Quotes - Officers (page 4)

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These chaps moving up will be pretty scared, particularly if it's their first time. Now we'll go right up and then drive slowly back, taking our time. When they see the general coming back from where they are going, without a scratch on him, they'll feel better about it. - Lt.-Gen. Sir Brian Horrocks


Discipline is simply the art of making the soldiers fear their officers more than the enemy. - Helvetius


If you want to talk to men, it doesn't matter whether they are private soldiers or staff officers, if you want to talk to them as a soldier, and not as a politician, there are only two things necessary. The first is to have something to say that is worth saying, to know what you want to say: and the second, and terribly important thing, is to believe in yourself. Don't go and tell men something you don't believe yourself, because they'll spot it and if they don't spot it at the time, they'll find out. Then you're finished. - Gen. Sir William Slim (Viscount Slim)


For on March 7, 1787, Arthur Wesley received the King's commission as Ensign in the Seventy-third. It was a Highland regiment ... He had a calling now, though scarcely a profession, since he could hardly live on an Ensign's pay; ... The calling seemed to interest him and, as he said in later years, he "was not so young as not to know that since I had undertaken a profession I had better try to understand it." ...in a laudable pursuit of knowledge he had a Highland private weighed in full marching-order. - Philip Guedalla, The Duke, 1931 (Wordsworth Military Library Edition 1997)

```Merit,' the putative basis for promotion, was increasingly determined by a subjective system that few officers believed to be valid. `Special handling,' a type of regimental nepotism in the army, favoritism, undue credit for `potential' over performance, and lack of objective standards for determining suitability for command, took the place of a failed performance evaluation system.'' - from "Hold military to higher standard," by Steve Lukits, The Kingston Whig-Standard, 16 July 1998


Clearly the military historian needs to beware in reading the regimental reports where the reputations of officers as well as their men are involved. - Geoffrey Regan, Fight or Flight, 1996


He who dedicates himself to a profession, which demands staking one's life in a common cause, he who takes on at the same time the responsibility to send others on orders to their deaths, must maintain for himself a moral conviction and direction, which cannot be measured by ordinary standards. - William I, German Emperor, 1888


Duty is the great business of a sea-officer; all private considerations must give way to it, however painful it may be. - Horatio Lord Nelson


No man is a leader until his appointment is ratified in the minds and hearts of his men. - Anonymous, 1948


The relationship between officers and men should in no sense be that of superior and inferior, nor that of master and servant, but rather that of teacher and scholar. In fact, it should partake of the nature of the relationship between father and son, to the extent that officers, especially commanding officers, are responsible for the physical, mental, and moral welfare, as well as the discipline and military training of the young men under their command. - Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune, 1920


An officer should never speak ironically or sarcastically to an enlisted man, since the latter does not have a fair chance to answer back. The use of profanity and epithets comes under the same headings. The best argument for a man keeping his temper is that nobody else wants it; and when he voluntary throws it away, he loses a main prop to his own position. - Gen. S. L. A. Marshall, 1950


The typical staff officer is the man past middle life, spare, unwrinkled, intelligent, cold, passive, non-committal; with eyes like a cod-fish, polite in contact but at the same time unresponsive, cool, calm and as damnably composed as a concrete post or a plaster-of-Paris cast; a human petrifaction with a heart of feldspar and without charm or the friendly germ; minus bowels, passion or a sense of humour. Happily they never reproduce and all of them finally go to hell. - Anonymous


Intelligence, knowledge, and experience are telling prerequisites. Lack of these may, if necessary, be compensated for by a good general staff officer. Strength of character and inner fortitude, however, are decisive factors. The confidence of the men in the ranks rests upon a man's strength of character. - Field Marshal Erich von Mannstein, 1957


Discipline can only be obtained when all the officers are imbued with the sense of their awful obligation to their men and to their country that they cannot tolerate negligence. Officers who fail to correct errors or to praise excellence are valueless in peace and dangerous misfits in war. - Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.


But the first thing I tell my junior officers about logistics is, never assume anything! The logistician who assumes things quickly goes down the chute. - Lt. Gen. William G. Pagonis


When we fail to insist on a highly-educated officer corps, we are shooting ourselves in the knee because we are missing our foot. - Gen. J. R. M. Baril


The more [an officer] lowers a soldier's self-esteem, the less consideration he earns for himself. [It is] more gratifying to an officer to command men whose conduct is dictated by honour than those who are only held in obedience by the fear of punishment. We may add that there is also a greater security. - Count Lancelot Turpin de Crisse, Command and Discipline, 1754


My experience of active service is that a shortage of officers comes all too soon. - Lieutenant General E.A.H. Alderson, first commander of the First Canadian Division in 1915


The badge of rank which an officer wears on his coat is really a symbol of servitude -- servitude to his men. - Gen. Maxwell Taylor


My commission is at Your Majesty's disposal, but I can never consent to act as an executioner. - James Wolfe to Cumberland at Culloden, on being ordered to kill a captive Scottish soldier, quoted in Robert Barr Smith, Men at War; True Stories of Heroism and Honor, 1997


A good soldier, whether he leads a platoon or an army, is expected to look backward as well as forward, but he must think only forward. - General Douglas McArthur (1933)


The Officer Corps is the heart and soul of any military organization. It must be the reservoir of character and integrity, the fountainhead of professional competence, and the dynamo of leadership. - General Matthew B. Ridgway


Today's officer must have the mental flexibility, the imagination, to utilize to the fullest extent the developments of modern technology. Nevertheless, he must not lose his soldier's soul in the laboratory. Above all he must have the integrity and character of a Washington, the moral conviction of a Lincoln, and the tenacity and fighting ability of an Eisenhower, a MacArthur and a Patton. These are high standards, but they are the standards of our present dedicated leadership, and will always be the hallmarks of the great officer. - Secretary of the Army William M. Brucker


The characteristic which higher command always looks for in any officer is honesty. Honesty in thought, word, and deed. Second to honesty and courage of purpose, I would place an unselfish attitude as the greatest attribute of a leader. Place the care and protection of the men first; share their hardships without complaint and when the real test comes you will find that they possess a genuine respect and admiration for you. To do otherwise means failure at the crucial moment when the support of your men is essential to the success of the battle. - General Alexander M. Patch


As Army officers, we should prepare our men psychologically as well as physically, and inspire them with the necessity to prepare themselves for the arduous task of fighting and winning upon any battlefield, atomic or otherwise. - General Matthew B. Ridgway


The requirement upon all soldiers to master their profession - always of fundamental importance - has gained new emphasis with the advent of new weapons and the resultant greater capabilities and responsibilities of the Army. - General Matthew B. Ridgway


An army fearful of its officers is never as good as one that trusts and confides in its leaders. - President Dwight D. Eisenhower


There are no bad troops. There are only bad leaders. - Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall

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