They Were Tough SOBs

By | October 31, 2020

[October 31, 2020]  In the first half of twentieth-century America, boxing was one of the most popular sports; in popularity, number one tied with baseball. The fighters were some of the toughest and fastest people ever.  As my ex-Drill Sergeant Bryant used to say, they were tough SOBs.

Growing up, I got to meet many WWII and Korean War vets.   You know the ones; those who took on the Nazi war machine and the Japanese Imperial military and later fighting well-equipped North Korean and Chinese soldiers.  They were really tough.

Americans like tough SOBs.  It is not surprising Americans also like their greatest athletes, their Special Forces military, hard-hitting politicians, and SWAT police officers. They love it when they witness aggressive action, a no-nonsense approach to getting things done, and any person who doesn’t take any crap off anybody.  No fear is their motto.

I was fortunate to meet some really tough guys in the U.S. Army. One senior Infantry sergeant at my first duty station overseas was the meanest, strongest, hardest man I ever knew. I’m glad he was on my side. I remember him lifting a case of stout German beer with one hand and holding it out horizontally.  I couldn’t do that with both hands.

Another tough guy I met was a two-star Army General. How could a General be tough?  Well, he could get anything done asked of him. Sort of like General George Patton, this General was a preeminent leader of soldiers. He was told once to stand up a killerdrone program during the Iraq War within just a couple of weeks. Impossible?  He got it done. The man was amazing; he was everywhere, all the time.

Knowing and having lived alongside some of the world’s toughest soldiers gave me a new appreciation of life and the motivation to be tougher myself.  While I could never compete with these men, I knew that they were there if I ever needed them.  That is what we call the Band of Brothers; those tough SOBs.

Happy Halloween!

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.

27 thoughts on “They Were Tough SOBs

    1. Eyvonne Therrain

      This is why we need a fighter in the White House. Joe Biden is a wussie who doesn’t even know where he is.

    1. George Cameron, II

      You got that right Wendy. I’ve been watching many Trump rallies and some Biden rallies. Big big big difference.

  1. Valkerie

    Really tough guys are the kind you need to be around. No one screws with them and you have a bit of built-in protection.

  2. Descendent of Columbus

    I’ve met some really mean dudes myself and most are strong but not tough as you describe. Maybe there is a real difference.

    1. Kenny Foster

      Hi Descendent of Columbus. Me too. That is what separates a growing, proud, strong nation versus a failing nation. The USA is on the brink of which future path it will take. The one of victimhood and socialism and a decline in prestige or tough manhood and capitalism and growth as a leading nation. Which will it take? Anyone can guess but either way will set its path for the next decade or so. Let’s hope that it is not the victimhood/PC ideology path.

  3. Bryan Z. Lee

    Thanks Gen. Satterfield for sharing your time with some of America’s greatest tough guys. You were very lucky to have met them and I’m also sure you were honored as well.

    1. Watson Bell

      Yes, Bryan, we are all lucky as well. What we see them as are model citizens to be copied in behavior. As long as they are good folks, of course. These models of citizenry are to be emulated in deed and thought. This is what makes a great society’s wheels turn.

  4. Newbie Yunger

    Loved today’s article, Gen. Satterfield. Well done. I too love the tough guy image and try to adopt it as much as I reasonably can. What it entails, I found out, is the adoption of tremendous responsibility and being out front to lead others. That’s why we all love it.

  5. Eric Coda

    “Americans like tough SOBs. ” Quote of the day. Let’s have a runoff on the best quotes from Gen. Satterfield. I recommend this one. So obvious but so rarely stated.

      1. Mr. T.J. Asper

        Just another reason to continue reading Gen. Satterfield’s leadership blog. For those new to the comments section, take a seat and read them. See what others have to say and get an idea of what leaders are thinking. You will find, also, occassionally that Gen. Satterfield will also make a comment. Read and learn. That is what I tell me students in High School where I teach and, guess what?, it works.

    1. Dead Pool Guy

      Yes, and that is why we like Pres Trump. He’s a tough guy. Now, some wimpy boys might not like him or some frilly girls but real men and real women love him. Those who like Joe Biden, are wimps.

      1. Yusaf from Texas

        Pow, great comment Dead Pool Guy. Of course, you are right, at least in my opinion. Big difference in these two.

  6. ARay Pittman

    Great article about tough men. This is, indeed, an American dream but there are other cultures too that have tough men high on their list of most valuable. Hispanic culture does as well, for example. Now, it doesn’t always work out well but they pride themselves on it and rightly so.

    1. Lynn Pitts

      Clint Eastwood played some really tough hombres. Americans like tough men … and maybe tough women too as long as they are real women and not fake women like we see too much of the time.

      1. Harry Donner

        “Fake” women, you are killing me with that comment. Well done. I almost spit my coffee up thru my nose when I read that.

    2. Max Foster

      This is where a certain type of Western culture has great value. When we start admiring victims instead of tough men, we are in decline. That is happening in the USA, sadly, and why we have been on a downward trajectory. It started, IMO, with Pres Obama who went on his apology tour for American all across the world. He wanted to be a victim (even tho he was elected president) so others would ‘love’ him. How’d that work out?

      1. Otto Z. Zuckermann

        Excellent points as usual, Max. Pres Obama will be seen as a loser in the future if America can pull itself away from socialism and the PC ideology permeating it.


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