To Be and What Not to Be: A Critical Analysis on Anton Myrer's Once An Eagle

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I believe you assigned this book for us to read because it is a clear representation of what it means and takes to be a great officer in the United States Army. It has taught me a lot of positive and negative attributes of leadership. Sam Damon represents everything that an officer should be, and Courtney Massengale represents everything that you hope your superiors are not. After reading this book I can ask myself, when encountered with a difficult problem, "What would Sam Damon do?" This book has taught me several very important lessons about leadership. First, I must choose the harder right. I strongly believe that a good officer is one that is not afraid to go that extra mile to ensure the safety and welfare of the soldiers under his…show more content…
The two men do have two similarities that I can see. They are both very intellectual and both keenly ambitious. Damon enjoys reading military history, and tries to learn from the mistakes of previous leaders from the past. Massengale attended West Point. Just these two points alone show they are both smart men. The problem is where Damon uses his intellect to learn and better himself, for the purposes of being a better leader for his soldiers, Massengale only uses his to increase in rank, in order to gain power and seek conquest. Damon tries to advance with hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. Massengale employs easier channels to promotion. Such as swapping favors for his superiors, and and unending array of political maneuvering. Damon also has good officer-enlisted relations. The soldiers want to follow him, they want to make him proud of them, they do not want to let him down. This is one reason why he wins battle after battle throughout the wars which occur during his career. Massengale on the other hand sees the enlisted man as being just a bit above an indentured servant. They are there only to do what he orders them to do. They should not think, they should be "yes-men" and act like puppets, while he is out of harm's way portraying the puppetmaster role. I believe they are excellent role models for junior officers. Every officer should strive for excellence found in Sam Damon, and try their best to stray away from officers

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