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Society tends to differentiate warriors and leaders by placing leaders higher on the social pyramid than warriors, signifying that they are two completely different social classes. However, there is some gray area between the two groups it is no coincidence that most of the world leaders throughout history have served as military leaders or have extensive military experience. Those who do not, simply are not able to lead as effectively as those who do thus, it is clear that in order to be effective, leaders need military experience because it is useful during times of war and provides crucial leadership experience.
The author of “Beowulf“ and the article “Dwight David Eisenhower” discuss two warriors who eventually became leaders, asserting that military experience is needed in leaders during times of war. The poem, “Beowulf”, takes place during the Dark Ages, a time when many different tribal factions warred against each other for more land and power. Beowulf was feared by everyone in Europe due to his superhuman strength and powers, and this fearsome reputation helped keep beowulf and his people safe from the aggression of other warring tribes.
Beowulf, due to his superhuman strength and powers, was feared by everyone in Europe who did not dare to war with him nor his people. Therefore it is justified that when Beowulf met his eventual demise, people had visions of their “nation invaded, Enemies on the rampage, bodies in plles, Slavery and abasement.” It is clear that Beowulf was vital to the Gears, the people whom he ruled because he was a decorated warrior who was feared by all tribes and nations.
Having heard stories of him defeating devilish beasts such as Grendel and his mom, no one dared to attack either him or his kingdom. His reputation was especially important during the Dark Ages because it was a time of constant war and death. However, by enthroning Beowulf, the Geats were able to live peacefully and safely knowing that even if a tribe attacked them, beowulf would ensure the kingdom’s security.
This idea is discussed in a more modern setting in the article, “Dwight David Eisenhower” Eisenhower was the 34th president of the United States whose term was during the Cold War, a tense time between the United States and USSR during which many skirmishes took place. The article states that even as a young cadet, Eisenhower was “a natural leader who looked for ways to smooth over disputes and organize a group’s effort toward a common goal.” (“Dwight David Eisenhower”). His natural leadership, which he further developed in the military, was crucial to the US, during this time as there was intense military tension between America and the USSR. Because of his military experience, he fit perfectly in this time period and was extremely successful as a leader, two of his most important accomplishments as a president are both military-related he “ended the Korean War” and “kept America at peace” (United States National Park Service).
It is clear, then, that his military experience allowed him to make judgement calls such as ending the Korean war and fighting many Cold War crises, decisions that maintained peace in America during a rough time in history. This article helps validates the argument brought up in “Beowulf” it is crucial that leaders during times of war are experienced warriors in order to maintain peace for their people and ensure security of their nation. The author of “George Washington, Genius in Leadership“, Richard C. Stazesky, and the article, “Harry S. Truman: Life Before Presidency” both describe the lives of two accomplished military leaders, and prove that successful leaders need to serve in the military in order to gain vital leadership experience. In his article, Stazesky discusses the various leadership skills that George Washington possessed as a result of his military experience.
He states that the Continental Congress chose him as Commander in Chief in 1775 due to his ability to “unite the forces of all the colonies” (Stazesky). Washington gained this skill through his military service because during the Revolutionary War, he was forced to utilize all of the colonies’ resources, especially men, and in order to do this, he had to foster unity among all the colonies. This ability he possessed was vital during his presidency because he was able to keep the fragile ties between the colonies from tearing and nurtured a more united country. The idea of military experience being crucial to an effective leader is further discussed in the article, “Harry S, Truman: Life Before Presidency”. This article explores Truman‘s life and focuses on his time spent in military service, it explains the profound effect that his service during the Great War had on him, including the “self-confidence” that he gained from his “ability to lead a group of men under the most trying of circumstances” (“Harry S Truman: Life Before the Presidency”).
His ability to stay calm during the “most trying of circumstances” helped him make the tough decision of dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima to end World War 2. It also helped him maintain his composure during his presidency and endure the stresses of holding office, making him one of the most successful presidents this country has ever seen Stazesky and “Harry S Truman: Life Before Presidency” both confirm the idea that military experience gives leaders the leadership experience required to be successful through the examples of George Washington and Harry S. Truman. By displaying Beowulf as a successful warrior and king, the author of “Beowulf” effectively proves that leaders require military experience in order to be of use during times of war and to gain vital leadership experience.
The actions of Beowulf and President Eisenhower demonstrate the idea that military experience is needed in leaders who serve during times of war. This was shown through the abilities of both Beowulf and Eisenhower to maintain peace during times of chaos Washington and Truman both reveal that military experience provides crucial leadership skills that help them become successful leaders in the future. This was seen through Washington’s ability to unite people together and Truman’s ability to stay calm and think rationally when making tough decisions. With all four of these examples, it becomes clear that in order for leaders to maintain peace and happiness in their people, they must first go through hell on Earth, colloquially known as war.
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