduke Albert puts his finger on it when he says:

'There are plenty of small-minded men who, in time of peace, excel in detail, are inexorable in matters of equipment and drill, and perpetually interfere with the work of their subordinates.

'They thus acquire an unmerited reputation, and render the service a burden, but they above all do mischief in preventing development of individuality, and in retarding the advancement of independent and capable spirits.

'When war arises the small minds, worn out by attention to trifles, are incapable of effort, and fail miserably. So goes the world.'

Frederick the Great, as may be expected, is more sarcastic. Before a gathering of generals he said:

'The great mistake in inspections is that you officers amuse yourselves with God knows what buffooneries and never dream in the least of serious service. This is a source of stupidity which would become most dangerous in case of a serious conflict. Take shoemakers and tailors and make generals of them and they will not commit worse follies!'"

Command Sergeant Major Eric Haney writes about initiative during the 1983 invasion of Grenada in his superb book, "Inside Delta Force" on pages 302 and 303:

"We had just gotten to the top when someone shouted, 'There are the planes!'

I turned around in time to see a line of C-130s coming in low from the east. But as they approached the leading edge of the airfield, the first two planes were plastered with automatic cannon fire. The lead plane broke away, but the others kept coming, and then you could see the Rangers pouring out the jump doors and into the sky. They were jumping at such a low altitude that their parachutes opened only a few seconds before they hit the ground. Goddam, what a stirring sight!

We quickly got out some air-ground signal panels to let them know we were friendly and fired over the next ridge toward those 23-millimeters to give the gunners a little something to worry about. The first pass of planes had dumped about a company of Rangers and now the planes were circling and heading back for the second drop. Rangers were scattered down the length of the ten-thousand foot runway, just getting out of their parachutes, when two armored vehicles rolled out onto the airfield and started firing their machine guns and heavy cannon.

"Oh hell! Not that!" I yelled in frustration. "The sons of bitches will cut our men to pieces". But almost as soon as the vehicles gained the center of the runway, the Rangers opened fire on them with two 90-millimeter recoilless rifles-abruptly ending the armor threat on Point Salines. Now the second pass was overhead, and the air was full of green parachutes dangling brave men.

So the automatic weapons fire shifted their focus from the airplanes to the men on the ground.

This is bad, this is bad, I thought, watching the fire rip across the far end of the runway. This is when a unit is the most vulnerable. Just as they land and their leaders are scattered and they haven't had the time to reorganize.

But then I saw an amazing sight. The Rangers rose from the ground as one organism, screaming their war cries, and assaulted straight across the runway toward the enemy guns. Within ten minutes, the guns fell silent. The third and last pass of Rangers jumped almost unmolested.

Later that day I learned that a corporal had led the spontaneous assault across the airfield. Somebody said the guy jumped up from the ground and shouted, "I've had enough of this shit!" and took off across the airfield toward the enemy positions. Every man near him jumped up to follow, and the attack spread like wildfire up and down the length of the airfield. Goddamn! What Soldiers!"

Personal courage: the strength of character--the CONVICTION to win the battles before us against an entrenched bureaucracy and egotistical people who are stuck in old paradigms of the status quo BEFORE we have another "Task Force Smith" or "Beirut" or "Pearl Harbor". To stay in the profession of arms and NOT GIVE UP despite personal setbacks.

Blanchfield, Carney and Knappenberger

A Soldier is first and foremost a leader of men. He must lead his men by example and personal actions. He cannot manage his command to effectiveness...they must be led; a Soldier must set the standard for personal bravery and leadership in peace and in war. A Soldier will never require his men to endure hardships or suffer dangers to which he is unwilling to expose himself. Every Soldier must openly share the burden of risk and sacrifice in which his men are exposed.

12 Shared Core Values

Morality of all actions

A Soldier's sense of moral integrity is at the center of his leadership effectiveness. The advancement of one's career is never justified at the expense of violating one's sense of honor.

Every Soldier holds a special position of moral trust and responsibility. No officer will ever violate that trust or avoid responsibility for any of his actions regardless of personal cost.


