[January 10, 2021] Sociologists tell us that culture affects perception, and perceptions drive behavior. Some parts of our culture influence us in different ways, and some are more powerful than others. Growing up, like so many kids, I watched television and saw something exciting and educational. One show that I favored was The Rat Patrol (1966-1968).
Starring Christopher George, Gary Raymond, and Eric Braden, The Rat Patrol was about an Allied commando patrol with missions during World War II in North Africa. The basis of the show was about four soldiers using guerilla-style warfare, doing jumps and standing up in the back of the jeep with a heavy 50-caliber machinegun, and flying off dunes.
“Four Men … Two Jeeps … and Courage!”
“Impossible Odds … Impossible Task … Give it to the Rat Patrol!”
From the local stories of WWII veterans and watching a few tv shows, we gleaned some lessons that I never forgot. The veterans caught our attention with their stories. From the excitement of war shows like The Rat Patrol, Combat, 12 O’Clock High, and Hogan’s Heroes, we were thoroughly captured by our imaginations.
Here are a few of the simple lessons not forgotten:
- BOLD execution matters more than a good plan, numbers, or ammo.
- SPEED in execution works.
- COURAGE helps push through and around obstacles.
- TEAMWORK works.
Yeah, even as a kid, I could figure this out. My time in the Boy Scouts may have assisted in preparing me for this WWII series. I already had experience with teamwork and saw some great leaders as a kid. I understood its value to get the job done and that it did require hard work, luck, intelligence, and a solid ethical background. Of course, these four lessons are just a few things leaders must have to succeed.
The first episode of the series can be found on the Internet (click here, a YouTube video, 24:57 minutes). For those familiar with WWII military equipment, you might want to be ready for a mixed bagged. The German Afrika Corps, for example, uses mostly U.S. armored vehicles. And the “Germans” speak with a slight English accent. But, who cares, right? Action is what we are looking for.