Spring Term Writing Assignment
10 April 2014
General George S. Patton – US Army
General Patton achieved and accomplished many things while serving this great nation. One may often look at his twenty-two service awards that he received, or take notice that he was an Olympian, served in both World Wars and the Mexican Revolution, or even the numerous commands he held. However, the greatest accomplishment that must be recognized is General Patton’s unique ability to lead and inspire soldiers. General Patton is recognized as one of the greatest military figures and this can mainly be attributed to him being one of the greatest leaders in military history.
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Patton was a very personable leader who believed that you should lead from the front and not the rear, even if it exposed you to enemy fire. While directing tanks from the front, Patton was once shot in the leg. Although this earned him the Distinguished Service Cross for Heroism, it more so exemplifies the brave style of leadership that he believed in. At the beginning of World War II Patton went on to take command of the Seventh Army during the invasion of Sicily and maintained command until 1944 when he was given command of the Third Army in France. Patton moved his troops across Europe after the battle of Normandy and was very good in identifying German weaknesses which in turn led to many victories. At the end of World War II, the Third Army had liberated or conquered 81,522 square miles of land. Patton’s last command would be with the Fifteenth Army in Germany in 1944. A few short months later, Patton was involved in a car crash and later died due to his injuries. Patton served in the US Army for over thirty-five years. (Patton, The Official Website of General George S. Patton Jr. n.d.)
When asked how to define the characteristics of an Army leader, I often find myself resorting back to those of General Patton. Though many people may have believed his style of leadership was somewhat unconventional at the time, I cannot help but be captivated by his bravery and unwavering belief that you have to lead from the front and set the example. In setting the example and leading from the front a soldier must live the Army Values and Warrior Ethos. A soldier must have an authoritative leadership presence and also the intellectual capacity to do so. Lastly, a soldier must be able to develop and inspire other soldiers and get results while creating a positive environment and having a good relationship the soldiers serving under you.
General Patton was a leader of character who lived the Army Values. He was loyal to his country and to his men and was dedicated to duty. He was a leader who never let up or accepted complacency, and he never allowed his men to be complacent. He demanded respect from his soldiers in his actions but in turn would give respect where it was due. He would display selfless-service, honor, integrity and personal courage in many of his battles by leading from the front and being with his men with little regard to his own safety. Some may believe that Patton was lacked empathy in the way he led soldiers and thought of those suffering from “battle fatigue” (commonly known now as PTSD). He would often refer to those suffering from this condition as cowards, give them a good slap, and order them back to the front lines. I believe that General Patton did empathize with these men in a unique way. Patton himself was believed to have suffered from “battle fatigue” and knew that he could not allow himself or his soldiers to quit because soldiers never quit. Patton explains this by saying:
“There are always a certain number of such...