A Defense firm for Desert Storm had upon request of the Army quickly developed a fix to bullet holes in the HMMWV truck's plastic fuel tank. There wasn't time to get full patent protection for the idea. Thousands of plug kits were being purchased by the Army and used to saves lives in combat. One day the contractor got a call from a Major from Natick Labs who cussed him out and insulted him. A few weeks later the firm was not given a second contract. But the story doesn't end there. The exact same fuel tank plugs were now being purchased by the Army by another company at a lower cost. Basically, the Army Major to make himself look good on his OER that he was somehow saving the Army money had STOLEN the idea and product of one company, an American company run by an American citizen and gave it to another company. There is also the possibility that kickbacks from this contract change could have flowed to the active duty Major, a legal felony. Either way, the Major committed a moral felony and is an asshole. That Major should be found and court-martialed for violating the ethical standards of the U.S. Army and defrauding an American citizen, who he was sworn to protect through the U.S. Constitution. He is a disgrace to the uniform of the U.S. Army and all that we stand for. But the word is this is the RULE not the exception at Natick Labs where contractor's ideas and products are regularly taken and reverse-engineered (ie; copied and stolen) by Army Labs. The Specialty Plastic manufacture of MOLLE equipment continues even though their workmanship has been proven sub-standard in Afghanistan.

Some will say the defense firms are "greedy contractors" so its OK to rape them of their ideas to "help" our Soldiers.

Think again.

First morally, two wrongs don't make a right. This isn't the ENEMY in combat we are dealing with, THIS IS AN AMERICAN.

Second, if defense firms realize their ideas will be stolen by the Army/marines and DoD they will soon STOP COMING UP WITH NEW IDEAS for the troops. Because of unethical behavior of DoD officials a sin of omission will result where our men will NOT get the full benefit of the talents and creativity of a free market society that creates imaginative defense firms that actually come up with new ideas to win battles and save Soldiers' lives.We will be stuck with the unethical parasite firms who will steal the ideas and hard work of others and UNDERBID them to get contracts to produce items for our men with shoddy workmanship that fails in the heat of combat resulting in our men coming back in body bags. Basically a bureaucracy is like a communist outfit of asshole mandarins dead set against the COMMON GOOD and is un-American.

IT WAS HIS IDEA FOR THE EQUIPMENT NOT DoD's. There is no sense of honor in stealing a fellow American's ideas. We will not prop up a free republic with dictatorship tactics.

If this is not visible proof that the U.S. Army needs a clearly stated Honor Code/Ethos what is?

A Soldier will NEVER execute an order which he regards to be ethically wrong and he will report all such orders, policies, or actions to appropriate authorities.

No Soldier will willfully conceal any act of his superiors, subordinates, or peers that violates his sense of ethics.

In How Much Obedience Does an Officer Need? Major Ulrich F. Zwygart's essay which was awarded second place in the 1992-93 MacArthur Writing Award competition describes in detail why blind obedience is harmful and THINKING or as he puts it, "critical obedience" is vital to the health of our Army. The excellence of Major Zwygart's accomplishment is especially remarkable in that he wrote in a language other than his own. He writes:

"C. Bahnsen and Robert W. Cone say that the true leader 'must also possess the integrity and moral character to do the harder right instead of the easier wrong. This may sometimes mean taking unpopular or controversial stands that result in damage to one's own career. Quality of service, not length, is the measure that should be used to evaluate a Soldier's career.'

General Harold K. Johnson, the Army's deputy chief of staff for operations during the Vietnam years and later Army chief of staff, responded to the question, 'If you had your life to live over again, what would you do differently?'

'I remember the day I was ready to go over to the Oval Office and give my four stars to the President and tell him, "You have refused to tell the country they cannot fight a war without mobilization; you have required me to send men into battle with little hope of their ultimate victory; and you have forced us in the military to violate almost every one of the principles of war in Vietnam. Therefore, I resign and will hold a press conference after I walk out of your door."--I made the typical mistake of believing I could do more for my country and the Army if I stayed in than if I got out. I am going now to my grave with that burden of lapse of moral courage on my back.'"

Perserverance in Mission

Every Soldier will fight and work; conducting himself with courage in the face of all dangers and obstacles; he will persevere in his mission courageously, resolutely and thoughtfully even to the point of endangering his own life.

The perseverance of Soldiers in their mission is their capability and readiness to fight courageously in the face of danger and in most challenging situations; to strive unremittingly to achieve the military goal effectively, with full regard for the particular circumstances, notwithstanding any difficulty, stress or adversity or even mortal danger. They will do so with proper judgment and with due regard for risks.


The U.S. Army Soldier will always go to the aid of his comrades regardless of their rank, badges earned or unit they belong to when they need his help or depend on him, despite any danger or difficulty, even to the point of risking his life in both peacetime and in war. This comradeship will continue in all personal relations as snobbery is not welcomed or condoned in the U.S. Army.

