09 July 2013

Leadership Lessons of a Berlin Brigade Soldier: Introduction

Hello again! I am about to take to the next level something I have been working on for quite a long time but never went public with, that is until now. The following is the basis for a book that I have wanted to get really serious about and now the time has come to do so. This book is something that I would like to see as something that up and coming leaders can use as a reference in the modern workplace as I truly believe that famous quote by George Santayana: "Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Therefore, we WILL revisit the past. Over the next 20+ weeks I will introduce one new addition to what I call "LEADERSHIP LESSONS OF A BERLIN BRIGADE SOLDIER." I will publish other content news and information in between these "chapters".

The premise is to show a new generation how we saw and did things in Berlin from 1945 to 1994. It was by doing these "things" with Dedication, Commitment, and Professionalism that we, the United States, along with our Allies (France and the United Kingdom) won the Cold War. Don't forget this is one Soldier's interpretation of how we did things. Therefore, if you will indulge me and if you could do me the honor and favor of providing feedback it would be greatly appreciated.

-Thank you, Dave Guerra

Leadership Lessons of a Berlin Brigade Soldier


    When World War II came to an end, the city of Berlin took on a new and unique role; that of the center of the Cold War. It was here that the victors of World War II played their unique game. It was a game of move and counter move, strategy and tactic. It was a game that involved everyone that ever-set foot in the city and no one was immune, not even its citizens. However, there was a group of individuals who went to Berlin willingly and were influenced by the city, the Allies, and the Cold War.  Today many of those who served in the city, at anytime in its post-World War II history, specifically cite that being in Berlin and serving in the Berlin Command was the most pivotal point of their military career and their adult life. Personally, it was the place where I saw the world for what it really was; cold, harsh and very real. It was a place where life and death was marked by a strip of land sometimes no wider than a football field. It was a place that saw families ripped in two all because of which side of the street they happened to live on. It was the place where friendships that would last a lifetime were formed, it was also the place that fostered and improved my leadership abilities and skills. Since leaving the Berlin Brigade there has never been a time in my that has left me in awe about being part of something bigger than me, something that made me proud to say I was a U.S. Infantryman in West Berlin during the Cold War.

    This book serves as a reminder to those that served in Berlin during 1945 to 1994 about those things that were an everyday part of lives. This book for those that never served in Berlin but are interested enough to pick up this book and take a peek into our lives and learn a little bit about what made each of us not just soldiers, and professionals but true Leaders for the rest of our lives.

    While the 20 chapters of this book might seem like a lot to someone that never served in the city but for those that served 110 miles behind the Iron Curtain this is but the tip of the iceberg. I know that I am leaving out many, many unique aspects of the Berlin Brigade (and that may be for the next four books). I assure you that what you will read is but a sliver of our day-to-day lives in Berlin.

    Now almost 20 years since the Berlin Brigade was deactivated, the lessons that we learned and lived then are still very much a part of lives today. The lessons in leadership that are presented in this book are part of who we are and it is our mission to continue to instill and pass along those lessons to others that we encounter no matter what they do. It is my intention to do my part to honor my fellow members of the Berlin Brigade by providing the tools by which we can continue to show what being a member of the Berlin Brigade meant to us and what these lessons in Leadership can do in your own unique situation.

    The Berlin Brigade had a brief, yet honored tradition and unique history as part of the US Army. Today, those that served continue to be faithful to that tradition and history. Therefore, this book is solely dedicated to all who served in the Most Illustrious and Unique unit in the history of the United States Army: The Berlin Brigade.

== Next Week: #1 The Citizens of Berlin ==

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