Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer

Once an Eagle : Exploring Leadership Traits “Now somebody ‘ll ask you how do you know what combat is like , and then what ‘ll you say . You don ‘t know any more about it than they do (Myrer 60 )Introduction Leadership is a concept that seems to be omnipresent in warfare .Lives are predicated on its deployment and use . Men are made and destroyed by the way they use their position no matter how small it may seem at the time . Anton Myrer explores the idea of leadership throughout his war torn narrative , Once an Eagle . Leadership , as a theme is seen through the development of his characters . He references the battle between Gates and Benedict Arnold to point out the three traits he sees as absolutely necessary for a leader to be successful in war , but of course he also sees these as lending success in life .“Arnold ‘s effectiveness lay in (1 ) flexibility and tactical sense (2 )calm under fire (3 ) ability to inspire loyalty and confidence in men through force of personal example (Myrer 22 ) These three traits bind the actions of the characters together and ultimately decide their fate .In particular , the reader sees the character of Sam Damon demonstrate and develop these traits . This paper will explore the use and evidence of these traits throughout the story . Each incident provided will demonstrate how these traits are used and why they are important to the overall understanding of leadership , character development and individual growth . Although Sam obviously plays the major role in the story , the idea of leadership defines all those he comes in contact with and shapes the events in which he takes part .Flexibility and Tactical Sense Flexibility as it is defined by the actions in this piece is shown when someone takes the action needed to produce successful results . He or she looks at the situation not from a stand point of what should we do , but what must we do . Flexibility allows one to look at an event with new eyes and judge the actions according to overall what will work . Throughout the narrative , Sam looks beyond the battle , to the safety of his men . In life , he looks beyond the moment to the overall outcome of life ‘s events . Tactical sense then takes that knowledge , chooses the best pieces and makes them work within the situation they are given . These two traits compose the world ‘s greatest strategists and they are seen throughout the book , particularly with Sam . The first scene that accurately portrays this trait is when Sam thinks about saving his friend Jimmy . When everyone else was panicking ,he assessed the situation and making a decision . Often in times of planning or action , the inability to make a decision creates disaster .When Jimmy fell through the ice , Sam was the only one to stop and make a decision . “It was like the afternoon they ‘d been playing on the ice and Jimmy Wright had fallen through . The others had been…

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