The fellowship of Soldiers is their bond as comrades-in-arms and it applies to ALL U.S. Army Soldiers. It is their unwavering commitment to each other, their readiness to extend appropriate assistance, to go to the aid of a comrade, and even risk their lives on his behalf. In all their actions they will uphold and strengthen the solidarity of their unit in full cooperation with other units, and in support of the overall goals of the U.S. Army.


The U.S. Army Soldier will execute completely and successfully all that is required of him according to the letter and spirit of his orders and within the framework of the law.

The discipline of Soldiers is their readiness to act to the full extent of their abilities, to carry out what is demanded of them completely, according to their understanding of the letter of the orders they have received, and successfully, according to the spirit of their orders. It is their readiness to obey orders amidst a constant striving to execute them with understanding and dedication, blind obedience is not welcomed. They will take care to issue only legal orders, and disavow manifestly illegal orders.

Human Life

The U.S. Army Soldier will, above all, preserve human life, in the recognition of its supreme value regardless of perceived social status and will place himself or others at risk solely to the extent required to carry out his mission. War is a necessary evil to preserve life by stopping others from taking life.

The sanctity of life in the eyes of Soldiers will find expression in all of their actions, in deliberate and meticulous planning, in safe and intelligent training and in proper execution of their mission. In evaluating the risk to self and others, they will use the appropriate standards and will exercise constant care to limit injury to life to the extent required to accomplish the mission.


The U.S. Army Soldier will act with complete dedication in the defense of the United States of America, its Constitution and its citizens, according to Army orders, within the framework of the laws of the State and democratic principles.

The dedication of U.S. ARMY servicemen is in all actions, to their homeland, the United State of America, its citizens and armed forces, and their constant readiness to fight and devote all their power, even at the risk of their own lives, in the defense of the sovereign United State of America and the lives and the safety of its inhabitants, according to the values and orders of the U.S. ARMY, while following the laws and the democratic principles of the State.

Personal Example

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will comport himself as is required of him and will, himself, act as he demands of others, thoughtfully and dedicatedly, aware of his ability and responsibility to serve as a role model to those around him, but not as a prisoner to personal vanity; form follows function.

The personal example of the U.S. ARMY servicemen is their acting as is demanded of them and as they themselves demand of others, their clear and convincing readiness to serve as an example to those around them, in their actions and comportment, to create, uphold and foster mutual identification and joint responsibility in properly carrying out their tasks and accomplishing their missions in all areas of military activity.


The U.S. ARMY Soldier will aspire to be familiar with and understand the body of knowledge pertaining to his military position and will master every skill necessary for carrying out his duties and thereafter be a life-long student of warfare in general.

The professionalism of U.S. ARMY servicemen is their ability to correctly perform their military duties through striving to constantly excel in and improve their unit's and their individual achievements. They will do so by broadening their knowledge, and increasing proficiency, based upon the lessons of experience and study of their heritage and by expanding and deepening their understanding of the body of military knowledge through professional reading and awareness of current military events.

Constructive Candor

Candor is the most critical, first priority to restore; ultimately there can't be a profession absent a culture of candor. ALL plans and actions whenever possible must be "what-iffed" by all Soldiers with respect to the enemy and the forces of nature and those with differing views will NOT be stifled from speaking forcefully and passionately about their views. Rank will not be used as a means to hide and prop up a losing position on any issue. The commander with the decision-making power has the final say but during the constructive candor phase during mission planning and after-action-reviews ALL Soldiers are expected to tell it like it is with full force of logic, emotion and persuasion so the unit performs actions in the best possible manner.

No Soldier of any rank will punish, allow the punishment of, or in any way discriminate against a subordinate or peer for telling the truth about ANY matter.

General JFC Fuller writes about the need for Candor to act on the lessons of Professionalism:

"I remember once attending some French maneuvres, when after an exercise General Debeney asked a divisional commander to explain his plan to him. This officer began: 'My machine-guns, ...' whereupon he was cut short by Debeney who excitedly roared out: 'Damn your machine-guns, I want your ideas!'

