Dougisms: Some Not-so-Random Thoughts

By | January 19, 2022

[January 19, 2022]  Occasionally, I offer some not-so-random thoughts in writing that I’ve stored away in my mental rucksack.  My “rucksack” will never be retired.  Today, I’m pulling out a number of these for comment.  I like them.  Regular readers will instantly recognize the list.  Some have taken to calling them “Dougisms.”


  1. Tell the truth or you’ll get sandblasted by reality.
  2. Do something. It may be wrong, but do something.
  3. Share your foxhole only with someone who can fight like the devil.
  4. Never stop moving. Or, that’s the spot where you’ll die.
  5. You don’t have to be the prettiest, the strongest, the smartest person around, but if you don’t pay attention, you’ll get your arse kicked.
  6. Hold the team guidon. Somebody has to accept the mantel of responsibility.  Besides, the enemy has to see somebody to shoot at.
  7. Know your weaknesses; this is the mark of a smart man.
  8. Don’t bullshit yourself.
  9. Nobody owes you nuttin’.
  10. You will be harshly judged by others who know nothing. Get over it.
  11. Never ever, ever betray your brothers.
  12. Never complain, be part of the solution. Whining irritates me.
  13. Face those things you fear most, only through fear can you genuinely be a free man.
  14. There’s only one kind of discipline, perfect discipline.
  15. Be polite, be respectful, and carry a gun … and more ammunition than you will ever need.
  16. Don’t assume nuttin’ … the enemy has a vote on how to kill you.
  17. Obey the rules, be the best at following the rules, but know when to break them.
  18. Protect the weak and the innocent and so be prepared to create great chaos and destruction.
  19. Your feelings don’t matter to me, so pull up your big-boy pants.
  20. Suffering is universal, lock shields with your battlebuddies, that way you’ll be with them always.
  21. See the enemy first, you become their final solution.
  22. Never surrender your sword … or guns, or knives, or hand grenades.
  23. Tell stories of heroic deeds.
  24. Be prepared; wear your helmet, clean your weapon, and treat yourself properly.
  25. Always have a backup plan, the bad guys have theirs.
  26. Pain in the body is its way of telling you that you are alive.
  27. Aim at being a monster, that way you walk with the knowledge nobody will mess with you.
  28. Listen intently, especially to your enemies, they will tell you what they are about to do.
  29. If you fight fair, be prepared to have your butt kicked.
  30. Always eat last, that’s how you take care of Soldiers.
  31. Get used to cold showers. Life is tough.
  32. If you are thrown into the lion’s den, be sure to come out leading them, or don’t come out at all.

Oh, this is not all.  Read about Dr. Jordan Peterson’s “valuable things to know” in a post I wrote last year (link here).


Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” at Amazon (link here).

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

72 thoughts on “Dougisms: Some Not-so-Random Thoughts

  1. Walter Vernon

    Love these! One that I used with my lieutenants in the past was, Lieutenant, don’t scratch unless I itch. Admittedly, I took this from a scene in the move, Cheyenne Autumn, where Cavalry Captain Thomas Archer (Richard Widmark) dressed down a Second Lieutenant Scott (Patrick Wayne) for exceeding his orders just a touch. It is a great leadership lessons learned statement in any leadership environment.

  2. The Observer

    Funny that somehow I missed this great article. Tells me a lot about Gen. Satterfield.

  3. Delta Force

    Straight talk from General Satterfield. And a patriot too.

  4. Mother Picasso

    I laughed and cried when I read this list. Great wisdom here.

    1. Ronny Fisher

      If you haven’t read these, then you are missing out on some of the best ideas of Gen. Satterfield. If you read thru the many articles from this blog, now over 9 years going, you will find them scattered throughout.

  5. Steven Long Jr.

    Great list, Gen. Satterfield. Lines up closely with your new book “55 Rules for a Good Life” and I’m reading it now. Best leader book ever. ❤️

  6. Leslie D. Fairchild

    Gen. Satterfield, great list with some sprinkling of humor.

