I recently asked SSgt Daniel Shaw (USMC) of Gunfightercast.com if he would be willing to guest author a post for this blog. After discussing what the topic should be
we decided that a revisitation of the definition of Warriorship would be an appropriate choice.
Warriorship is contagious or it isn’t Warriorship
Tom had asked me a while back to contribute to his site on the topic of “Warriorship” I really couldn’t get started writing until I sat back and thought hard about what Warriorship means to me.
Talking about myself isn’t my strong suit especially when there are so many that do more than I but I couldn’t think of any other way to convey my thoughts.
Like some of you, I grew up with a somewhat martial culture. Disagreements between my older brother and I normally were settled with boxing gloves in the living room. After school my friends and I would get our favorite sticks and stick fight on a neighbors trampoline or find someway to hone our elementary fighting skills. I don’t believe this made me a better physical fighter today but what it did was instil a warriors spirit at an early age. I would get banged up all day and be right back the next to give and receive more punishment.
When I was old enough to drive and had a vehicle I pursued organized martial arts but never stuck with it for its lack of realism until much later in life when I discovered Brazilian jiu jitsu and combat submission wrestling. I knew at the age of 15 that I wanted to be a US Marine infantryman and nothing else. I read every Vietnam book I could get my hands on and found old Marine publications at the surplus store to study. None of this in my opinion made any difference in my “quest” so to speak to become a Warrior.
The thing that made the largest impact on me was the warriors that I was placed with and made an effort to be around. I was very fortunate to not have to beg or press for information but all I had to do was be there and they would give it out at the cyclic rate. I still have the grandest respect for those Marines and most I still see from time to time around the Corps and I make it a point to tell them how they have impacted me.
From those Marines, I not only learned valuable physical skills but I also gained an appreciation for people who not only had the skills and knowledge but also made a deliberate effort to share it with others to keep the spirit alive.
“The only thing better than putting a bullet in a Jihadist brain at 500 yards is teaching 10 Marines to do it and have them execute” – Daniel Shaw
As a CPL with a little over 4 years in I was working as a Primary Marksmanship Instructor and MCRD Parris Island it was there that I was taught how to teach and began to see the rewards of teaching on duty and off as a volunteer firefighter with the unofficial title of “volunteer who teaches the other volunteers”. After my duty at PI I deployed to Iraq for the initial strike and then later went back for another trip. I saw clearly that there was a need of not only good teachers but we needed the type that inspired thinking and a motivation to learn.
Since then I have tried to get back to the fight through the Fleet Anti Terrorism Security teams out of Norfolk VA but after completing the Security Forces school I was kept on as an Instructor. This was a blessing in disguise because Marines with a wealth of knowledge and a will to share it were a dime a dozen and we were able to impact hundreds of Marines that will soon be in the fight.
I am now stationed in Okinawa Japan but as I type this I am sitting in northern Thailand as the only Infantryman assigned to advise and conduct predeployment training for a Battalion of logistics Marines. Even though my wife would loose her mind if she reads this, I truly would love to be in Afghanistan right now doing my thing but I wholeheartedly feel that my teachings and training here will make a difference in not only saving Marines lives but also ending some of the bad guys lives and that helps me sleep at night.
In short, what Warriorship means to me is having the skills, knowledge, mindset and an unselfish desire to instill those traits on the next generation.
So don’t be a stuck up, overbearing, macho range commando. Instead share what you know with others each and every time you see the opportunity.