A well-stored memory is a great asset, for what a general knows is bound to tone and color all his work. But storing must be methodical, the memory must not be like a stacked up second-hand bookshop; it must be rather like a carefully arranged library, in which the printed books are the experiences of others and the manuscripts one's own experiences. Yet in war it is not so much the knowledge contained in these books and these manuscripts which is so important, it is insight into the personality of their writers including oneself. 'Know thyself' are two words of profound wisdom; yet in our existing system, though self-knowledge cannot be denied, self-expression very largely is, because it so frequently clashes with the regulations. It is not recognized that the object of regulations and rules if; to produce order in the fighting machine, and not to strangle the mind of the man who controls it.

'What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?' asked Frederick the Great - what indeed! And if reflection demands that one should be trite to oneself, surely also will it be enhanced if one has the courage to be true to others. Why are we Soldiers so cretinous in this respect? Why have we such a horror for truth, for facts, for actualities, for possibilities, for probabilities and even for obvious certainties? The answer is because our system of mental discipline is cretinous. When we study the lives of the great captains, and not merely their victories and defeats, what do we discover? That the mainspring within them was originality, outwardly expressing itself in unexpected actions. It is in the mental past in which most battles are lost, and lost conventionally, and our system teaches us how to lose them, because in the schoolroom it will not transcend the conventional. The Soldier who thinks ahead is considered, to put it bluntly, a damned nuisance. 'Fortunate is that army whose ranks released from the burden of dead forms, are controlled by natural, untrammeled, quickening common sense.' Not only fortunate, but thrice blessed! Even if its general alone possesses this essential freedom. Yet what is the use of studying genius if we are not allowed to emulate it, and in our own small way to be guided by it?"

Swiss Army Major Ulrich F. Zwygart writes:

"What is "just" criticism? Here, in my opinion, is the crux. Too often, we perceive criticism as a negative statement. That is the wrong attitude. We should take every criticism seriously, whatever message it contains.

Criticism stands at the beginning of every improvement.

The British General J.F.C. Fuller wrote more than fifty years ago about the value of criticism:

'The old are often suspicious of the young and do not welcome criticism, yet without criticism, both destructive and constructive, there can be no progress. As I have already mentioned, the easiest course to adopt is to lay down rules and regulations which must be implicitly obeyed; yet chance knows no compulsion, and such rules and regulations are apt to cramp intelligence and originality.'

Field Marshal Erich von Manstein said to Colonel Claus Graf Stauffenberg:

'Criticism is the salt of obedience!'

General Gordon R. Sullivan, former Army Chief of Staff reminds us that: "Disagreement is not disrespect"

This definition of obedience contrasts, fortunately, with blind obedience--which can be defined as either a selfish philosophy to please one's boss or the easiest way to omit thinking and avoid trouble.

Critical obedience, an inherent part of obedience, also differs from disobedience in the sense that the disobedient officer, having left the common path with his superior, has decided to follow his own orders. Critical obedience does not stand alone in our societies. It has its counterpart in critical citizenship--the appropriate approach to our modern, multidimensional, and often confusing civilization. As Stephen Nathanson, professor of political philosophy at Northeastern University points out:

'The ideal of critical citizenship seems to get things right. People do have a moral obligation to support just laws and just institutions. We do not, however, have an obligation to support unjust laws and unjust institutions. From that, it follows that we need to think critically about the laws and institutions under which we live. Our support of them can be genuine without being uncritical and unquestioning. We need to be appreciative of the good that political systems can create, while remaining aware that not all political systems are good and that even good political systems can give rise to unjust laws and evil policies'.

The study of great commanders is an appropriate tool as the following quotation about [President] Abraham Lincoln's leadership style demonstrates:

'Lincoln essentially treated his subordinates as equals; they were colleagues in a joint effort. He had enough confidence in himself that he was not threatened by skillful generals or able cabinet officials. Rather than surround himself with 'yes' men, he associated with people who really knew their business, people from whom he could learn something, whether they were antagonistic or not. An often overlooked component of leadership is the ability to learn from people and experiences, from success and failures. The best leaders never stop learning. They possess a special capacity to be taught by those with whom they come into contact. In essence, this ongoing accumulation of knowledge prepares the organization for change.'

Recent publications for businessmen stress the value of criticism, because quality work is impossible where people are afraid to tell the truth. In the same light, the existing training programs for enhancing interpersonal communications and promoting good command climates in the military are essential preconditions for promoting critical obedience. Unfortunately, most of these programs are taught only once, shortly before an officer gets promoted to a senior officer's rank. Instead, these programs must begin early in an officer's career and then be reinforced in intermediate-level and senior-level professional military courses. Are tactics only taught once? Of course not. We should apply a similar procedure for promoting critical obedience."