    1. Julia

      Yeah, and that is not all. Since this list came out earlier this year, Gen. Satterfield published his newest book, “55 Rules for a Good Life.” I like this list here and it has a calling, if you will, that makes me want to be better than I am today. If I get better, then I can look myself in the mirror each night and say, ‘well done!’

  7. Winston

    This list from Gen. Satterfield, called “Dougims” is absolutely wonderful. Keep it up, Gen. S. and your articles generally. A wonderful website full of great info for leaders.

  8. Rusty D

    Best list I’ve seen. Oh, be sure folks to read today’s article (Jan 31st) on a list of things Gen. Satterfield is thinking about for a leadership book for young folks. Take a look and give your input.

  9. Alexander H.

    General Satterfield, I found your list of “Dougisms” both funny and enlightening. Thanks for what you are doing for those of us who know right from wrong, good from evil, and intelligence from stupidity. That’s why I now read your blog.

  10. Frankie Boy

    Funny, read this list and post it on your refrigerator, read them every morning. And, laugh a little.

    1. Unwoke Dude

      Great articles I’m finding here. New to this blog. Looks interesting.

  11. Regua X

    …… wow, I loved the list of Dougisms. Made my day! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

    1. Newbie in Seattle

      This is why I keep coming back to this leadership website. I hope Gen. Satterfield writes another book soon and I’d like to have it on leadership for young people. Now, that would make a real splash.

      1. Boy Sue

        Others are recommending to him the same thing. See today’s article and comments.

  12. MrJohn22

    Never ever, ever betray your brothers.
    My favorite….. what else is there?

  13. Eric Coda

    I’m a bit slow commenting today, but I wanted to add my two cents worth. This is, certainly, a list that I will be keeping in my “leadership rucksack.” Humor, down-to-earth, clean, and hitting right between the eyeballs. This list gives us an unusual and useful insight into the mind of real leaders, in particular, Gen. Satterfield. Thanks!

  14. corralesdon

    When I posted this list on the breakroom refrig, I got a lot of great feedback and asking who made it. I hope it generates more traffic to your website. Thanks, Gen. Satterfield, these sure hit home for me.

    1. Doug Smith

      Yep, the more like this will make me want to put together my own list of “Dougisms.”

      1. Eddie Ray Anderson, Jr.

        — as we all should do and develop them over time. 👍👍👍👍👍

  15. Tony B. Custer

    Loved this article, Gen. Satterfield. Keep ’em a coming our way. Your website is the best!!!!

  16. rjsmithers

    Great list of ‘Dougisms,” and thank you Gen. Doug Satterfield for this entertaining and on-target list.

    1. Frank Graham

      There is nothing like a succinct list to get the mind thinking. I for one like this blog by Gen. Satterfield and how he goes about telling the stories of heroes and great men and women. Seeing how they succeed and, yes, also how they fail is good for the mind. Their experiences help us sort out the wheat from the chaff. Find the wheat and find the solution. Thanks Gen. S for another fabulous article.

  17. Steve Dade

    My favorite is #3 ‘Share your foxhole only with someone who can fight like the devil.’ Work as a team. Win as a team. Lose as an individual. Remember that leadership is about people.

  18. McStompie

    Gen. Satterfield, this is a great list…… Dougisms, ha ha ha ha …… Keep up the great job you are doing!!!

    1. The Kid 1945

      The very reason I keep coming back to this leadership website. What I also like is the entertainment factor and these “dougisms” are spot-on. 👍

      1. E.T.

        Same there, Kid. Hang in there. Stay with us. Gen. Satterfield is really on his game with this article. I’ve re-read this list several times, cut it out and have it in my wallet. Now my friends have a copy. We had a great time reading them out loud and discussing what they meant. That’s how you can remember them.

