Sailing with Leaders
I was recounting the Battle of Yorktown to Cynthia and Kris Meyer of Raleigh while sailing the York River close to Redoubt 10. I explained how the bayonet training for the attack was perfected by the Baron Von Steuben, a fake Prussian general who nonetheless was a great leader and who reconstituted the US Army after Valley Forge into a more disciplined force through the use of drill and repetition.
“That’s great,” Kris said. “They got real leadership from someone who wasn’t a genuine general. I served as a maintenance non-com in the Air Force, and I resented the hot-shot pilots. They could fly the planes with their college degrees, but it took us high school graduates to fix them. We used to say, ‘Enjoy your hole in the sky, Fly Boys, but we’ll be the ones to fix the hole in the plane.’”