You Can’t Buy Valor

By | April 8, 2021

[April 8, 2021]  Valor is a word we do not often hear.  Valor is showing great courage in the face of extreme danger, especially in battle.  Often, I’ve written about heroes who show courage and bravery confronting many challenges that life throws our way.  ‘Valor’ means voluntarily facing mortal danger to protect others.

“You shall, I question not, find a way to the top if you diligently seek for it; for nature hath placed nothing so high that it is out of the reach of industry and valor.” – Alexander the Great

You can’t buy valor.

There is no human right to victory on the battlefield.  No destiny presages triumph over your country’s enemies.  To win occurs only through the skill and devotion, the valor, and the strength of your troops.  All else fails.

If there is one thing that all militaries have learned over the thousands of years of war is that valor in battle cannot be purchased at any price.  Those who show great bravery in the face of mortal danger are often the most unpredictable soldier, the least expected, and the one a leader may have dismissed.

We can only recognize valor.

Every medal of valor recipient has faced life-threatening danger.  Each stood their ground.  Each was witness to arbitrary power over them.  We hold them up as examples to others so that we may shout to everyone what is the most valued of all acts of bravery that a man can achieve.

Those who are willing to stand and pledge their lives to their nation demonstrate a moral act.  To protect one’s nation from enemies has been an act of such high value that it represents the survival of our nation.  In America, we rightly look upon those who earned the Medal of Honor with a sense of awe.

To someone who has demonstrated valor means to know a human of the greatest worth.

For those of us fortunate enough to speak with a person who has demonstrated valor on the battlefield, is to know more than we can imagine.  It means we can see, for our own eyes, the epitome of human worth.  It means that we have stood in the presence of greatness and awe.

I have been fortunate to have done so and continue to highlight those men and women who are our nation’s real heroes.

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.

21 thoughts on “You Can’t Buy Valor

  1. Plato

    Good action give strength to ourselves and inspire good action in others.

  2. Dead Pool Guy

    We can only “imagine” valor. By that I mean we ordinary men and women are never exposed to true valor in the sense that someone does something for the greatest good at the greatest risk to themselves and family. I for one would have been more honored than ever to have witnessed such an event. I settle for those stories where valor is demonstrated. Thanks Gen. Satterfield for allowing me a touch of valor today.

  3. Man of War

    Hello. I’m new to this website and have appreciated the discussions for a couple of weeks now. I hope to contribute.

    1. Willie Shrumburger

      Welcome to your new home on Gen. Satterfield’s leadership blog. You will find plenty of honorable discussions here in the forums and I believe you will be better at critical thinking after spending a few weeks here. Again, welcome.

  4. Jonnie the Bart

    I liked Alexander the Great’s quote. I had to read it three times, slowly, to get to what he meant. Translations are often difficult, esp. when cultures are different.

  5. Greg Heyman

    This is about real heroes and Gen. Satterfield, I believe, supports that idea. We need heroes. But we are not ALL heroes and that will never be the case. Not even 10% are heroes but they are the rare person who struggles to overcome a great dangerous dragon and saves the princess. Or, something like that.

    1. Cindy Stanley

      Yep, Greg correct. These stories go back way before the written word. The question is why. The answer is because the hero saves the community/nation.

  6. Yusaf from Texas

    Key phrase that is not to be overlooked. “To someone who has demonstrated valor means to know a human of the greatest worth.” This is what we mean when we say a reward is needed, one that also shows great worth.

    1. Eric Coda

      And, this one as well, “Those who are willing to stand and pledge their lives to their nation demonstrate a moral act. To protect one’s nation from enemies has been an act of such high value that it represents the survival of our nation.” Gen. Satterfield is making is clear that valor is a moral act, not something that can be judged through normal behavioral mores but an act that goes far beyond what we do in everyday life. It transcends good and into a meta-good.

      1. Chuck USA

        A moral act, yes, a necessary act, yes, a rewarded act – I’m not so sure. It does represent all that is “good” in the sense that everyone gains something, regardless of how small.

  7. Max Foster

    We can only recognize valor, but we can also encourage it as well by rewarding those who show valor. We do this, as a nation or as a band of brothers, by presenting something that is meaningful. While money may be part of it, money is not the real incentive. Usually recognition is done thru a military medal but this must be respected, highly, by those in the military, else it has little worth.

    1. Jeremy M. Jones

      Point well taken, Max. Yes, the reward must be something meaningful, not something material (per se).

  8. Rev. Michael Cain

    Enjoyed today’s article, Gen. Satterfield. This is your strong point, writing about valor, heroism, courage, and such. Keep it up. That is why I and many others come to your leadership website, just to read about it.

    1. Lynn Pitts

      Yes, and he does a great job at it, IMHO. Also, I like the mini-series on battles and moral couarge.

      1. Tom Bushmaster

        Hi Lynn, correct. And this website is now several years old and Gen. Satterfield is very active in publishing daily articles and updating his daily favorites to include some very insightful articles – mostly on strategy.

  9. Randy Goodman

    Yet, you would think that you can buy valor thru pandering to certain classes of humans. A thoroughly Marxist, failed ideology.


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