Navy Veteran Derek Sasone

That was Navy vet Derek Sasone’s response to watching this clip Brig. Gen. Doug Satterfield talking on VBC Happy Hour on January 3. We got a lot of comments on the life lessons Doug shared from his 40-year Army career in which he rose from private to a one-star. Here are Derek’s full comments:

The General talked about the importance of relating to personnel in the lower ranks. I agree with him. Brigadier General Satterfield is what we call a “Mustang” in the Navy. That is, someone who rose through the ranks to become an officer. In the Navy, Warrant Officers and Mustangs get respect because they’ve been around and know what it’s like to serve as enlisted.

For most part, Mustangs follow the First Rule of Leadership I learned when I became a Chief Petty Officer:  “NEVER forget where you came from.”  I’m getting that same sense from General Satterfield.

I like how the General spoke to “life lessons,” “assumptions,” “paying attention,” “unique challenges and lessons learned in new environments” and using stuff  found in combat zones. We used a lot of bad materials laying around in Iraq, such as the infamous Indonesian OSB!

And here was Navy veteran Donn Nemchick’s instant response:

Just a note to say THANK YOU for having the General on our Happy Hour program.

What a breath of fresh air. I enjoyed his down-to-earth manner and insight on his tour of duty in Iraq.

I especially enjoyed how he said he always asked the enlisted ranks what they need and what were their issues. Most of the time the senior officers would just walk with a cadre of aides and ask something patronizing like “how is the chow, sailor ?”or “where you from, petty officer?” They couldn’t care less.