Purity of Arms

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will use force of arms only for the purpose of subduing the enemy to the necessary extent and will limit his use of force so as to prevent unnecessary harm to human life and limb, dignity and property.

The U.S. ARMY servicemen's purity of arms is their self-control in use of armed force. They will use their arms only for the purpose of achieving their mission, without inflicting unnecessary injury to human life or limb; dignity or property, of both Soldiers and civilians, with special consideration for the defenseless, whether in wartime, or during routine security operations, or in the absence of combat, or times of peace.


The U.S. ARMY Soldier will constantly see himself as a representative and an emissary of the U.S. ARMY. As such he will act solely on the basis of the authority he has been given and orders he has been issued.

The representativeness of U.S. ARMY servicemen is their consciousness, expressed in all their actions, that the armed force placed in their hands and the power to use it are given to them only as members of the U.S. ARMY and its authorized representatives, duly executing their orders in accordance with the laws of the United State of America and is subject to its Government.


The U.S. ARMY Soldier will see himself as an active participant in the defense of his country and its citizens. He will carry out his duties decisively, resolutely and with vigor, within the limits of his authority.

The responsibility of U.S. ARMY servicemen is their active partnership and their readiness to use their utmost abilities in the defense of the State, its sovereignty, and the lives and safety of its citizens, within the framework of authority granted them by the U.S. ARMY. They will carry out their duties fully, diligently, and with determination, commitment and initiative, in clear awareness that they are answerable for any consequences.


The U.S. ARMY Soldier will strive in all his actions to fulfill his duties correctly and at the highest professional level, from exacting and thorough preparation through to true, honest, complete and precise reporting.

The trustworthiness of U.S. ARMY servicemen is their reliability in fully carrying out their charge, using their military skills, with the sincere belief and conviction that they are acting professionally. They are ready at all times to present things as they are, in planning, executing and reporting truthfully, completely, courageously and honestly.

Enduring Values

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will, in all his actions and conduct, express the basic values of the U.S. ARMY:

Perseverance in the mission, comradeship, discipline, respect for human life, loyalty, personal example, professionalism, purity of arms, representativeness, responsibility, and trustworthiness, as defined above and as appropriate to the specific circumstances.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier, when acting in the framework of his military role, will be ever cognizant that he bears responsibility not only for the outcomes of his acts and omissions, but also for the patterns of behavior which they help to create, whether by order or personal example, by direct or indirect influence, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

On Military Service

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will view himself, in each of his actions, as bearing full responsibility for the lives and safety of the servicemen and all others who are dependent on his actions or decisions.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will be ready to place his own life at risk when confronting the enemy or to save human life to the extent required, but he will preserve his own life and that of others in all other military situations.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will take into account, in every practical context, not only the proper concern for human life, but also the influence his actions may have on the physical well-being and spiritual integrity and dignity of others.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will endeavor fully to exercise his capabilities as called upon in accordance with the priorities assigned by the U.S. ARMY to combat, command, combat support and combat service support roles.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier, in all his actions, will take care to uphold the honor of the State, its institutions, monuments and symbols, including the honor of the U.S. ARMY and its symbols.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will show special respect for the fallen of the U.S. ARMY. The Soldier will behave with deference in ceremonies, at memorial sites, and at memorial and honor ceremonies, and will treat bereaved families with proper respect.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will maintain the tradition of the U.S. ARMY by showing honor and respect for U.S. ARMY wounded and disabled.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will maintain the tradition of the U.S. ARMY, will study the U.S. ARMY's military heritage and will promote esprit de corps.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will make use of his military authority or status, whether command or professional, solely for the benefit of the U.S. ARMY. He will never use his military authority or status improperly to advance a personal objective, or to go beyond the limits of his authority and responsibility, in letter or spirit, within or without the U.S. ARMY.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will hold himself responsible for the outcomes of his orders. He will support those who have acted in accordance with those orders or as is proper, and will view himself as responsible for the patterns of behavior which he imposed.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will support his unit and its commanders in every way necessary to fulfill the unit's mission of building, promoting and employing military force. The Soldier will obey his commanders in accordance with the law and maintain respect for his commanders, peers and subordinates.

