Jocko Podcast #28 Steel My Soldiers’ Hearts

Full podcast here.

  • Officer Candidate School they yelled at me for everything. My underwear wasn’t rolled up correctly. You know what I did? I made it into a game. A game I intended to win. 

  • One by one army brass with an entourage of photographers strutted across. To the grunts, they must have looked like aliens from outer space. They paid no attention to the assembled troops. More pawns to be ignored. It disgusted me. 

  • Hackworth takes over and says it is time for shock therapy. I didn’t want to overwhelm them. I’ll train them like a pup. Just a few tricks at a time. The two rule plan. Once the troops have mastered the two rules then I’ll give you two more. We’ll keep doing that until we are squared away. 

  • Hack cared for the lowest of soldiers and he expected his staff to damn well look after them. The little things build up.

  • We’d live exactly like the grunts. We’d sleep on the ground like Stonewall Jackson did during The Civil War. No one would have a plush deal anymore. 

  • After a successfully withstanding an attack, a solider said about Hackworth: He is a mean son of a bitch but he knows what he is doing

  • He was educating his troops on how the enemy thought. 

  • I brought back saluting. A sign of military discipline that had been swallowed up by the rice patty mud. I added a twist. When a soldier saluted I required him to say Hardcored Recondo sir. The officer would reply No fucking slack. This built unit pride. It made them feel like part of an elite unit. It said we are different. We are the best

  • My idea of looking after the troops is not to spoon-feed them. But to make them as hard as forged steel. Deadly in their kill or be killed trade. 

  • Many combat vets come to think they know it all and start taking short cuts. They blow off the basics and blow off the little things that keep them alive. Shortcuts get you killed.

  • The best form of welfare for the troops is first-class training. This saves unnecessary casualties. First-class training means hard work and sacrifice. The more we sweat on the training field the less we bleed on the battlefield. I’m convinced it keeps the casualty list short

  • You have got to welcome and encourage people to check you - to test you - to question you - that’s what you want