‘You’re Not Good Enough, PVT Satterfield’

By | September 2, 2020

[September 2, 2020]  Drill Sergeant Bryant was about making good people better.1  I remember his voice in my head even today, and his favorite comment was ‘You’re not good enough, PVT Satterfield.’  It was his way of motivating both me and my platoon to do better.

Bryant was the old fashioned type of Drill Sergeant.  He was a combat Vietnam Veteran who had served multiple tours in-country and had the medals to prove it.  His job was to create men out of boys.  Drill Sergeant Bryant was going to fulfill that mission no matter what got in his way.  I chose the words “men” and “boys” purposefully because if you couldn’t survive Sergeant Bryant (or someone like him), then you are not a real man.

Drill Sergeant Bryant had a lot of sayings; here are a few.  If you’ve been through the “old-school army” basic combat training, you too may have heard these.  I understand they are pretty standard:

  • “Privates, I woke up this morning and looked in the mirror and realized there were two badasses in the world … and I’m both of them.”
  • “I do not care who you are. If my own mother were in basic training, I would smoke her ass too.”
  • “Private, don’t call me, sir, I work for a living! And my parents were not related!”
  • “If you drop your rifle magazine again before putting your safety on, I will kick you in the balls so hard you’ll sing like Michael Jackson.”

Oh, just for the humor, I couldn’t wait to get these out on the Internet.  There are a lot more where these came from, but due to some language protocols, I will not be listing them here.  Those less-public comments will remain part of my memoirs, and when my kids read them later in their lives, they will smile and say, “My dad was a real man.”

“You’re not good enough” is a simple way of saying you don’t meet your full potential.  Pushing us beyond our limits, yet having the skills to bring us back from beyond the brink of human potential, is something few men on the face of the earth can do.  Sergeant Bryant was one of the very few I ever met that could do it and save us from our pathetic, arrogant selves.  I only wish that I had a better appreciation of that man

Drill Sergeant Bryant was a man’s man.  He was also fond of saying, “Good enough is not good enough, and that’s why God put me here on Earth.”  Bryant was telling us that it requires somebody special to teach us how to be a real man, a real soldier, and a real father.  According to his thinking, every other male out there is a pussy, pantywaist, momma’s boy, and he didn’t have the time of day for them.  For us Privates, he made men out of us.


  1. https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-is-making-good-people-better/


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’re Not Good Enough, PVT Satterfield’

  1. Lady Hawk

    I loved this article. Thank you Gen. Satterfield for showing us you are human and that there were average people in your life that helped make it better.

  2. Willie Shrumburger

    Excellent, love the story too. Gen. Satterfield, this man must have been someone you could rely upon regardless situation. We need more Drill Sergeant Bryant’s in the world today. If we did, we would have all the riots, murders, and burning down buildings like we have. Those snowflakes that first don’t understand a real insult and second are just momma-boys, don’t deserve to be treated nicely. They need their butts kicked and real hard. A few would be straightened out but not all. ??

    1. Jerome Smith

      I recommend that every man be required to attend Army or Marines basic boot camp. It would be life-changing for most and good for us all. Makes you see the world in real terms of good and evil and you had better be on the side of good or the Serg. Bryant s will be there to kick your ass. Kudos to Sgt Bryant and those like him. We need more of them and we need them now active in our communities.

  3. Tracey Brockman

    I dare say this was another one of Gen. Satterfield’s top-notch articles. Such stories draw you in. I would suggest – and I’m humble about this – that you write a book on your days as an Enlisted man. It would be worthy and I think popular too, given that you made the rank of Brig. Gen. Thanks for making my day more entertained and educational as well.

  4. Tom Bushmaster

    Again, another superb example of how to be a better person, in this case, through being a better soldier. Whether on the battlefield or in a corporate boardroom, we all need to learn that we are not the center of the universe.

  5. Eric Coda

    Very good blog post. This is what I like most about your website on leadership. Yes, I agree that DS Bryant might just be responsible for your lifetime’s success in the Army.

    1. Wendy Holmes

      Good analysis Eric and, oh, short too. Doesn’t take much to realize that this is how men are made here in the United States. There are other ways too but having a Sergeant Bryant around certainly helps not just the soldier and army but the US and the world. More men like him are needed. Thank you for writing about him again. Maybe in the future you could dedicate a longer article to your Basic Combat Training days. I enjoyed what you wrote so far.

      1. Stacey Borden

        Yes, please write more about your BCT days in the Army. Very very interesting. ?

    2. Xavier Bordon

      Great article and thanks for the look at the “SGT Bryants” of the world and how they make us each a better person (or soldier or anyone). These are the kinds of men the world needs more of but are, IMHO, are put down as being too “harmful” to our sensitivities.

      1. Greg Heyman

        That is why we have so many sissy-men today, not enough Drill Sergeant Bryants.

      2. Darwin Lippe

        Loved today’s article and I agree with these guys that more of this type of leadership is needed at the lowest levels. Only a certain kind of man (Soldier) can do it.

  6. Yusaf from Texas

    Great article, Gen. Satterfield. Obviously, Drill Sergeant Bryant made you a man … a “real man.” Keep these kinds of stories coming our way. I loved it. Makes the message of manhood easier to remember and to digest.

  7. Randy Goodman

    Wow, put it right on the kisser. This was a real man. Too bad we don’t have more like him in the Army or in any military service.

    1. the ace

      I would like to see “men” like him everywhere but in particular in universities where men are no longer welcome or seen. It’s the little basement-dwelling, pussy fake men that are little ‘snowflakes’ that go to college and then expect the govt to take care of them that I really hate. We are making sissy-men all the time but real men are “cancelled”. Too bad for our society. We will pay for that mistake. Thanks Randy, great comment.

    2. JT Patterson

      Yes, good comment Randy. Yeah, too many children going into politics these days. Oh, and too many lawyers too, while I’m at it. College doesn’t force these kids to grow up any more as long as they are willing to spout the most recently socialist fads.

      1. Dennis Mathes

        Yeah, great article. I really liked it. Yes, JT, many good comments and the reason I keep reading this forum.


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