Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How Far Would You Go to Do the Right Thing?

Vice Admiral James Stockdale collage
(Photo credit: US Naval Academy)
"The ultimate purpose of the wildland fire service is to protect life, property, and natural resources while engaging the forces of nature. Most of us made a commitment to serve our communities, our states, or our nation. We willingly accepted this unique obligation to place ourselves at risk and to put the interests of others before our own."
 ~ Leading in the Wildland Fire Service, p. 5 ~

As stated above, being a leader means placing ourselves at risk and putting the interest of others before our own. One of the most inspirational and courageous shows of personal sacrifice is that of naval officer James Stockdale. One of the most highly decorated officers in the history of the U.S. Navy, Stockdale was the highest-ranking officer held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam from 1965 to 1973. His example of moral courage during his imprisonment earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor. (Wikipedia)

The YouTube video Moral Courage: An Evening in Honor Vice Admiral Stockdale (a multi-part video) features the Stockdale story. Few individuals would risk self harm to do the right thing to resist interrogation and sabotage Vietnamese propaganda efforts. His leadership to develop a prison underground and establish of a code of conduct for fellow prisoners undoubtedly eased the torture of fellow prisoners.

Do you have the moral courage to do the right thing?


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