The Medal of Honor and Leadership

The American Medal of Honor.

The American Medal of Honor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of you saw tales of heroic deeds over the recent Memorial Day celebration in the United States.   We take the time to learn of heroes and the stories of their unselfish and personally risky actions that we taken for the freedom of others.

One tale of true heroism seemed to stand out above the rest again this year.  As is often the case, this American hero returned after the war to live a normal and unassuming life.   Though Private William J. Crawford’s heroic deeds for which he received the highest military award, the Medal of Honor, were performed on 13 September 1943, he did not have an official recognition event at the time because he was missing in action and presumed dead.  This was corrected in 1984 when the Medal of Honor was formally presented to retired Master Sergeant Crawford.

President Ronald Reagan cited lessons that we could learn from not only his actions in World War II but also from his humble life that was filled with character.  These lessons were captured in an article by Colonel Moschgat:

  • Be cautious of labels
  • Everyone deserves respect
  • Take time to know your people
  • Anyone can be a hero
  • Leaders should be humble
  • Life won’t always hand you what you think you deserve
  • Don’t pursue glory; pursue excellence
  • Life is a leadership laboratory

Colonel Moschgat concluded, “Bill Crawford was a janitor. However, he was also a teacher, friend, role model and one great American hero. Thanks, Mr. Crawford, for some valuable leadership lessons.”

Mr. Crawford joined the Army in 1942 and retired in 1967 with the rank of Master Sergeant. He died in March of 2000 at age 81, but his legacy is, as with all his Patriot brethren, eternal. He is buried at the United States Air Force Academy Cemetery — the only U.S. Army enlisted man buried there.

Thank you, Mr. Crawford.

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The information in this post came from The Patriot Post.  You are encouraged to read the full post there.

Please leave a comment below if you liked this article. You can also connect on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, subscribe via e-mail (right side bar), retweet, digg, or stumble this article.  You can check out my Facebook page and continue the discussion there as well.  Your feedback is appreciated.

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About Christian Paulsen

Christian Paulsen is an Executive Consultant with 20 years of Lean Manufacturing. Chris adds value to organizations by driving process improvement and bottom line savings. Chris intends to help others by sharing the lessons learned after a quarter century of operational leadership, marriage, parenting, and even longer as a Cubs fan. Your comments on this blog are welcome. You can also connect with Chris via LinnkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook in the right sidebar. Chris welcomes your comments. Christian's professional services are available by contacting him through LinkedIn (right side bar)
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