How Does One Define Leadership?

The Iraq and Afghanistan missions challenged our country and our men and women in uniform. In spite of misguided believes, leaders are not made they’re born and there is no greater example than the following two outstanding senior officers. They deserve our nations gratitude and greatest recognition. I would love to serve under either one.

Recently, Gen David Petraeus USA (Ret) was honored by the Dutch Ministry of Defense and awarded knighthood into the Order of Orange Nassau in recognition for his service and leadership.

Gen David H. Petraeus

I wish to also recognize the former commanding officer of USSOCOM, Adm Eric T. Olson. Admiral Olson’s leadership was instrumental in developing USSOCOM’s capabilities to its current levels. It was under his watch, that U.S. Navy SEAL teams executed one of the most successful missions in SEAL history, a raid on the UBL compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, which brought an end to his tyranny.

I had an opportunity to hear Adm Olson speak at a SOFIC conference in Tampa; I was flattered to have that opportunity. It was the first time I laid eyes on the Admiral and I remember thinking how could a guy with a middle name of Thor be of small stature – it had to be hell going through high school and The Academy, which is probably the reason why he elected to become a SEAL officer.  I had planned on introducing myself and my SS affiliation but I wanted to avoid professional jealousy! Discretion being the better part of valor…

All joking aside, Adm Eric T Olson is at the top of my list of heroes!

Adm Eric T Olson USN (Ret)

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4 Responses to How Does One Define Leadership?

  1. Apex says:

    wow, jealousy in evidence by the author here. do you really truly believe that height is of any consequence for officers or warriors? Petraeus is the same height, maybe a little less. or do you believe your obvious jealousy can be assuaged as just a joke? BTW erik thor olson is a drop dead norwegian knockout, your comments notwithstanding.

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    • Apex, I normally dismiss moronic comments but in your case I’ll make an exception. I’m not jealous of Admiral Olson, I admire him. My “professional jealousy” comment is an expression of camaraderie at a level that you couldn’t conceivably grasp. You’re not just ignorant, you’re actually lacking the genetic material to support the learning process.
      I didn’t find Admiral Olson that attractive, but then again I am heterosexual. I also know that he’s a Norwegian, and you may rest assured that anyone who can eat lutefisk is a better man than I. And, I have eaten some pretty nasty stuff.

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  2. apex says:

    This comes from a woman who is a collegial friend of the Admiral’s, thank you for coming up front with your comments.

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