Sometimes You’re the Bait

By | October 14, 2020

[October 14, 2020]  There will be times as a leader you will be the bait to attract unwanted attention and the enemy’s firepower.  During my first combat tour of duty, my small unit was tasked to build a small engineering project “outside the wire” to attract an enemy insurgent cell’s attention.

Overlooking my unit was a Special Forces sniper team.  They were “casting” for the terrorist fish that would undoubtedly see and smell my engineering team, and then go in for the kill.  Fortunately for my team, all worked out well, and no terrorist unit showed up.  The SF folks were disappointed they didn’t catch any fish that day.

As a leader, we will all get the chance to be out front, the tip of the spear, leading from the front, or – as in this case – the bait.  It’s a dangerous position.  We will take and always have those who take hazardous duty to achieve our mission, preserve our organization, and protect our communities, families, and nations.  Only the strong can do such a thing; good nerves are optional.

To be the “bait,” one must be resilient, have courage, and keep in sharp focus on what is happening around us.  It readers real leadership and dedication.  Only those leaders who can be trusted, work with little supervision, and have the audacity to make creative, tactically correct decisions under fire can do the job of being the good bait.

Leading from the rear is a more straightforward job.  The methods we use are more than just a leadership style like so many have argued.  Leadership is an art and is driven by the personality of those in charge.  Our mission will determine the veracity of authority and the degree to which we give value to the organizations we belong to.  Good leaders accept all missions assigned.

A mere two years later, back in the warzone, I witnessed a U.S. Marine gun team acting as bait for a much larger Marine unit.  Their job was to flush out an insurgent who had been posing as an Iraqi Army Colonel.  He had infiltrated several units as he feigned needing help.  The gun team was aware of the deception, and when a man fitting the description approached, he was immediately apprehended.

Imbedded in the insurgent’s clothing, they found two hidden pistols.  It was clear he had prepared to kill the Marine gun team.  The gun team had succeeded in being the bait that day.  I’m sure they were happy with the outcome.  Sending people into harm’s way is difficult, but a necessary part of good leadership.

Expect one day to be the bait.

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.

19 thoughts on “Sometimes You’re the Bait

  1. Jerome Smith

    This article brings in an interesting perspective and thus I do like it for that reason. As I read early before the sun rises and before most people get out of bed, I’m already up, showered, had breakfast, exercised, and reading my email and this blog. Get up early is one of my ways of getting ahead of the competition. I recommend folks do the same and read more of Gen. Satterfield’s blog to start their day too.

  2. Kenny Foster

    Too many of our leaders, lead from the rear. That way, they are safe and let us take all the real risks.

  3. Otto Z. Zuckermann

    You can be “the tip of the spear” or you can be “the bait.” Or something in between. But to be a leader means being out front, being seen, being there in person (if possible), and standing tall. Otherwise you will be the short guy getting overlooked.

  4. Sadako Red

    Some good stories to help drive home the point that leaders will fill very different roles throughout their time as a leader. But it will always mean putting yourself at risk. It means that, as a leader, you’ve got to be tough and resilient. Otherwise, you will not make it and those who follow you will suffer the consequences.

    1. Len Jakosky

      Hey, RED, great to see you back on Gen. Satterfield’s website. Thanks. I’m a big fan (oh, I’ve said that before). I am looking forward to your next article. Please give us a hint on what it will be.

    2. Tomas C. Clooney

      Yes, I’m here as another big fan and have read everything you wrote on this blog so far. I agree, let us know what your upcoming article will be about. Thank you.

  5. Jonathan B.

    I found your article interesting but a bit odd, this morning when I logged on. I actually like it. Thanks.

  6. Max Foster

    I’ll be the next person to be the bait today. Did anyone else see the confirmation hearings on the next Supreme Court nominee? The Hawaiian senator, forget her name, asked Amy Coney Barrett if she had molested or raped anybody. How absolutely stupid of a question. And it was done just to embarrass her family and make us all look like crazies around the world. Mission accomplished.

    1. The Kid 1945

      Max, it was Senator Mazie Hirono, Democrat and no surprise because she has done such terrible things in her life, her whole being is wrapped around hatred and dishonesty. The fact that Hawaiians can vote for her just amazes me.

    2. JT Patterson

      Cruel woman and subhuman being. This is why so many think women should not hold leadership positions. Then there is Jane Fonda, a traitor. I can go on and on but you get the picture.

      1. Yusaf from Texas

        The Democrats just embarrassed themselves again yesterday. And today, they will do it again.

  7. Randy Goodman

    I’ll be the bait this morning and say that I can’t wait until Gen. Satterfield does a profile on pres. candidates K. Harris and M. Pence. I’m sure he will show her as insecure, self-centered, privileged little girl.

    1. Georgie B.

      Randy, that was too easy to put you on the hook. But I get the point. I hope he does it soon.

      1. Lynn Pitts

        Hi Georgie, Kamala Harris makes all women look like simpletons. How terrible she is but, I must admit, that she is much better than Hillary Clinton who is the most crooked politician in history of the US, except maybe for her husband.

    2. Nick Lighthouse

      You are a brave one, Randy. But let me say that I have little respect for K. Harris. Just watching the show yesterday with the supreme court nominee proceedings made me sick at my stomach that Harris could be so ignorant and insulting to another woman.

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