This article originally appeared on Facebook and is re-posted with the permission of the original author. This first appeared in The Havok Journal on December 18, 2015. The topic discussed remains just as relevant today.
I usually refrain from political statements in a public manner. It’s not that I don’t have a position on issues, and it’s not that I don’t have respect for those that share theirs. I just feel that there is something that needs to be said, and I feel compelled to put it out there. It doesn’t require comment, though if you want to comment, great. It doesn’t require you to re-post, but if you want to share it, great. I just ask that you think about it!
It is dangerous to be an American citizen. It always has been, and it always will be. Instead of trying to make ourselves “more safe,” we should relish in the fact, that as Americans, we possess a special resiliency. We should be proud that our “Freedom To” may limit our “Freedom From,” but we wouldn’t want it any other way.
Now, this isn’t pointed at liberals or conservatives individually, it’s pointed at you both. Stop trying to make us safe. You won’t make us safe with blanket gun regulations – nor will you make us safe with banning refugees from our nation – the fact is, both of those solutions are not solutions at all, and quite frankly, Un-American.
A little while ago, I posted an article about Congress removing some retirement benefits from our military retirement system. I stated that we no longer needed politicians, we needed leaders. Today, I am raising that issue again. To all those running for President of the United States – I served our nation for 20 years – completing 11 combat tours – with men and women I respect greatly – and I wouldn’t follow any of you right now across the street. Why? Because you appear to be pandering to politics and not standing up as leaders.
Leadership is not saying what everyone wants to hear, nor is it saying what “others are afraid to say”. It is about being thoughtful, decisive and inclusive to those you lead, and being true to what makes us special as a Nation. Knock off the divisive rhetoric and bring us together as Americans.
Americans are strong, innovative, hard-working, kind, welcoming, thoughtful, resilient and proud. We complain every generation about the generation following – and every time, that subsequent generation surpasses our wildest dreams. We can be crotchety, arrogant, reactive and overly opinionated – but American Exceptionalism keeps us on track, and far outweighs our dirty laundry.
So, to those that want to lead this country – my guess is you will never see this – but if you do – I challenge you – LEAD! Stop trying to make me “safe.” Stop trying to protect me from myself and others. Help me to be a better American. Help America be innovative. Help America be better. But please don’t change what it means to be American. Stop being politicians, and start demonstrating the leadership that I saw from the men and women I served with for 20 years.
LTC (Ret) J.C. Glick is a leadership consultant, Partner, and co-Founder of Prodromos Leadership Team, who advises at the strategic, operational, team, and individual levels. He has a strong background in leadership development, executive personnel assessment and selection, strategy, coaching, counseling, and developing innovative solutions to complex problems.
J.C. served in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer for 20 years, primarily in special operations and special missions units with more than 11 combat tours. Since retiring from the military, J.C. has brought his innovative and unconventional thoughts on education, leadership, and resiliency into the private sector, consulting with Fortune 500 companies, the NFL, NBA, NCAA, and professional sports teams including the Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers, and the Charlotte Hornets.
He is considered a thought leader in adaptive and proactive programs of instruction centered on the development of leadership behaviors and values suited to dynamic environments and situations of ambiguity and adversity. J.C. recently developed the “Prodromos Developmental Model”, a capacity-building system designed to develop people and leaders for the future, which is outlined in his book. His methods have been featured in Forbes Magazine and the Huffington Post and his work has been referenced in Forbes, Inc., and Entrepreneur.
J.C. holds a Masters Degree from the Naval War College and was a Senior Fellow in the Service Chief’s Fellowship at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).