I want Strong Men on my Side

By | January 11, 2022

[January 11, 2022]  Growing up, it was a weekly event to play team sports in the elementary schoolyard.  Our teacher would choose two (either a boy or girl) as the team leader.  The team leaders would take turns picking team members.  A basic rule was to pick the strongest first.  Likewise, as a leader of Infantry Soldiers, I always wanted strong men on my side.

Those I wanted on my side had to be strong; physically, mentally, and emotionally.  No wimps allowed.  My teams knew the drill.  If you couldn’t perform up to military standard and re-training didn’t work, you were off the team.  It had to be that way.  Lives depended upon our ability to get the mission accomplished.  There would never be an excuse for failure.

“Throw me to the wolves, and I’ll return leading the pack.” – Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

Of course, there were other personal traits we were looking for our team members to possess, like proven experience in leadership positions, a positive go-get-em attitude, and demonstrated ingenuity.  Yet, being strong counted most.  If you could not hang with us under extreme stress (like combat), it didn’t matter what else you brought to the table for our team.

Many were attracted to our Infantry unit (later Combat Engineers) because we got the job done – always – at the lowest cost in money and lives, and we got it done fast and the right way.  Success attracts those who are the best in any field of human endeavor.  Everybody loves a winning horse and is willing to put “their money down on a winner.”

Our philosophy in the U.S. Army was to win.  Winning over the enemy on the battlefield is not sometimes; it’s an all-the-time thing.  You don’t win sometimes.  You win all the time.  People like that idea.

In sports, winning isn’t everything or losing a game.  In combat, that’s different.  There are still rules, but short of those rules (based mainly on Western ethical ideas), everything you do targets success.  Overwhelming firepower and numerical superiority are examples of not going up against an enemy as equals.  We were superior because we were strong.  That’s why I wanted strong men on my side.

There is no substitute for having strong men on your side.  Of course, in the civilian world, that means either men or women.  Either works, but strength is the characteristic you want.  Period.


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

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

29 thoughts on “I want Strong Men on my Side

  1. Dead Pool Guy

    Who would want it any other way? Plenty of dangers in the world and to ignore them (both manmade and natural) that to reject strong men (for whatever reason) is insane. Because when you need strong men and you have rejected them, they might not be around when you need them.

  2. George from the Catskills

    Fun story of the beginning of Gen. Satterfield’s life. Enjoyable! Entertaining! Spot-on!

  3. Andie Nolty Jr.

    Thank God for real men like Gen. Satterfield. Men like this are rare, but highly effective beyond their individual position. He is humble, smart, strong, an example to emulate, reliable, and a man who stands up to those who attack the weak and for freedom and liberty.

  4. corralesdon

    Go Combat Engineers. Read Gen. Satterfield’s book, ‘Our Longest Year in Iraq.’ You will not be disappointed and you will learn a lot about combat engineers in actual combat.

    1. Harry Jorgensen

      Yes, thanks and buying his book is a way to help pay him back for what he has done for our country.

    1. Rhondie Z.

      Well, sometimes they do. Or, like Hollywood which is going to crap. I don’t mean the druggies or hippie self-absorbed actors but the declining quality of their work. Movies tv series, commercials… all are, what? DULL and unimaginative.

      1. 1st Place Contender

        Yeah, great observation, as I was thinking the same thing.

  5. Yusaf from Texas

    Survival of the fittest. And that means the strongest. Well, most would agree anyway. Actually it’s not the strongest or the smartest, but the most flexible that survives. Just saying.

    1. JT Patterson

      “In the basic idea of leadership, we cannot always equate what’s good to what’s strong. Strength is one element of it. Better to be strong than to be weak. Strong and kind is better than strong. Strong, kind, and wise is better than strong and kind. Fostering social relations and respecting the value of others, regardless of status or position, paying attention to and protecting the weak, and treating them well and wisely, is a far greater way of leading than simply being the strongest person in the room.” — Gen. Satterfield

      1. Wild Bill

        This is, naturally speaking, not a contradiction as might be inferred. Strength still is the most important element, it is just that it is not the only element. But it is a pre-condition, nonetheless and will always be such.

  6. Otto Z. Zuckermann

    Many are attracted to us because we get the job done. I guess that in the narsacistic world of political progressives, this does not matter.

  7. Erleldech

    Ethics does matter and sometimes you will lose if you stick to the moral rules. But, morality is not a suicide pact. It wins out most of the times but tells you that you must be prepared. Like the Boy Scouts, be prepared. Gen. Satterfield knows his business. Pay close attention here, folks.

    1. Desert Cactus

      Right, Erleldech. Ethics matter and they are fundamentally based on the idea of human survival with honor.

  8. Wendy Holmes

    I’m impressed with this leadership blog. I’m also happy to know that Gen. Satterfield has written a book that expands on this idea of wanted strong men on your team. I’m no pansy and everyone has to admit that strength matters a great deal. Remember he said it includes emotional and mental strength as well as physical strength.

    1. Army Captain

      Right Wendy. No sexism here, just the plain facts. In the US Army, Infantry is ALL men. That’s the way it is. So he writes “men” he means “men” because that’s all there is in the Infantry. I know, I’m there.

    2. Lady Hawk

      I want strong men on my side too!!!!! Feminists can go take a hike, wear pink hats, and vagina t-shirts all they want but when they are getting mugged, they will cry for a strong man.

        1. Audrey

          I’m sure we ladies will all agree! Can’t beat that logic. Did we see any of us ladies storming the beaches at Normandy on June 6, 1944? I think not.

    3. Anya B.

      “Strength” can mean many things and Gen. Satterfield has made it clear what he thinks it is and physical strength is right up there. In combat, you can’t be a weakling. If you are and are the smartest, most beautiful, most intelligent, most like person on the planet you will die. Those strengths don’t matter one wit. Physical strength must be first and foremost.

  9. Willie Strumburger

    Excellent article, Gen. Satterfield on valuing strength over everything else. Morality matters, naturally, but you can’t be moral if you are dead (because you were weak).

  10. Rusty D

    Political correctness will get you killed in the military. And, our heads of our military, generals and admirals, are all in on PC. “Diversity” is the biggest threat to our country, they tell us. BS, those generals and admirals are the biggest threat to our nation because they took their eye off the ball of our enemies.

    1. Harry Donner

      The world laughs at our tutu wearing military with Gen. Milley and Lloyd Austin in charge.

      1. American Girl

        Gen. Satterfield has already told us what he thinks about these two men and it is not good. I’m with Gen. Satterfield, we have a WOKE army and that is the wrong direction to go. These two, Milley and Austin, are career men. They are willing to sell the United States down the river for keeping their jobs. Me? I’d resign immediately and tell the President to take a hike. I won’t sacrifice my American patriotism for money and prestige.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.