The U.S. ARMY servicemen will never conspire to conceal any offense or mishap, and will not entertain any proposal to be party to such a conspiracy. When confronted with an offense or mishap, the Soldier will act as is reasonable and proper to correct the aberration.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier who participates in a discussion or dispute dealing with an activity in which the U.S. ARMY is involved, whether before, during or after its implementation, will express his views in accordance with his professional knowledge and conviction, with honesty, candor and courage.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will use the authority at his disposal towards others only as is fair, self-controlled, reasonable and professional. He will show due respect for the person and the privacy of those with whom he interacts.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will view his appearance in an U.S. ARMY uniform as an expression of his loyalty to the values and basic principles of the U.S. ARMY.

When Confronting the Enemy

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will use the force at his disposal, in all actions in the face of the enemy, manifesting perseverance in his mission, courage and judgment, always ready to carry out his duties despite danger to his life.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will be ready to do whatever is required, and even to endanger his own life, to come to the aid of his comrades or to recover wounded comrades from the battlefield.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will act, when confronting the enemy, according to the letter and spirit of the laws of war. He will adhere strictly to the principle of purity of arms and to the ethics of combat.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will treat enemy troops and civilians in areas controlled by the U.S. ARMY in accordance with the letter and spirit of the laws of war and will not exceed the limits of his authority.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will act fairly with self-control, reasonably, and professionally, in carrying out the responsibilities of his position, in all his contacts with civilians in areas controlled by the U.S. ARMY, whether in the course of battle or afterward. He will show respect towards the beliefs, values, sacred and historical sites of all civilians and military personnel as they deem proper and to the extent possible, in keeping with the values and basic principles of the U.S. ARMY and in accordance with military needs and the given circumstances.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will fight and exert himself to the utmost, even placing his life at risk so as not to surrender to the enemy but to overcome him. He will not surrender as long as he has a chance of carrying out his mission. Even in the absence of such a possibility, he will not surrender as long as he has contact with his commander or the ability to extricate himself from his compromised position.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier who, despite all efforts, has been taken prisoner will act according to U.S. ARMY orders; responsibly, reasonably and honorably.

Relations with Non-U.S. Government Civilian Bodies

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will give preference to promoting the U.S. ARMY's goals, as is required of him, in accordance with regulations, orders, values and basic principles, over the advancement of the goals of any non U.S. Government civilian body, in any instance of conflict of interests between the U.S. ARMY's goals and those of that body.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier, in all official contact with ALL civilian bodies, will act professionally and without compromising the U.S. ARMY's values, basic principles or honor.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier may be involved in the activities of a commercial or civilian body only in accordance with the letter and spirit of existing orders and procedures, and within the limits of his position.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will refrain from receiving personal benefits as a result of his position, rank, status or actions. He will not request, nor will he agree to accept any favors from any agent, inside or outside the U.S. ARMY, directly or indirectly, for himself or others, except in accordance with due orders and procedures.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will ensure that every public appearance, especially in the mass media, has prior approval, expresses outright and unreserved loyalty to the value and basic principles of the U.S. ARMY, reflects the U.S. ARMY's policies and decisions, and contributes to the public's confidence in the U.S. ARMY.

The U.S. ARMY Soldier will ensure that his behavior even in private circumstances cannot be interpreted as compromising the U.S. ARMY's values or basic principles, does not detract from the public's confidence in the U.S. ARMY, and will not contribute to the creation of patters and behavior that could harm the implementation of the U.S. ARMY's values and basic principles.

Reserve Duty and Retirement

The U.S. ARMY Soldier, during his reserve duty, will act according to the same values and basic principles of the U.S. ARMY as those that apply to servicemen in regular service.

The discharged Soldier may make private use of special or sensitive information which he gained or which came to his attention during his service only after he has received the proper authorization to make commercial media or other such use of such knowledge outside of the U.S. ARMY framework.

The discharged Soldier may make use of his military status, including his reserve or retired rank, or may grant permission to others to do so, only in civilian contexts that do not compromise the U.S. ARMY's values and basic principles, or its honor and the trust which it enjoys in the public mind.


A Soldier writes in:

"Hello my name is SPC XXXXXXXXXXXX, I was browsing the web and accidentally stumbled across your web page on the ARMY values. I wanted to tell you how inspiring it was. I'm the kind of Soldier that stands up when everyone else is too scared to do so. Sometimes it gets me in trouble, but eyes are opened after I do so. I wanted to say I completely agree with everything you said in that page. I've been feeling like all my efforts are all for nothing because some ding dong gets promoted and I don't---because? they 'lick the boots of their superiors' and I don't----how is that fair for the people who actually believe in the ARMY and what it stands for?

I just wanted to tell you your words re-motivated me, thanks"