Friday, August 31, 2012

Seven Must See Movies for Company Commanders

You can learn a lot of helpful military leadership lessons by watching movies. As a military leader, you can study military movies to learn new leadership skills, study tactics, and study military history. It's fun, entertaining, inexpensive, and easy to do. For the purpose of this article, I want to share some of my favorite movies that will benefit aspiring and current Company Commanders. Let's get started.

1. Band of Brothers: This HBO Series is a timeless classic of the men of the 101st Airborne Division during WW2. You will follow Easy Company, led by Dick Winters and other leaders. This series covers tactics, the art of war, military leadership and so much more. This is without a doubt my favorite military movie of all time.

2. Saving Private Ryan: This is another great WW2 movie, starring Tom Hanks, a Company Commander in the Army Rangers. You will learn about leading men, suffering casualties, overcoming obstacles and so much more.

3. Once an Eagle: This is a great book and movie. The movies stars Sam Damon and covers one man's journey through several wars as an enlisted man and officer.

4. The Lost Battalion: This is a documentary of the 308th Infantry Battalion of the 77th Division during WW1. In this movie, the Germans offer the Americans the opportunity to surrender or die. Instead, the Americans choose to attack. This is a great leadership movie.

5. Starship Troopers: This is one of my all time favorite books and movies. Starship Troopers is much more than a science fiction movie. This movie covers "principles" regarding men and soldiers.

6. We Were Soldiers: This is a great movie about the first major battle of the Vietnam War. This movie stars Mel Gibson and shows how a greatly outnumbered battalion wins a battle. There are great tactics and leadership lessons in this movie.

7. The Hurt Locker: While many critics don't enjoy this movie, I do. I think there are many helpful lessons about stress, the emotional effects of war, and the craziness of war. Whether you like the movie yourself or not, there are some very valuable lessons to be learned from it.

In summary, these are my seven favorite military movies for Company Commanders. Whether you have already taken Company Command, or will so in the future, I recommend you sit down and watch these movies. Take notes. Study what you learn and share the lessons with some of your peers and subordinates. The lessons you learn will develop your leadership skills and make you a better Commander.

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