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Iraq and Afghanistan veterans honored at Harvard

February 21st, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments


Photo by Tom Fitzsimmons

I attended a forum at Harvard last night, at which five veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan discussed leadership on the front lines. The veterans, 3 Army officers and two Marine Reserve officers, discussed how to be a successful leader in hostile situations.

Major Ewers explained that during the most dire of circumstances, how you handle yourself and how you react is when those under you most look to you as a leader. That is why you must always act ethical and honorable.

When asked about how he and his men deal with the crumbling support back home Major Ewers said he highlights and focuses on the importance and all of the good being done. He explained how he doesn’t waste his energy worrying about something that is outside of his influence.

When all of the veterans were asked why the continue to volunteer for service and make tours to Iraq they said that if they don’t go, someone else will, and they would rather put themselves in harms way.

“You get to the place where you would do anything for the guy on your left or the gal on your right, because frankly, you know they would do anything for you.” – Captain Maura Sullivan

The panel:
Lt. Col. Oscar Hall, U.S. Army Armor Battalion Commander, Iraq; KSG National Security Fellow ‘07
Major Daniel Wagner, U.S. Marine Corps Civil Affairs Officer in Iraq; Planner, Afghanistan ‘02; KSG MPA ‘02
Major Joseph Ewers, U.S. Army Infantry Company Commander, Iraq; HBS MBA Candidate ‘07
Captain Maura Sullivan, U.S. Marine Corps Operations Officer, Iraq; KSG & Stanford MPA & MBA Candidate ‘08
Lt. Col. Fredrick Wellman, United States Army UH-60 Aviator, Public Affairs Officer, Iraq; KSG Mid-Career MPA ’07

Also in attendance was Lieutenant General Douglas E. Lute, Director of Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff.

More photos and information from the forum can be found here:
http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2007/02.22/05-vets.html

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