Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Gen. Barry McCaffrey (III) discusses mentoring: That word kind of nauseates me, but the best ones were my NCOS

A final excerpt from the oral history of Gen. Barry McCaffrey, about mentoring: I always sort of gagged at the word. The biggest mentoring influences on my life were, number one, the NCOs I served with as a lieutenant, captain, major and lieutenant colonel … If I had to point out mentors, I would say ...

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A final excerpt from the oral history of Gen. Barry McCaffrey, about mentoring:

I always sort of gagged at the word. The biggest mentoring influences on my life were, number one, the NCOs I served with as a lieutenant, captain, major and lieutenant colonel … If I had to point out mentors, I would say 1st Sergeant Emerson Trainer, Platoon Sergeant Comar Johnson in the 82nd Airborne, Command Sergeant Major Jim Randolph in the 24th Infantry Division. Jim Randolph was six foot two, twisted steel. He never used curse words. He didn't drink and was a natural born fighter who loved soldiers. He made a huge impact on me. Actually, he was much closer to being like my brother than anybody I ever met.

(p. 28 and p. 30)

A final excerpt from the oral history of Gen. Barry McCaffrey, about mentoring:

I always sort of gagged at the word. The biggest mentoring influences on my life were, number one, the NCOs I served with as a lieutenant, captain, major and lieutenant colonel … If I had to point out mentors, I would say 1st Sergeant Emerson Trainer, Platoon Sergeant Comar Johnson in the 82nd Airborne, Command Sergeant Major Jim Randolph in the 24th Infantry Division. Jim Randolph was six foot two, twisted steel. He never used curse words. He didn’t drink and was a natural born fighter who loved soldiers. He made a huge impact on me. Actually, he was much closer to being like my brother than anybody I ever met.

(p. 28 and p. 30)

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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