Saturday, October 30, 2004

Worth's Battalion Orders

Of all the arcane West Point "plebe" knowledge I committed to memory in my prepster and cadet days, Worth's Battalion Orders resonated the most with my concept of ideal leadership. I know Major Worth's words to be true, but it is very hard to "know no one."

But an officer on duty knows no one -- to be partial is to dishonor both himself and the object of his ill-advised favor. What will be thought of him who exacts of his friends that which disgraces him? Look at him who winks at and overlooks offences in one, which he causes to be punished in another, and contrast him with the inflexible soldier who does his duty faithfully, notwithstanding it occasionally wars with his private feelings. The conduct of one will be venerated and emulated, the other detested as a satire upon soldiership and honor.


Brevet Major William Jenkins Worth


- Eric

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is also my favorite set of knowledge that I learned as a cadet and practiced as an officer.

Dean

1/08/2005 11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Corps Has...

3/09/2005 2:42 PM  
OpenID woebegun said...

Interestingly, I was just asked by my 40th High School Reunion Committee whether there was "someone who said something I've never forgotten." Although I could actually have provided a number of answers (e.g., my wife's "I do" at our wedding), I decided that Worth's Battalion Orders was the best response... perhaps because, like you Eric, I found it a most important but also a most difficult standard to adhere to during 36+ years now of service to the nation.
As to "the Corps," although there have been plenty of times that I too have raised a questioning eyebrow over changes at USMA, I can only say that recent classes performance in Afghanistan and Iraq seem to belie any belief that "the Corps has"?
Essayons!

6/16/2008 4:57 PM  
Anonymous MJC said...

My favorite thought for the day from OCS. Thanks for posting. I had a Brigade Commander who was fond of running us out a couple of miles while he conducted his quarterly commander's guidance, at which point we would break for a PT Test "at your own pace back". My favorite discussion with him started out "If you need me to tell you about moral and ethical behavior expectations, meet me back at the Brigade after this run. You are not suited to command in my brigade". Love that guy! MC

3/04/2009 11:58 PM  
Anonymous mjc said...

Made me think of my other favorite from OCS.

The discipline which makes the soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh or tyrannical treatment. On the contrary, such treatment is far more likely to destroy than to make an army. It is possible to impart instruction and to give commands in such a manner and such a tone of voice to inspire in the soldier no feeling but an intense desire to obey, while the opposite manner and tone of voice cannot fail to excite strong resentment and a desire to disobey. The one mode or the other of dealing with subordinates springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander. He who feels the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them regard for himself, while he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect toward others, especially his inferiors, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself.

Major General John M. Schofield
Address to the Corps of Cadets
August 11, 1879

3/05/2009 12:13 AM  

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