  19. Dale Paul Fox

    Let me say right up front that I smiled while reading this list of not-so-random thoughts. Yes, the list is, indeed, entertaining. More to the point, this list is a look at what makes us humans successful. A mix of human philosophies, practical norms of leadership, and values. This mishmash is good for the reader and excellent as written. I recommend reading them and not forgetting what Gen. Satterfield has given us today.

  20. Max Foster

    Gen. Satterfield has provided us with a real taste of his leadership thinking in his blog over the past eight years (not sure if it’s more) and every now and then he lets us sneak a look into his way of doing leadership. This is one of the best. Pay attention here folks. This list may look simple but there is a much more complex underlying message. Read and learn. Formulate your thinking on these and remember them always.

    1. Colleen Ramirez

      Yes, do pay attention to what is written and more I think integrate them into your life. Of course, you might not be a soldier but you can make do with this list of Dougisms. Well written, thoughtful, and practical.

        1. Bernie

          Right, I would like to read more, if there are any more. But, of course, there are. 😊

  21. Alberto Alvarez

    I love this list. Great! Wow, what else can I write about it? Occasionally we get a real gem. This is one of them.

  22. Bryan Z. Lee

    I found No. 28, “Listen intently, especially to your enemies, they will tell you what they are about to do.” to be particularly interesting. Maybe, Gen. Satterfield could put together an article on this. Yes, I do agree. Many times “surprise” attacks by the enemy are not really a surprise if we had listened to what they had to say. Who said, “Know thy enemy?”

    1. New Girl #1

      Sun Tzu, ancient Chinese general and philosopher. I recommend reading up about what he had to say about ‘war.’ Know yourself and know your enemy and you will be victorious. Just a few quotes gets you into the theme of what he says about leadership, war, and living a good life.

      1. Wendy Holmes

        “Know yourself and know your enemy.
        You will be safe in every battle.
        You may know yourself but not know the enemy.
        You will then lose one battle for every one you win.
        You may not know yourself or the enemy.
        You will then lose every battle.”
        Art of War 3:6:1–6

      2. British Citizen

        Sun Tzu, I recommend that those who haven’t read his book on war, to do so NOW. Cheers to all my compatriots.

  23. Maureen S. Sullivan

    “Dougisms” —— well, what else is there to say. I assume these were some of the things that Gen. Satterfield talked to his soldiers about. If so, now I fully understand.

    1. Wild Bill

      Yep, I’ll take that bet. After 40 years, you do tend to accumulate some practical knowledge. The great thing about this list is that they are funny and thus tend to be remembered.

  24. Tony B. Custer

    #3. Share your foxhole only with someone who can fight like the devil.
    This is about teamwork. Gen. Satterfield is big on teamwork and as he should be. That is what leadership is about, the team, and anything that deviates from it will NOT work. That is the way it is today and always will be. I love this blog and keep recommending it to my neighbors and friends.

  25. Frankie Boy

    Just another way of Gen. Satterfield keeping us informed and pointed in the right direction. Always keep moving … from Point A to Point B. Always be on the move. Great stuff here, Gen. Satterfield. Thanks for these. I’ll treasure them.

      1. Linux Man

        Me too. I also laughed my way thru them. My wife came in to see why I was laughing so hard.

    1. Valkerie

      Yeah, caught me off guard. Wonderful list. I too cut them out and taped them inside my briefcase.

      1. Albert Ayer

        Just don’t forget them. Humor has a way of helping us all.

    2. Rides Alone

      I’m new to this leadership website that Gen. Satterfield manages. I read many great forum discussions. My learning style is here.

      1. Audrey

        Welcome, Rides Alone. Maybe most of us here also ‘ride alone’ as well in our pursuit of learning more about leadership and how to become a better person. Like, ‘tell the truth’ and ‘adopt responsibiliity.’ We all wish you a good read and please encourage others to join this discussion.


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