In teaching leadership, I’m often asked about great leaders or if I had a mentor. This man fits both categories.

It was 30 yrs ago today General Fred Franks led VII Corps in crossing the line of departure, starting the ground campaign of Desert Storm. 1/12
As a major, I had worked on the staff of Major General Franks - in the G3 - when he was the @1stArmoredDiv commander. He was quiet, smart, demanding, and caring. No one wanted to disappoint him. A true “cold warrior” in Europe. 2/12
A Vietnam veteran, he lost his leg when a grenade landed next to him. He was a major with a cavalry unit, and after being medically evac’d, he fought to stay in the service. He would be the first soldier to suffer such bodily trauma, be retained, and then be promoted. 3/12
When he was promoted to 3-star to take over VII Corps, I left his staff to go to a Cavalry Squadron in @1stArmoredDiv. We were both in our new jobs in Germany when the Berlin Wall & the Iron Curtain fell in 1989. 4/12
Peace was breaking out, and it was obvious to all the forces in Europe would draw down. Then, in August 1990, Saddam invade Kuwait. 5/12
Those of us in Europe watched the development for months. In early November, all of us were told to watch @cnn that night for an “update.” To our surprise, SecDef Cheney announced VII Corps would deploy to Saudi Arabia (we did not get C-Span in Europe) 6/12
A frenzied deployment of 140k soldiers began. European partners were magnificent in helping, but we would all be asked to turn a force that had defended Europe into an offensive force against Iraq’s large army. (You could tell forces from Europe, as we wore green camouflage) 7/12
A complex plan, drawn up by Gen Franks’ planners, envisioned a “hook,” but the mission remained: destroy Iraq’s republican guard divisions. 8/12
The “100-hour war” provided a bevy of lessons. Gen Franks was promoted to 4-star, and shaped the future of our Army as the Commander of @TRADOC. Still a major, I found myself working for Franks on his planning staff over the next 2 years. 9/12
Every year since then, GEN Franks has held a VII Corps reunion/fundraiser. The camaraderie continues and the funds go for scholarship of children of those who served in the Corps. Because of this man. This hero and selfless leader. 10/12
The 30th Anniversary is this week & it is affected by Covid. But next year it will be robust, due to the continued leadership of GEN Franks. A few years ago at the reunion, was lucky to snag this picture of 4x @1stArmoredDiv commanders. 11/12
Anyway, General Fred Franks exhibits all the attributes & competencies of the great of leaders. I hope everyone has a role model/mentor of his ilk. Best to all “Jayhawks” veterans on this 30th anniversary of a formative experience. 12/END

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More from @MarkHertling

10 Feb
Senators have email or websites. They’re aware of mean tweets, but their offices record emails. I just wrote @marcorubio & @SenRickScott - again - asking them to uphold their oath. For my Florida friends, here are the sites:… 1/
I’d recommend civility. Remind them how their oath to the Constitution requires that they must represent the vast majority of Americans who still believe in upholding our democracy and ensuring the rule of law. 2/
Would also recommend those who write remind them that leadership requires proper action, exhibiting what right looks like...and how they vote will determine if the US survives and how we will be viewed in the world. 3/
Read 7 tweets
17 Jan
Media repeatedly citing the 25k National Guard deployed to DC. But that’s just a fraction of Guard activity across the country right now.

Imagine what these soldiers are experiencing. Another mobilization (after they’ve already done hurricane relief, Covid support, etc)...1/
...more need to coordinate w employers for time off away from their normal job, more time away from family. 2/
And then there’s the anxiety of potentially facing fellow citizens, the difficult rules of engagement they must understand and potentially apply, the challenging “use of force” against a civilian mob. 3/
Read 5 tweets
14 Jan
Had a chance to provide some info to @NatashaBertrand regarding the challenges associated with countering IEDs. That exchange caused me to ponder the question: “Could we be approaching the early stages of an insurgency in the US?” 1
Now, my friend and former DHS official @juliettekayyem has suggested the term “stochastic terrorists” to describe the actions of those who attacked the capital last week. Her model, in part, describes random timing & targeting to excite a generalized fear in society. 2
That could be past of an insurgency. But given expansive online collaboration & planning, this may be the beginning of something much more nefarious & more difficult to address. We ought to be wary of what we may be facing. Let me explain... 3
Read 14 tweets
11 Nov 20
Best to all on this 2020 Veterans’ Day!

Some have suggested vets post pictures in uniform. But...I’m going to post a few w those met among the way.

Here’s CSM Roger Blackwell, sharing thanksgiving dessert on top of Mt Sinjar. One of the best soldiers I’ve ever met. 1/
Here’s LTC (Dr) Kamal Kalsi, who was brave and courageous in combat and in making changes in the Army. dear friend & patriot. 2/
Here are 3 WWII veterans who parachuted into Normandy, at a reunion at St Mere Eglise, 68 years after they fought for freedom on the European continent. One of them now sadly gone to higher ground. 3/
Read 12 tweets
6 Oct 20
Gettysburg is one of my favorite places, I’ve been there hundreds of times.

It’s extremely wise for @joebiden to go there to speak about national unity and our values.

Lincoln’s was not the primary speaker in Nov 1863, months after the battle, but his words resonate today.1/
Edwin Everett, a famous orator of that period, was the main speaker. He attracted a large crowd & he gave a grand speech for over 2 hours.

President Lincoln, as an afterthought, was asked to provide “a few remarks.” He spoke 272 words & it took just under 2 minutes. 2/
What was unique in Lincoln’s speech was the use of key words: we, us, dedication to unfinished work, a reference to our nations documents, what should unite rather than divide us. 3/
Read 7 tweets
11 Sep 20
In the middle of a friendly conversation with a new civilian friend this morning, he asked: "Do you remember where you were on 9/11."

My wife and I glanced at each other with knowing looks.

"It's a long story, how much do you want to hear?" 1/
In August 2001, I was assigned to the Pentagon for the first time in my career. That's because I was selected for promotion to Brigadier General, but first had to serve in a "Joint Assignment" as per law.

Our family left the high Mojave Desert and we drove to DC in July. 2/
Arriving at the Pentagon, I was told I couldn't assume the position until the Senate confirmed my promotion. My boss, a great 3-star Marine, gave me stuff to read & told me to lay low until the Senate acted.

After 3 weeks, he told me to take some leave. That was 3 Sept. 3/
Read 18 tweets

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