#FarrisStory: Inspired By Platoon Sergeant

"The U.S. Army is a dictatorship. The superior gives the orders, the subordinate takes the orders/does the dirty work...that is just the way it is...MOST of the time. In about 1990 at Fort Carson, Colorado I was fortunate enough to encounter a platoon sergeant by the name of SSG Barnett. SSG Barnett was a large brooding man, with an imposing presence. What distinguished him from everyone else, and that which has stuck with me for more than 25 years was his personal philosophy. SSG Barnett, in his first platoon meeting, proclaimed that he would not ask nor order anyone to do anything that he either has not done or was willing to do himself. While the whole platoon thought this was a big load of B.S., we quickly learned that SSG Barnett lived by that code. It was not unusual to see him pulling KP duty in the field, feeding those subordinate to him. Or washing a tent or other field equipment, or changing a tire on a deuce-and-a-half (a VERY labor intensive process). He got down and dirty with his platoon, working side-by-side and walking the talk, rather than leading from behind a desk. He lived this philosophy and inspired me, and others to do the same." - Jerry from O'Fallon, MO